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Founders might want a do-over

July 03, 2013|By TIM ROWLAND

OK, it’s July 4, 2013, and the nation is 237 years old today. So to recap:

We have a U.S. citizen hiding out in the heart of the former USSR because America wants to prosecute his right to free speech; judicial seats are going unfilled because Congress is putting politics ahead of the law; we deny accommodations to immigrants; the IRS is targeting groups based on their political views; the U.S. House of Representatives is so dysfunctional that even its leadership can’t agree to pass legislation directly benefiting the people; newspaper reporters are being snooped upon by the government; laws at the state and federal levels are being filibustered to death by vocal minorities; even the most basic legislation in the U.S. Senate can be blocked by a 40 percent minority; secret courts have approved government surveillance of phone calls and email; representative districts are drawn so as to guarantee victory by one party or the other; we’re still fighting in the Middle East for reasons that have been lost to time.

And I think there’s some more.

So, on this anniversary of the founding of our nation, do you think the Founders would like a do-over?

That “long train of abuses and usurpations” that they wrote about seems to have come full circle. So Jefferson and his crew must have gotten something wrong — or at least suffered the error of omission by failing to include a sentence such as, “And by the way, if anyone should catch us patriots doing the same things of which we are accusing King George, please give us a swift kick in ye olde breeches.”

So what were some of the things that naughty old king was doing then, and are we repeating his mistakes? Let’s check the D of I:

He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good. He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance.

Check.

He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.

Check

He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither.

Check

He has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary powers.

Check.

He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone.

Check.

He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people, and eat out their substance.

Check, at least electronically speaking.

He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.

Check.

He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil power.

Drones anyone?

He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us.

Check.

He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us. He has plundered our seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.

Burnt our towns? OK, so maybe we haven’t quite come full circle. But give ’em time.



Tim Rowland is a Herald-Mail columnist. His email address is timr@herald-mail.com.

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