Last Saturday we published the Declaration of Independence and asked readers to share what the document means to them. We published a number of readers’ letters on Tuesday, and we are offering more below:
A powerful call to citizens to ‘throw off’ this government
We are more than midway through 2020, the year of the coronavirus, the economic recession, and protests against police brutality in response to the death of George Floyd.
With the nation in turmoil, the words of the Declaration of Independence are poignant in their admonition to citizens that “it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.”
From the words of the Declaration, I read that voters must turn out Donald Trump in favor of an administration attuned to the truths that “all men” — and women — “are created equal.”
We have a civic duty to elect a new president who is honest and empathetic and will offer a scientific response to the pandemic and a reasoned response to the national agony brought on by systemic racism.
The Declaration demands nothing less in this season of torment.
An urgent prod to Congress too
It is imperative for every citizen, regardless of political party affiliation, to take the time to examine why the Framers were seeking independence. One paragraph is quite poignant, since its reference to the king of England could be compared to what is transpiring under Donald Trump: “A prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.”
The Framers of our Constitution gave Congress the responsibility for removal of such a person, both by impeachment, which the current Senate refused to do, and by the 25th Amendment, which allows for removal for mental instability.
It’s time for Congress to act, as our Founders envisioned when they determined that members take their oath of office to protect and defend the Constitution.
Saul P. Heller
Two words stand out: ‘truth’ and ‘law’
We all long to have the clarity of purpose of the men who drafted the Declaration of Independence. The document itself has stood the test of time, not only as a stunningly well-written advocacy piece that succinctly lays out the abuse of power that led to such a declaration, but as one that also tempers such a monumental act — the dissolution of a government — with a prudent and rational decision-making process.
Two words that stand out, in our current state of pandemic and protest, are “truth” and “law.” We will never overcome these issues if the government does not respect the truth and the law. There is no reason to rehash the lies and compound lies this administration dispenses to the electorate. The president’s pants have been on fire since Inauguration Day. Imagine how differently the pandemic could have been handled if this administration had respected the truth from the beginning.
The Declaration also puts forth the notion that “Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes.” Accordingly, the laws that act as the framework of our system also are to be respected, or changed through an established process, not a tweet or personal insult.
Contrast the behavior of the president, and his blathering about replacing federal judges who rule against him, with that of John Roberts, chief justice of the Supreme Court, who has the right wing foaming at the mouth over his recent nod, in an abortion case, to the legal doctrine of stare decisis, or observing precedent, in order to protect the integrity of the court.
Founders’ words glow like burning coals
Reading the Declaration of Independence with 2020 vision, I find that our Founding Fathers proved to be prognosticators. They are writing about our sitting president, who fires independent thinkers, surrounds himself with sycophants, destroys our planet by reversing prior ecological advances, divides our people, and downplays a pandemic that took our children out of school, isolated us from seeing our parents in nursing homes, and has killed more than 130,000 Americans.
“He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone.” “He has plundered our seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.” “He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us.” And finally, “A Prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.”
King George III, er, Donald Trump — the emperor is not wearing any clothes.
Wake up America, and please vote accordingly in November.
‘North by Northwest’ revisited
Not since Alfred Hitchcock’s classic 1959 film, “North by Northwest,” it seems, has South Dakota, the Mount Rushmore State, been so prominently featured in national media.
The National Park Service withdrew its support for the Hitchcock film because it believed that the violence portrayed on the screen “desecrated” this so-called Shrine of Democracy.
The National Park Service may regret that it did not make the same judgment to ban the recent visit of the president, who used Mount Rushmore to deliver his divisive culture war message.
In the iconic chase sequence across the faces of Mount Rushmore, Roger Thornhill (Cary Grant) and US secret agent Eve Kendall (Eva Marie Saint) are pursued by ruthless traitor Phillip Vandamm (James Mason), who sells government secrets. When they discover that they are on top of the monument, Eve asks: “What’ll we do?” Roger responds: “Climb down. We’ve got no choice.” “We can’t” she says. He replies: “Here they come. We’ve got no choice.”
Americans can exercise their choice about the commander in chief’s divisive vision of America on Nov. 3.
It could still be a Republic, if we can keep it.
Robert F Lyons