“We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their creator with inherent and [certain] inalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, & 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 abolish it, & to institute new government, laying it’s foundation on such principles, & organizing it’s powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety & happiness. Prudence indeed will dictate that governments long established should not be changed for light & transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shown 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 & usurpations begun at a distinguished period and 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, & to provide new guards[…]”
Excerpt From: Thomas Jefferson. “Autobiography of Thomas Jefferson.”
The so-called “Declaration of Independence” of the United States of America was a reasoned and unadulterated attack upon the King of England as a despot. After outlining many of the abuses of the governing British authority, the Declaration addressed some of the same issues which continue to this day to be of importance including independent judiciary, immigration, international trade, exciting domestic insurrection, capital punishment, solitary confinement and “slavery”.
“He has waged cruel war against human nature itself, violating its most sacred rights of life and liberty in the persons of a distant people who never offended him, captivating & carrying them into slavery in another hemisphere, or to incur miserable death in their transportation thither. This piratical warfare, the opprobium of INFIDEL powers, is the warfare of the CHRISTIAN king of Great Britain.”
Religious freedom was similarly the subject of attention.
“The bill for establishing religious freedom, the principles of which had, to a certain degree, been enacted before, I had drawn in all the latitude of reason & right. It still met with opposition; but, with some mutilations in the preamble, it was finally passed; and a singular proposition proved that it’s protection of opinion was meant to be universal. Where the preamble declares that coercion is a departure from the plan of the holy author of our religion, an amendment was proposed, by inserting the word “Jesus Christ,” so that it should read “a departure from the plan of Jesus Christ, the holy author of our religion.” The insertion was rejected by a great majority, in proof that they meant to comprehend, within the mantle of it’s protection, the Jew and the Gentile, the Christian and Mahometan, the Hindoo, and infidel of every denomination.”
Though Jefferson was the primary author of the Declaration of Independence he willingly admitted that the Declaration “contained no original ideas, but was instead a statement of sentiments widely shared by supporters of the American Revolution“. As he explained in 1825:
“Neither aiming at originality of principle or sentiment, nor yet copied from any particular and previous writing, it was intended to be an expression of the American mind, and to give to that expression the proper tone and spirit called for by the occasion.“
Reading this relatively succinct document without the benefit of history might easily lead one to contemplate the violation of “inalienable rights” by the existing American government. Lest I appear partial in my patent innuendo I am compelled to reiterate equally the historic tradition of the British for intolerance and discredit – a condemnation which can as well be levelled at the predominantly British ancestry which ruled Upper and Lower Canada since its own constitutional independence in 1867. I am alluding in particular to the mistreatment of native Indians and the smaller French population by successive governments. It appears that the dreadful bloodlines of both Americans and Canadians have insinuated them so deeply that they yet succeed to contaminate the progressive being of their respective population. The Québecois for example have reiterated their own mistreatment by bestowing it upon their Muslim community, provincial bias which in fairness has been rejected by the federal government.
The cursory nature of this entry permits me to take the opportunity to raise yet another quirk of modern American society; namely, the malignant preoccupation with what is denominated “socialism”. The peculiarity arises from the fact that in American society for a reason I can’t currently begin to comprehend the term has the archaic thrust of Marxism, Communism or Bolshevism. Its use catapults me instantly to the furious and perverse days of McCarthyism. What any right-thinking American has against universal health care, reasonable minimum wage and access to proper education I shall never understand. Nor I might add do I begin to think of myself as a Russian revolutionary of 1917 for holding the Canadian model in good stead.
Being as I am a mere foreign interloper upon American soil I acknowledge my lack of authority to weigh in upon local affairs. Having said that – and I believe it to be true – I am nonetheless entirely absorbed by the machinations of Americans and their representatives. My curiosity is aroused by the seeming failure of what is reputed by the Republicans to be the predominant national numbers to deal with the elemental features of their own Declaration of Independence. Everything about the present government flies in the face of those self-evident truths. Initially I was gobsmacked by the reluctance of Americans to thwart the insufficiency. Reluctantly I have diluted my simmering disavowal by recognizing the paramountcy of the ruling party (the GOP) to preserve its own survival at the expense of such constancy. The impeachment of President Donald J. Trump failed only for that less than altruistic or juridical purpose. My sincere hope is that Americans (that is, the electorate) will unite to reignite the elevated terms of their Declaration of Independence. Make no mistake the obligation rests solely upon the electorate. To imagine that the synthetic is a solely provocative Democratic nominee is to ignore the indisputable fact that the electorate could elect Mickey Mouse were it so inclined. Though my cynicism has some strength, the sine qua non remains however the electorate.