The future of America

The future of America will be determined by one thing….whether we still believe in the values stated in the original document of the Republic of the United States of America, the Declaration of Independence.

Since this is an election year, perhaps we should discuss exactly what the Declaration of Independence says. Then we can accurately gauge where we stand as a free people.

So let’s have fun and start with just the First Sentence in the Declaration of Independence.

When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

I think we can skip over the course of human events as to referring to history. The next part of the sentence “becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another” could mean throw off the old ties that don’t work anymore.

Next part reads “assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them”. To all those people who want to take God out of the equation, what does it say when the founders of the Republic acknowledge a higher power, a god in the very first sentence of the founding document of our Nation. It also acknowledges and affirms that the rights of man are endowed to him by a higher power, a God. (That’s one for god, I’m keeping score)

I think the next part of the sentence is my favorite: “a decent respect to the opinions of mankind”. This is definitely something that has been lost in the political discourse – a decent respect. The other part of this phrase, “the opinions of mankind”, recognizes that there is going to be multiple opinions.

The last part of the sentence says: requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation. Requires is defined as “to impose need or occasion for; make necessary or indispensable.” Require equals a mandate. It does not allow there to be a choice.

The last part of the sentence might be tricky for those of the younger generation with limited vocabulary. ” impel them to the separation.” To be brief: Impel = to drive or urge forward; press on; incite or constrain to action. Separation = coming apart.

So let’s see if I can rephrase this into 21st century lingo.

When in history it becomes important for people to get rid of the outdated political parties that don’t work anymore and stand up for themselves according to the rights given to them by a higher power, common courtesy says that it is necessary for them to state the reasons that drive them to make these changes.

How am I doing so far? No fair jumping ahead to the next sentence now. We are discussing one sentence at a time and right now we are discussing the first sentence only. So please let’s stay on topic for a change.

Comments

  1. almandine

    And a one, and a two…

    When in history it becomes essential for people to stand up for themselves according to the rights given to them by a higher power, common courtesy says that it is necessary for them to state the reasons that drive them to make changes. We understand that those rights, which are revocable only by the higher power from whence they came, include but are not limited to equality among all individuals, unfettered human existence, authority for self-rule, and freedom to choose individual paths of good fortune, pleasure, and joy. To uphold these rights, people form a government, which may serve until the people decide that their needs are no longer being met and a new government needs to be formed that can do the job better. Reason and good judgment will assure that long-standing governments will not be abolished lightly, since people will endure almost any evil imaginable and are loathe to trade their security for promises of greater freedom.

  2. almandine

    4: Reason and good judgment will assure that long-standing governments will not be abolished lightly, since people will endure almost any evil imaginable and are loathe to trade their security for promises of greater freedom.

  3. pollchecker

    4th sentence

    Original Version: Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed.

    New Version: Wisdom and caution, without a doubt, will unconditionally command that political systems having endured for a considerable duration in time should not be altered because of trivial or hasty reasons; but every event that happens makes it clear that the human race is more inclined to endure injustices as long as they are endurable, than to free themselves from these injustices by ending the methods of power they have come to rely on.

    Yeah, I know who cares, right? I’m not even commenting here. It’s time to take a break and review.

    New Version – sentences 1-4

    When in history it becomes essential for people to grow beyond the outdated political parties and stand up for themselves according to the rights given to them by a higher power, common courtesy says that it is necessary for them to state the reasons that drive them to make these changes.

    We maintain that these facts are clear and indisputable and directly relate to our personal interests; that all people born into this world are equals with rights provided to them by a higher being which are not revocable and include but are not limited to the preservation of human existence, freedom from external rule, and the ability to seek after good fortune, pleasure and joy.

    That to obtain what is their rightful due, authorities are organized in the midst of people, receiving their FAIR AND TRUTHFUL power from these people — that at whatever time — one, some, every, or all without specifics, a set of policies grows to be unfavorable, it is a reasonable claim of the people to change or do away with it and establish fresh policies, that appears to them to be the best course of action which will produce the desired results towards their contentment and freedom from danger.

    Wisdom and caution, without a doubt, will unconditionally command that political systems having endured for a considerable duration in time should not be altered because of trivial or hasty reasons; but every event that happens makes it clear that the human race is more inclined to endure injustices as long as they are endurable, than to free themselves from these injustices by ending the methods of power they have come to rely on.

  4. pollchecker

    I could shorten it to this but it leaves out a point that our forefathers felt important.

    “That to obtain what is their rightful due, authorities are organized in the midst of people, receiving their FAIR AND TRUTHFUL authority from the people — that at whatever time — one, some, every, or all without specifics set of policies grows to be unfavorable, it is the reasonable claim of the community to change or do away with it and establish fresh policies, chosing what appears to be the best course of action that will produce the desired results towards their contentment and freedom from danger.”

    Hey Kent…what do you think?

  5. pollchecker

    at least it is to the point althought not quite as eloquent as the original.

    What I have been doing is essentially translating. Perhaps some people (perhaps even GW) don’t understand those old fashioned words. If I can put it in words they understand, maybe a bell will go off if their heads. That presupposes that there is anything up there to go off (hahahahaha).

    Our founding forefathers would not pass modern English with their rather long run on sentences.(vbg)

  6. almandine

    To uphold these rights, people form a government, which may serve until the people decide that their needs are no longer being met and a new government needs to be formed that can do the job better.

  7. pollchecker

    Actually, he entire original 3rd sentence is a bit long and wordy for me. Feel free to contribute.

  8. almandine

    Interesting… but I’m having trouble with: imposing their basis on very essential qualities and assembling its authority…

    A little wordy for me.

  9. pollchecker

    3rd sentence in Original version:

    “That to secure these rights, 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, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. ”

    The 2 points in this very long sentence that stood out to me, were the words “just” as in Just powers and “seem most likely”.

    The founding forefathers took the time to describe the powers endowed by the people to the authorities established over them. The point of this sentence is to say essentially that when these powers are no longer good for the people, then it is ok to change them.

    The words “seem most likely” are less solid. Perhaps here is where these great men showed their humanity. They were sure of where they were coming from. It was these injustices that in fact brought men of very different backgrounds and politics together to form a compromise that they hoped would result in something better than the monarchy of King George somewhere down the road in the future. But being only men, they had no way of knowing for certain what would happen in the future so they tell us here the best we can do is to follow what appears to be the best we can achieve.

    NEW VERSION:
    That to obtain what is their rightful due, authorities are organized in the midst of people, receiving their FAIR AND TRUTHFUL authority from the people — that at whatever time — one, some, every, or all without specifics set of policies grows to be unfavorable, it is the reasonable claim of the community to change or do away with it and establish fresh policies, imposing their basis on very essential qualities and assembling its authority so to them it appears to be the best course of action that will produce the desired results towards their contentment and freedom from danger.

  10. pollchecker

    I understand your point and I think we are both saying the same thing in our own way. I just like my words better {very big grin}.

  11. almandine

    What God can grant… He can take away. Poof, we’re gone… where’d you like to bury the body.

    Actually, my point was that no other being – especially a human – had the authority to do so.