Re-declaring Independence

by Robert Arvay


White House Down is a new movie that depicts a terrorist attack on the White House. 2012 is an older movie about a natural disaster that destroys the world “as we know it.” Neither of the movies is realistic, but the lack of realism is not because of the technical details depicted in the films.

Instead, what is unrealistic are their portrayals of the president of the United States.

Oh, to be sure, both “movie” presidents are black, the same racial identity as our mixed-race president in real life. But there, the resemblance ends. The fictional presidents are depicted as men of principle, men of courage, men willing to sacrifice themselves for the greater good. Even the capitalist-hating president in White House Down, who blames war on the weapons-industry, and who believes that the terrorists only want peace, even he is willing to risk his life for others.

Real life is of course vastly different. Barack Obama is nothing like the man portrayed in the movies. But he is not the only coward in our government. The recent scandals—nay, the recent betrayals of the public trust– dwarf any movie portrayal. These include the General Services Administration, Operation Gun-Runner, Benghazi, Internal Revenue Service (with its multiple scandals), National Security Agency, the failures of the Federal Bureau of Investigation in the Boston bombing – among many others. We await the discovery of what the next betrayal will be.

And what will they be? The answer is in our history, a history which seems to be repeating itself.

In 1776, the people of the American colonies rose up in revolt against a distant government that did not represent their interests. Today, we are faced with another such government. The colonists famously opposed “taxation without representation.” Today, our grandchildren are being spent into bankruptcy with money borrowed in their name—and with no representation.

But there is much, much more. The Declaration of Independence lists twenty-seven separate grievances against the king, all of them being abuses of power and violation of the public trust. Sound familiar?

No one of these abuses, indeed no few of them, were enough to incite the colonists to violent revolution. As the Declaration itself makes clear:

 . . . governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; . . . mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves . . . But 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, and to provide new guards for their future security.

Ironically, the very words which founded our nation are now regarded, by those in power, as dangerous ideas. Dangerous ideas!

But consider our own long list of usurpations, designed to reduce us under absolute despotism. Here are a few:

A legislature which passes laws without having read them, cannot be said to represent the interests of the citizenry, not by any possible stretch of the imagination.

Bureaucracies, which squander billions of dollars on their own perquisites and lavish entertainment, do not represent the taxpayer. And while this wasteful spending of our money with wild abandon continues, the government insists that even more tax dollars are needed to fund critical programs.

Government officials, who refuse to testify before Congress about their knowledge of crimes and misdemeanors going on inside their domains, do not represent the American citizen.

Senators who get elected on their promise to control our borders, and who then pivot and craft laws to do exactly the opposite, such men betray the trust which the public placed in them.

Courts which by narrow margins, routinely overturn public referendums on specious grounds, based on their own personal aesthetics, do not represent the voters.

Must we list a full twenty-seven? That number could surely be far exceeded, given the vast size and scope of a government that has swelled to proportions which few citizens comprehend.

Not even the Boston Massacre triggered an American revolution. This was true both on March 5, 1770, and again on April 15, 2013.

Apparently, Americans can endure a great many grievances. But this is not because we are longsuffering, rather, because too many of us are oblivious to reality. For too many of us, the capital of the United States is not in Washington, D.C., but at the local movie theater.

The only question now is, how many more usurpations can the people long endure? Surely, there is a limit. If not, then the light of Liberty will soon fade, and what follows after will be, to adapt a line from the movie 2012, “the end of the world as we know it.”


Robert Arvay is a Contributing Writer to The Patriot’s Notepad


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