The author of this blog can well remember the bicentennial of the Declaration of Independence in 1976, when Gerald Ford was President, and we had just recently come out from under the dual burdens of the Watergate scandal and the Vietnam War.
There was great optimism at the time about the future of the world’s greatest democracy. Unfortunately, that optimism no longer exists.
Instead, we have great pessimism and negativism and partisanship, and we now face the threat of a bankruptcy and default of our government’s finances if the two major political parties cannot overcome their differences and do what is necessary for the national good.
We have tremendous ignorance in this country about the Fourth of July, whereby only 58 percent know its significance as the day we declared our independence to the world wide community of nations.
And we have tremendous propaganda about the Founding Fathers, who gave us the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, making them out to be god like, and also to have the views of right wing Republican conservatives, which all of them would have been horrified to imagine was the image being taught and propagated about them.
The Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, despite what the right wing conservative Republicans claim, believed in a “United States”, not thirteen independent states going their own way, and the experiment with the Articles of Confederation proved how inept a government was that promoted so called “states rights”!
The concept that the Tea Party Movement promotes that they represent the true meaning of the Declaration and the Constitution is preposterous, as the Founding Fathers promoted the idea of a government of the people, not the states, and wanted the authority to promote effective and responsive government to secure life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness!
That required a national government to promote the general welfare, justice, common defense, and the blessings of liberty. States rights were not primary, whether in 1787 or at the end of the Civil War in 1865!
The ultimate conclusion is that the Declaration of Independence was not condemning government or taxes. It was not promoting anarchy or reckless behavior, but rather responsible government that dealt with reality for the common good!