It appears that our esteemed editor has decided to dispense with one of my favorite BMG traditions, referring to similar exercises as “jingoism”, so I will have to do it myself. IMO we should never let our imperfect track record living up to our ideals keep us from celebrating and seeking to practice those ideals. I for one can’t read through our foundational document without choking up. Here then our Declaration of Independence, followed by a modified version that God willing this will be the last Independence Day I will have to update:
When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
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.–Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.
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, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.
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.
He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.
He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.
He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the Legislative powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.
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, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.
He has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary powers.
He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.
He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harrass our people, and eat out their substance.
He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.
He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil power.
He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:
For Quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:
For protecting them, by a mock Trial, from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:
For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:
For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:
For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury:
For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences
For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies:
For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws, and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:
For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.
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.
He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.
He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.
He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.
In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.
Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our Brittish brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.
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. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.
Now for the modern version, which incidentally has a longer list of grievances than the original!
When in the Course of criminal events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with their leader and to assume among the powers of the earth, the free and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of their fellow citizens requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the Resistance.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that no President is above the law, that he is endowed by the Constitution with certain limited powers, that among these are proposing legislation to Congress, signing or vetoing legislation according to his will, and seeing to it that duly enacted laws are faithfully executed. — That to restrain these powers, other institutions of government are established by the people, serving as a check on the abuse of executive power, — That whenever any President becomes destructive of these ends, it is the prerogative of those institutions to impeach or to declare him unfit, and to install a new President, laying his foundation on such principles and exercising his powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Presidents duly elected should not be removed 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 removing the leaders 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 leaders, and to install new leaders for their future security. — Such has been the patient sufferance of our fellow citizens; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to call for the removal of their President. The history of the current President of the United States is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over Americans, and to weaken and embarrass the United States in the world. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid country.
He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.
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, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands, to be set aside for public use.
He has mocked the Administration of Justice by questioning the impartiality of judges on the basis of political affiliation or even ethnic background.
He has vacated a multitude of Offices, and failed to appoint new officers necessary for the functioning of an efficient government, or has appointed officers who seek to weaken or eliminate the departments or agencies they have been assigned to lead.
He has failed to divest himself fully of business interests, and has refused to allow public inspection of documents which would show his interests therein.
He has continued to receive material gifts from foreign governments in the form of patronage of his businesses, in direct violation of the emoluments clause of the Constitution.
He has willfully ignored concerns raised regarding connections of the National Security Advisor with one or more foreign governments, and terminated the acting Attorney General who raised these concerns.
He appointed a new Attorney General who has his own troubling foreign connections and has thus been forced to recuse himself on matters addressed herein.
He forced the resignation of that Attorney General for said recusal and appointed a compromised replacement, in the process circumventing the Constitutional requirement for advice and consent of the Senate.
He terminated two United States Attorneys who had been investigating federal crimes relative to his business interests.
He sought to pressure the Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation into suspending an investigation into the foreign connections of the National Security Advisor, and when refused, terminated the Director before his term expired.
He reportedly sought to pressure the Department of Justice to prosecute the now former FBI Director along with his opponent in the late presidential election.
He sought to misdirect what already appeared to be a perfunctory Congressional investigation, and to improperly intervene in the selection of a special prosecutor.
He has been utterly careless in the handling of classified information, discussing information in unsecure environments, or sharing information entrusted to us by our allies with hostile nations.
He has favored candidates for election in other nations hostile to our interests and values.
He has frivolously invoked executive privilege, and has directed counsel to argue that Congress has no power of oversight on the presidency.
He has solicited foreign assistance in his campaign for re-election, and has indicated that he will not alert law enforcement if he is made aware of such foreign intervention.
He has used executive orders to subject us to a legal code foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:
For canceling provisions of the Affordable Care Act:
For opening public lands for commercial and environmentally harmful exploitation:
For cutting off our Trade and good will with all parts of the world, by abrogating agreements and treaties duly negotiated by his predecessors:
For aggressively detaining those suspected of not being in the country legally, without respect for due process or mitigating circumstances:
For allowing the use of religion as a defense and justification for discriminatory treatment against sexual minorities:
For weakening prohibitions on the political activities of religious institutions at the risk of their tax-exempt status:
For ordering the construction of a wall along our southern border without appropriation from Congress:
For limiting the time and effort required to study the environmental impact of certain infrastructure projects:
For restricting entry into the United States by persons from certain nations, largely based on the majority religion of those nations, even after being rejected by federal courts; these restrictions have not included countries where the President has known strong personal business interests.
For weakening laws designed to check the abuses of the country’s financial sector:
For scapegoating immigrant communities for criminal activity despite evidence that immigrants are less likely to commit crimes:
For reducing federal oversight and enforcement in the areas of environmental protection and education:
For weakening rules designed to protect the neutrality of the internet:
For investigating alleged instances of voter fraud in the late presidential election, despite there being no credible evidence that such took place.
For separating children, some even infants and toddlers, from their parents and holding them in indefinite detention
For denying the opportunity for migrants and refugees to seek asylum in the United States, contrary to international and domestic law.
For altering and threatening to delay the upcoming decennial census despite such efforts being rejected by the Supreme Court
For attempting to shut down private media platforms which have alerted their readership to errors in his own communications to the public
He has abdicated Government in Puerto Rico, a fully constituent part of the United States, by declaring them out of his Protection in the wake of natural disasters.
He has abdicated responsibility for leadership in the face of an extreme pandemic, deliberately jettisoning his predecessor’s strategy and dispersing aid based on political considerations.
He has deployed the use of force without Congressional authorization, and has threatened such use against additional nations, which will ultimately make America and the world less safe.
He has also improperly deployed the military to enforce domestic law, and to violently disperse those peacefully exercising their constitutional right to protest.
He has improperly employed his family members, who may have troubling foreign entanglements of their own, granting them clearances and compelling public funds to be used for their protection even for personal reasons.
He has turned a blind eye to allegations against members of his family for the same infractions for which he seeks to prosecute his political opponents.
He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring the less enlightened among us, the merciless Supremacist Savages whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of minority races, sexes and conditions.
He has ordered the armed forces of the United States to attack asylum seekers with tear gas, illegally enforcing the law on American soil.
In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A President, whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the leader of a free people.
Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our members of Congress. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by the President to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of his questionable election. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common patriotism to disavow these usurpations, which would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. The Republican members too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity, and too many Democrats have been reluctant to do their constitutional duty. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Resistance, and hold them, as we hold all elected officials, in esteem when they serve us well, and when they do not, in contempt.
We, therefore, the people of the United States of America, from a wide variety of socio-economic and demographic backgrounds, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of all of our fellow citizens, solemnly publish and declare, That Donald J. Trump, President of the United States, is unfit to hold office, that he has committed multiple acts of treason, bribery, and other high crimes or misdemeanors, that we are Absolved from all Allegiance to the current President, and that all political connection between us and him, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as a co-equal branch of the government, Congress should proceed without delay to impeach and remove him from the presidency, and to do all other Acts and Things which Congress may of right do to restrain the presidency from further abuses. — And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to the Resistance our voices, our votes, and our sacred Honor.