In 1776, one of the self-evident truths that Thomas Jefferson included in the unanimous Declaration was “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.” Friends and neighbors, the time has come for the Second American Revolution.
It should be obvious to anyone paying attention that the train that is our government left the tracks a long time ago. For those who have not been paying attention, God bless you. We will allow you to go on living your lives blissfully unaware of the travesty of self-governance all around you. All we ask in return is please, for your own safety, do not get in our way as we begin this important work, for who among us could read Jefferson’s long list of usurpations and not find in today’s government a parallel for virtually every one of them?
Some will read these words and think them folly. For you I have only the words of Samuel Adams: “If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude than the animated contest of freedom — go home from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains sit lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen!”
Others will hear the truth of these words ringing in their ears, but despair at the daunting task of slaughtering a 230-year-old beast, with a litter of millions suckling at her grotesque teats, and believe themselves unequal to the task. For you I have only Jefferson’s words: “It behooves our citizens to be on their guard, to be firm in their principles, and full of confidence in themselves. We are able to preserve our self-government if we will but think so.”
Still others are ready to join the fray, but cannot see a path forward that will assure success. For even if we were to succeed at abolishing the current government, we might not achieve our ultimate goal if in instituting a new government we fail to make things better than they are now. A revolution without a plan for new government is a hollow victory indeed.
Furthermore, a revolution that sacrifices lives is of little value if the same ends could have been achieved without the spilling of blood. So a worthy plan should assume that it can be executed within the constraints of the current government, resulting in bloodshed only as a means of last resort, when all lesser means have failed. However, Jefferson understood that “the tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants,” so there is certainly a time for bloodshed. Let us all pray that we have not yet surpassed that point of no return.
In short, overthrowing a government is easy. Replacing it with something better is the hard part. In honor of Flag Day this weekend, and all of the things that our flag used to stand for, this is the first in a series of essays outlining a modest plan for accomplishing the latter.