Wednesday, July 18, 2012

“…Its Founding Document!?”

Regardless of what you think of his politics, you have to wonder about his grasp on history!

Mr. Willard “Mitt” Romney a crowd of TEA Party conservatives the type of red-meat drivel they gobble-up without a care as to its veracity yesterday in Pennsylvania. The disturbing thing is that neither he nor his audience seems to care whether his comments are accurate. The ovation-inducing lines were as follows:

“Let’s stop and think about the system of government and what it tells us in our founding document, the Declaration of Independence. It does not say that the government gave us our rights. It says that God gave us our rights. They came with us not with Government.”

Despite the theological problems here (does he really believe that our rights were given to us by a 6’4” white man living on a planet called “Kobol?” Or is he saying that some other god – the God of your personal choice – gave you the rights?); there is a fundamental (rather than fundamentalist) issue with this statement.

The Declaration of Independence did not found our government. It did what its name implies. It declared our independence from the tyranny of King George III. The writers of that document saw themselves as British and as loyal subjects they were severing their ties with a king that was acting in a manner inconsistent with the social contract implicit in that relationship.

Our form of government did not become established for another eleven years. The constitution was not written until 1787 and it was another two years before it was ratified. That is the basis of our government (as the TEA Party and presumably the candidate) would know had they been paying attention in Civics class.
The Articles of Confederation, our first official governmental form, were adopted in 1777 and served as our basis of government before the constitution. Basically, those were only created to give the colonies an air of legitimacy. But the problem is that no matter how you define it, the Declaration of Independence did not found our government, it can only barely be said to have been the basis of our government.

But, then neither the candidate nor the TEA Party seem to be overly concerned with that little thing I like to call “the truth” so what is one more misstatement in such a flurry of distortions, inaccuracies, and outright lies?

Wherever you are today I hope you have a better grasp on the history of your country than our candidates seem to have on the history of ours.

Don Bergquist – July 18, 2012 – Kensington, Minnesota, USA

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