Independence Day

Whether Americans or not, we can all take a moment today to consider the words of the Declaration of Independence, signed on this day in 1776.

The spirit and the ideals of the document are still fresh, although one could argue that the concept of good government has lost it's shine lately. Let us hope in the future.

As Jefferson (pictured here), Adams, Franklin, Hancock and those other luminaries said so many years ago:

"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."

I don't advocate revolution, but I admire the ability of humankind to recognize the need to reform government when necessary. It's one of the seeds of democracy.
Many thanks to Thad Zajdowicz for his photo of the Thomas Jefferson statue at Merchant's Square, Williamsburg, Virginia.

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