General Washington himself in December of 1777 reveled on a day of “Thanksgiving” after the defeat of the British at Saratoga during what is known as our War of Independence. That war was conducted when we were still a loose confederation of colonies who rebelled, in part, because we were resisting the taxation needed to pay for the ongoing folly of foreign wars and entanglements of our government run by the rich, privileged British Monarchy. We the People wanted to govern ourselves.
In these times that once again trouble men’s and women’s souls, we the people would do well to remember that We Are What We Were. Our revolutionary war was won – against all odds by citizen soldiers or irregulars who forced a standing British Army to surrender in the field for the first time since the tyrant Napoleon. This happened with some help from the French because the Crown and its privileged generals were fighting an idea first put forth in our Declaration of Independence, then codified in our Constitution that “We the People” would govern ourselves and elect our leaders and smoothly transfer power to successive administrations. The idea was bigger and more powerful than the British Army and Navy. It remains a bigger and better idea when used against other forces of oppression.
Now, once again, the courtiers of privilege and wealth are presiding over our fate and using hatred, false patriotism and militias of fascists to enrich themselves, expand their unearned privileges and oppress our Citizen Patriots who voted some of the haters out of office. The rest need to go too, especially all the Republicans who wanted to and continue to try to overthrow our votes and cancel our elections. Our new battles of Lexington and Concord will now take place in voter registration procedures and polling places, and our courts. This is our birthright – we will govern ourselves according to our Constitution.
Consider once again that we are what we were: Haters of despots, dictators and kings. We formed a Republic with a Constitution that separated power and used a system of checks and balances to prevent or impeach those who abuse it. Slavery, the issue the writers of our Constitution feared to address – many of them slaveholders and wealthy – because of self-interest and politics, were ignoring “We hold these truths to be self-evident.” These were beliefs they professed in their own Declaration of Independence – “created equal.” Sound familiar? Yes, it is depressing – given the tawdry cast of characters residing around the Potomac living on Taxpayer Welfare, all the while refusing to protect and defend our Constitution and other laws that they have clearly violated with willful malice.
This founding fathers’ failure of foresight, failure of political courage, and failure of morals to address the ongoing ethical and legal problems that would ensue, as well as the fearsome bloodshed it would take to semi-resolve outright slavery extracted a terrible price on us. However, as the Civil War dragged on and the Constitution was amended we started to live – however imperfectly – by our ideals once again. But we took this for granted. The price of liberty is constant vigilance against oppression.
Now, after the siege of the Capital this week, not unlike the firing on Fort Sumpter, and four years of Republican despotism – we must once again adhere to the “We the People” principle of our founders. Call it American optimism or American liberalism and our expanding inclusive spirit evident in Black Lives Matter, Occupy Wall Street or the Me-Too movements. Remember, nay cherish, our problem-solving, practical American traits. We the people will once again attempt to make things right. But there are not enough of us living our Constitution this week. We call on all Americans to remember and respect the hard battles past and the citizen soldiers who fought them, while girding ourselves for the political, economic and ongoing military battles we now face.
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