When’s the last time you picked up a copy of the Declaration of Independence, and considered those 18th-century colonial grievances in the context of today? Indeed, a fair case can be made that many of the offenses committed by King George III are being visited once again upon the American people through the actions (or lack of same) of their own government. And, in the words of the Declaration itself, “when a train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object, evinces a sign to reduce them under absolute despotism…it is their right, it is their duty to throw off such government.”  


The Declaration lists a history of the king’s interactions with the colonies over the years. It is an interesting exercise to replace the word “king” with the words, “the entrenched power base in Washington;” then, evaluate a number of those grievances in a contemporary light. Certainly, the “power base” has “made judges dependent upon [its] will alone for the tenure of their offices.” How many roadblocks are placed in front of judicial appointees at every federal level, purely for the sake of politics? Has our bloated and growing government “erected a multitude of new offices, and sent hither swarms of officers to harass our people, and eat out their substance?” If you said “no,” you’ve apparently never interacted with the IRS! And certainly, every time a Supreme Court justice alludes to international law as precedent for a ruling, he or she “combines with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws.”

 

The bottom line? When representative government is not held accountable, it ceases to be a government of the people, by the people, and for the people. We are a nation in gridlock, a virtual logjam of creative problem-solving. It’s been allowed by a passive citizenry, enabled by a legislature obsessed with obtaining and retaining power that body has no intention of using for the public good, and fueled by a legal system driven, not by a desire for justice, but instead by an insatiable hunger for personal gain. The resulting muck and mire have slowed America’s progress to a near standstill. We’re only noticing it now because our nation's economy is threatened, and it appears we citizens might not get all the “stuff” we think we deserve.

 

So far in this ’08 campaign, the Big Parties—and their friends in the Big Media—have been able to keep us talking about the gamesmanship of politics, instead of what’s truly at stake for our nation, and its future. And as we battle over delegate counts, pout about fairness, and point fingers of blame, the entire process gets just a little more absurd; sadly, we move not an inch closer to solving the immense problems before us. Perhaps when we once again have the courage and fortitude, we will—like our Founding Fathers before us—seek to abolish the tyranny that offends our freedom. Even if we discover that the despot in question is one of our own making.