Becka's Babble

Ramblings of a Romance Writer

Thursday, July 03, 2008

July 4th, 1776

Imagine living in colonies under a tyrant's rule, being so fed up, pissed off, and utterly disgusted that the time has come to do something, to go against one of the most (if not THE most) powerful countries on the planet.

Imagine gathering ALL the members of Congress, from all 13 colonies, on one day, to sign a document that basically gives the finger to the British king. Imagine coming to your wit's end and realizing that a war to win your independence is better than living under the rule of a man who clearly doesn't care about, and actively goes out of his way to oppress, his colonies.

For the first time, I decided to READ the Declaration of Independence. Sure, we've all heard the famous lines, life, liberty, the pursuit of happiness, etc. But have you read the entire thing? The founding fathers wore their balls on the outside, if you know what I'm saying. It's folklore in America that John Hancock's signature is so much bigger than everyone else's because he wanted the king of England to be able to read it without his spectacles. I don't know if that's a true story, but it sure is amusing. I'd love to have a beer with that guy.

If you haven't read the Declaration in it's entirety, give it a whirl. And if you have, read it again to remember what true patriots are like.

Sure, our founding fathers weren't the pristine, righteous men we all sometimes think them to be--they were MEN after all, fallible, just like you and me. But you can't help but respect them for what they did on July 4th so many years ago.

So while I celebrate the 4th this year with my trite little BBQ and my "fancy" fireworks, I will think back on what transpired on that day in 1776 and shake my head in awe of it.

Now, if only I can get my kids to stop calling it the DECARATION of Independence, that would be good. :P



At 10:41 PM , Blogger Becka said...

The very last line before the signatures:

"And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor."

Wow. I had to read this again to grasp it's full meaning. They had nothing to fall back on as "protection" from declaring independence, other than God's "Divine Providence". Knowing they might die for this endeavor, they pledged to each other everything they had on this one hope that they could be their own free nation.

It just boggles the mind just how brave these men must have been.


At 11:45 PM , Anonymous Michael Sigler said...

It really is a stunning piece of work. I couldn't help but make comparisons to Iraq while reading it. I wonder what would happen if the Iraqui's presented us with something similar.

At 9:50 AM , Blogger Christopher said...

This is an especially important 4th of July for me. The Senate will be voting on the FISA bill this week, and will in all likelihood rubber stamp the Bush administration's 8 year assault on our constitutional rights.

While King George of England sent his soldiers to rifle through the cupboards and cellars of the colonists in search of contraband and untaxed goods, our current would-be King George of Texas has sent the NSA to rifle through your email and phone calls for evidence of terrorism or other thought crimes.

This should scare you. A lot. In the wake of the Nixon scandals (remember Watergate?), the Church committee found that the FBI and CIA had been illegally spying on Americans for decades. They were opening our mail, recording our phone calls and keeping tabs on who we talked to.

Why were they doing that, you ask? The big bad enemy at the time wasn't terrorism, but communism. If you look at the language used by the people in the government at the time, it's shockingly similar. The communists hate our freedoms, they want to destroy our way of life, etc. You could take "terrorist" out of pretty much any sentence uttered by Dubya and replace it with "communist" and you can bet someone back in the 60s & 70s was saying it.

Are you against the war in Vietnam? Why you must sympathize with the Communists, and we better keep track of you. Are you a student activist in favor of civil rights? Why you must definitely be a Communist, and we better keep track of you. Just replace one word with another and it's scary how things have come back around.

This is incredibly serious. You want to know what can happen when people with anti-war views get marginalized and thought of as un-American? Read up about the Kent State Massacre and take a look at Nixon's reaction to the shootings. "[A]fter meeting with the students Nixon expressed that those in the anti-war movement were the pawns of foreign communists." How would you like to have the President of the United States call you a pawn of foreign terrorists after because you oppose an open-ended occupation of Iraq that costs us billions and only gives us...

Hell, I don't even know what it gives us. I certainly don't believe for a minute that we're safer now than we were before 9/11. For all of Bush's swaggering that we've not had another attack on American soil since 9/11, I can't help but think that we didn't have one between 1993 and 2001, either. For those who remember, 1993 was the first World Trace Center bombing. Somehow we managed to have almost a decade free of foreign terrorist attacks under Clinton (we did have attacks in between, but they were of the home-grown style like the McVeigh bombing in Oklahoma). Amazingly, we did that without invading and occupying any Middle-Eastern countries.

The 4th of July isn't just a day to love your country and celebrate your rights and freedoms. It's a day to make up your mind to do something to keep those rights and freedoms. We've gone quite long enough putting up with the erosion of our rights under Bush, and we need to make sure the next President knows we won't stand for any more of it. As long as the President and those in Congress can think that only crazy activists care about things like FISA, they'll keep pulling this crap. It's time for them to know that ordinary, every day working also care about little freedoms like the 4th Amendment and we won't be silent about our rights.

At 10:04 AM , Blogger Becka said...

I hear you, Chris, it is very scary. This administration would probably have the founding fathers turning in their graves.

The Republican party has become so corrupt these days, it makes me embarrassed to say I am one, and in fact, I've been pondering changing my political parties. To what, I don't know. I'm not a Democrat, I know that, maybe an Independent?

What I do know is that this upcoming Presidential election is probably one of the most important in America's history.



Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home