Jan. 29, 2007
With a new Congress convening, it’s time to recall the ideals of America as expressed by Thomas Jefferson in our Declaration of Independence. The following is a new version of the Declaration, updated to reflect the current usurpations and threats we face. It is an urgent call for our newly elected representatives to fulfill the promise of America envisioned by our Founders and for We, The People, to insist that they do.
When in the course of human events, a people find it necessary to rid themselves of a government that has abandoned the sound principles upon which it was founded and that increasingly threatens their lives and liberties, reason requires them to declare the causes of their discontent.
We hold these truths to be certain and immutable, that all men by their nature possess unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, property, and the pursuit of happiness; that to protect these rights governments are instituted among men, deriving their just and limited powers from the consent of the governed; that individuals show respect for each other’s rights by associating with one another through voluntary consent; that an act of force against a person violates his rights; and that it is the sole, legitimate purpose of government to ban the initiation of force in society by retaliating with force against it—through the police and courts to apprehend and punish domestic criminals, the military to defend against foreign invaders, and the civil courts to settle disputes among men—thereby insuring the peace and safety of a free and civilized people.
That whenever a government becomes destructive of these ends, when it becomes the very instrument of coercion it is supposed to protect against, it is the right and duty of the people to alter it and institute new government that will protect their safety and freedom. The history of the present government of the United States—with state and local governments following suit—is one of a dangerous, unchecked growth of powers leading to the ultimate perversion in which it is the government that holds the reins and the citizens that are saddled, bridled, and spurred to do its bidding. To prove this, let facts be submitted to reasonable minds.
The government has violated our right to property and seized our wealth through onerous taxation that totals over 40 percent of the national income, taxing our salaries, investments, homes, businesses, purchases, etc., so that we cannot even buy a toothbrush without paying a tribute.
It has transformed a nation of self-reliant, self-supporting individuals into a swarm of special interest groups—workers, farmers, seniors, unions, corporations, etc.—each clamoring for favors and handouts at the expense of others, so that the young are taxed to support the old, the rich to support the poor, the people in the mountains to support flood victims at the shores; and the louder the demands, the more a group receives.
It has made us dependent on its largess for our vital needs, such as our retirement income and medical care, which no longer depend on our individual choices and actions but on the promises of politicians whose costly, ill-conceived programs are fast approaching bankruptcy.
It has appointed itself as the supreme master who decides for all what foods, medicines, products are safe to use—even mandating how our televisions must be made, our cereal boxes labeled, our toilets flushed—bombarding us with countless agencies that misuse our money, harass us, fine us, and violate our freedom to control our own lives.
It has, in order to gain votes and power bases, usurped the role of private charity, giving food, housing, and other provisions to special groups, removing incentives for them to improve their own lives, and creating an uncharitable, unchosen, and unjust financial burden on others to support them.
It has vilified our industries, seized their profits, hampered free trade, prevented mergers, dictated every detail of employment and operation—controlling pay, hours, benefits, prices, hiring, firing, production, profits—even setting safety standards for swivel chairs in the workplace—thereby violating the rights of employers, employees, and customers to deal with each other on their own terms.
It has created endless ways to cripple businesses, so that if a company is deemed too large, anti-trust laws force it to divide; if it is deemed to pay wages that are too low, labor laws force it to offer more; all at the whim of public officials who create no wealth and live off money extorted from taxpayers, yet issue televised tongue-lashings and punishments to businesspeople for not running their enterprises to better suit the politicians’ favored groups.
It has, for political advantage, doled out subsidies, invoked protective tariffs, created monopolies, bestowed grants and privileges—including paying farmers not to produce any crops—giving unfair advantage to some businesses at the expense of others and creating chaos in the marketplace.
It has failed to protect the people’s rights, but instead protects snail darters, caribou, and the wilderness, in order to pander to aberrant environmentalists who use energy in every aspect of their lives—in their cars, planes, computers, lawn mowers, toasters, microphones—while instigating laws to severely hamper energy production.
It has stifled domestic exploration for oil with onerous regulation, which has made oil scarcer and more expensive and thus enriched foreign oil-producing countries such as Iran, whose revenues support the brainwashing schools, training camps, and militias of ruthless savages who plot to annihilate us.
It has imposed oppressive taxes, yet the huge sums it extracts still cannot quench its thirst for more reckless spending, plunging the country deeper into debt and, if unchecked, into bankruptcy.
It has seized so much power that kickbacks from contractors, bribes from lobbyists, favors exchanged for votes, and other scandals in its ranks are rampant.
It has corrupted the morals of the people, who see that they can vote themselves the taxpayers’ money, so they abandon personal responsibility and self-reliance to clamor for more handouts, perpetuating their own dependence and their representatives’ corruption.
It has created a welfare state not only within our borders, but throughout the world, squandering huge sums on foreign aid that bails out the failing regimes of despotic rulers, feeds the very enemies who arm to destroy us—such as North Korea and many others over the years—and creates a global entitlement mentality that demands a bite of the already ravaged carcass of the American taxpayer.
It has financed and supported the corrupt United Nations, an organization allegedly dedicated to world peace that grants the worst tyrannies equal moral standing with free countries and provides a forum for the bloodiest dictatorships to condemn us.
It has shamefully failed in its constitutional duty to protect us from deadly threats abroad, allowing repeated attacks on us to go unpunished and emboldening our enemies to wreak unprecedented death and destruction on our own soil.
It has left us vulnerable to a ruthless enemy because of its endless appeasement, its perverse desire not to offend anyone, its need for approval from hostile countries, its concern for our decorum over our victory—in short, its moral cowardice in defending America.
These and other usurpations and failings now weigh heavily on us.
By the laws of nature and our Constitution, we declare ourselves a free people with sovereignty over ourselves. We demand an end to the creeping tyranny that strangles us. We demand the dismantling of government in all areas of usurped powers never granted it by the Constitution. We demand that our elected representatives act on the ideals of liberty to reverse our self-destructive course.
We will never forget that we are Americans. We forged a continent not with public aid but with the shining vision of a better life and the self-reliance to attain it. We created wealth, progress, and achievement on an unprecedented scale. No government fed our pioneers, inspected their wagons for safety, certified their chickens, subjected their homes to endless building permits, meddled in their businesses, looted their wealth. No government built the breathtaking skylines of our majestic cities, the proud monuments to free minds and free commerce. The government’s fingerprints are found only on the shattered shells of public housing that wound our cities, a grim reminder of the failed welfare state. The time has come to reclaim our country from the meddlers, do-gooders, and would-be dictators seeking to nourish their craving for power with our lifeblood. We will restore America as the proud haven of liberty. To this we pledge our sacred honor.
If you agree with this declaration, send it to your representatives. Tell them that you intend to support people who offer a return to limited government and the freedoms guaranteed us by the Constitution.
Genevieve (Gen) LaGreca is the author of “Noble Vision” a novel about liberty and a ForeWord magazine Book of the Year Award winner. She may be contacted at email@example.com.