Filibuster, Trumpists, Your Side, Our Side, Stop Biden, Gun Violence, Racism
It’s so good to be in harmony, working toward a more perfect union.
Sometimes it helps to step back, look at our history. Look at that title I wrote. It has a lot to do with the federal government. But when founded, the United States had a minimal federal government. We were states, each a little country in itself — the small federal government was given the task of representing the states to the outside world, and prosecuting wars when needed. It existed to help the states, not govern them.
The founders, remembering the tyranny of the British, also made sure the citizens had the right to bear arms. The reason for that was in case our government became tyrannical, the people might have to forcibly remove it from power and try again. This principle was explicitly explained. Please note that the founders clearly meant “people” when they said, “the people.”
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.”
That was the opening of the Declaration of Independence. The following is the conclusion.
“We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these united Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do.”
For the past 30 or 40 years I’ve re-read the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States every couple of months. I’m not entirely sure why. I guess they are well-crafted and that impresses me, but also, it’s a damn tough job to outline the overthrow of an existing government and figure out how to create a new one that will honor the will of the people.
But in part I read them because I get frustrated by the heavy influence of the current federal government and the taxes it imposes. This was never intended by our founders. And the heavy taxation of the people didn’t start until the 20th century.
If the United States had remained the way it was designed, the nightly news would carry stories about what’s going on in a given state and maybe something about whatever’s happening elsewhere in the world. The U.S. federal government should be virtually a non-entity in our daily lives.
And worst of all, in the 21st century the government got mean. It is self destructing with Trumpism and partisanship and a culture of hate. I never hear politicians saying that they’re working toward a more perfect union. I suppose Joe Biden comes the closest in that regard. But his enemies, the Republicans, are trying to get the upper hand. That doesn’t sound like two parties working together to make sure the people enjoy Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.