This Friday we celebrate Independence Day and the declaration that the Colonies would no longer be colonies and instead would be their own Independent States, free of the King’s Tyranny. Thomas Jefferson then set about to write up a list of grievances against the rule of the King among them taxation without the consent of the people and deprivation of trial by jury. The freedom won by the States is that of vigilance and the necessity of each citizen to be informed of the issues concerning the States and their governance. This vigilance is the cost of freedom. It carries on these eleven score and eighteen years.
“… 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… 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”
It is the duty of the citizenry to be vigilant of the Government, to insure that it is derived from the consent of the people. As we celebrate with fireworks, watermelon, and hot dogs let us remember our Duty to this country to speak up, speak out, and educate ourselves. The above link is to the transcript of the Declaration of Independence on the website of the National Archives. Check out what the Founding Fathers were doing, what the document says, and what it means 238 years later.
If you were to write a list of grievances to the “King” this week, what would they be?