Youthful Exuberance

The Declaration of Independence served as formal separation from old ways. Youth and newness were to replace the stodgy conservatism of the aging and antiquated. Thomas Jefferson himself was in his early thirties at the signing of his handiwork. Progress was not fast enough and the exuberance of an emerging nation could not be contained. And so it was, over two centuries ago that the United States of America was born by the passion of a rising generation.

And the lesson I take from such a significant event: whenever tradition hinders progress, it should be thrown to the fire. Ways of doing things are only worthwhile when they advance mankind. And what should we consider progress? “That all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” Anything that moves us closer to that ideal is progress.

Though it seems absurd that a country so enterprising in oppression and servitude should express such an ideal, it is exactly those lofty and seemingly insurmountable goals that America is famous for achieving! We can also be sure that such an ideal WON’T be attained through a government created in antiquity and populated by elderly statesmen. The “new world” in this digital age exists online obviously — and it is in this realm where the brashness of a rising generation will take its place at the helm.

As everything moves online, those stuck in an immovable conservatism will persist in an unchanging world as vitality happens in the cloud. And in time, that liveliness will spread to the static domain as it plants itself on the remains of what was. So on this day, July 4th, I celebrate an end to the old while welcoming in the new. As John Adams wrote to his wife after the signing:

“I am well aware of the Toil and Blood and Treasure, that it will cost Us to maintain this Declaration, and support and defend these States. — Yet through all the Gloom I can see the Rays of ravishing Light and Glory. I can see that the End is more than worth all the Means. And that Posterity will tryumph in that Days Transaction, even altho We should rue it, which I trust in God We shall not.”

So you see dear friends, it is the American way to usher in change before we’re ready then somehow deal with the consequences. Therefore, even though we’re not ready, we must embrace a new era and all the change that comes with it — and we should do so with unrepentant optimism, ever heading towards the ideal so stated above: that all of us are born with the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

Independence for All

An excerpt from the fictional tales of The Haphazard Historian.

Large political bodies eventually collapse under their own weight. Yet a collapse is not necessarily catastrophic, as pieces often tend to drift apart and establish their independence. The United States was itself birthed by this mechanism of unmanageable size. Having to oversee the needs of numerous citizens an ocean apart proved too unwieldy for the King of Great Britain. For reference, the United States had a population of around 5 million citizens and slaves when established, England at the time had a similarly sized population.

Today, the United States has a population of over 300 million citizens, yet representation of these citizens within government has not kept pace. In other words, as population increased, individual democratic influence decreased. Nowadays, twenty states each have populations greater or equal to that of the entire country when governmental structures were established. Many individual states have populations greater or equal to prominent countries within the world. Additionally, the land mass of the United States is more in line with a political region such as Europe rather than a single country.

While struggling to make their way in the world, it made sense for small groups of colonies to band together the best they could. But times change. The United States has grown so big that the seams holding it together are bursting once again. Systems that were established centuries ago are crushed under the weight of a hundred million. And make no mistake, this union was not a marriage based in love, the bond was contentious from the start. It took battles to form it and all out war to maintain it. There is bitterness on all sides.

It was a spirit of independence, both religious and commercial, that brought those early English and European colonists to the American continent. It was a desire to directly control the course of one’s life. People wanted to play a meaningful part in politics — and localities were small, giving each a greater impact within it. The best of times do not occur when success plateaus and bureaucracy sets in. No, the vibrancy of life occurs during a startup phase when experiments are common and individuals make the greatest impact with more meaningful contribution.

It is the American way to sever ties with systems that become stale or antagonistic to liberty, to adopt new ways that best secure the happiness of the people. If independence and self-governance is a thing to be celebrated, then surely such revelers must strive for similar ideals in their own lives. And to do so, the people must not have decreasing influence in government. The people’s capacity to enact their will must be maintained.

We would do well to remember that many colonies in America existed for a century and a half before merging into the United States. Despite ties and tradition, prudent people abandoned a government long established and instituted a new one that could better serve their needs. And make no mistake, alliances were quickly reestablished, but the people now felt the empowerment of independence and bargained accordingly.

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. 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.”

Voting Issues

An excerpt from the fictional tales of Alien on Earth
Circa 2014. North America.

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one person to dissolve the political bands which have connected him with another, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that he should declare the causes which impel him to the separation.

I hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. 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 history of this government is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over its people. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

1. The Constitution, as well as federal laws passed by congress, allowed for and strengthened the institution of slavery.
2. Legalized corruption through relationships with business existed since inception.
3. Legalized exploitation of workers, including children, existed since inception.
4. The willingness of government to maintain underserved segments of the population.
5. The power of organizations within government unaccountable to voters.
6. Despite the drastic increase in population, the number of representatives remains the same, with only 435 individuals representing over three-hundred million.
7. The discrepancy between having “leaders” and having “representatives” i.e. are elected officials employees of the people, or their managers.
8. Two parties cannot adequately represent the varied positions of three-hundred million.
9. The particular voting system encourages a two-party system.
10. The influence of party leadership in selecting initial candidates.
11. Under-informed populace and politicians.
12. Shallow advertisements as a basis for candidate selection and issue determination.
13. The use of polarizing topics to mislead and distract voters.
14. Casual participation perpetuates the belief that individuals have influence.

I, therefore, an individual of the united States of America, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of my intentions, do solemnly publish and declare, That the people of the United States are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent of said corruption. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, I pledge my Life, my Fortunes and my sacred Honor.

In other words, voting is not a mechanism of change, but a charade to lull the masses — and being so, I formally abstain.

Diplomacy of Independence

Excerpt of a letter by John Adams to his wife Abigail Adams — July 3d. 1776

The Second Day of July 1776, will be the most memorable Epocha, in the History of America. I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated, by succeeding Generations, as the great anniversary Festival. It ought to be commemorated, as the Day of Deliverance by solemn Acts of Devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with Pomp and Parade, with Shews, Games, Sports, Guns, Bells, Bonfires and Illuminations from one End of this Continent to the other from this Time forward forever more.

You will think me transported with Enthusiasm but I am not. — I am well aware of the Toil and Blood and Treasure, that it will cost Us to maintain this Declaration, and support and defend these States. — Yet through all the Gloom I can see the Rays of ravishing Light and Glory. I can see that the End is more than worth all the Means. And that Posterity will tryumph in that Days Transaction, even altho We should rue it, which I trust in God We shall not.

// Insert American War of Independence Here

Excerpt of a letter by John Adams to John Jay — June 2d. 1785

The Door was shut and I was left with his Majesty and the Secretary of State alone. I made the three Reverences, one at the Door, another about half Way & the third before the Presence, according to the Usage established at this and all the Northern Courts of Europe, and then addressed myself to his Majesty in the following Words—

“Sir, The United States of America have appointed me their Minister Plenipotentiary to your Majesty, and have directed me to deliver to your Majesty this Letter which contains the Evidence of it. It is in Obedience to their express Commands that I have the Honor to assure your Majesty of their unanimous Disposition and Desire to cultivate the most friendly and liberal Intercourse between your Majesty’s Subjects and their Citizens, and of the best Wishes for your Majesty’s Health and Happiness and for that of your royal Family. The Appointment of a Minister from the United States to your Majesty’s Court, will form an Epocha in the History of England & of America. I think myself more fortunate than all my fellow Citizens in having the distinguished Honor to be the first to stand in your Majesty’s royal Presence in a diplomatic Character and I shall esteem myself the happiest of Men if I can be instrumental in recommending my Country more and more to your Majesty’s royal Benevolence and of restoring an entire Esteem, Confidence & Affection, or in better Words, the old good Nature and the old good Humour between People who, tho’ separated by an Ocean and under different Governments, have the same Language, a similar religion & kindred Blood. I beg your Majesty’s Permission to add, that altho’ I had some Time before been entrusted by my Country, it was never in my whole Life in a Manner so agreeable to myself.”—

The King list’ned to every Word I said with Dignity but with an apparent Emotion—whether it was the Nature of the Interview or whether it was my visible Agitation, for I felt more than I did or could express, that touched him I cannot say—but he was much affected and answered me with more Tremor than I had spoken with, & said

“Sir—The Circumstances of thy Audience are so extraordinary, the Language you have now held is so extremely proper and the Feelings you have discovered so justly adapted to the Occasion, that I must say that I not only receive with Pleasure the Assurances of the friendly Dispositions of the United States, but that I am very glad the Choice has fallen upon You to be their Minister. I wish you Sir, to believe, and that it may be understood in America, that I have done nothing in the late Contest, but what I thought myself indispensably bound to do, by the Duty which I owed to my People. I will be very frank with you. I was the last to consent to the Separation, but the Separation having been made and having become inevitable, I have always said, as I say now, that I would be the first to meet the Friendship of the United States as an independent Power. The Moment I see such Sentiments & Language as yours prevail, and a Disposition to give to this Country the Preference, that Moment I shall say, let the Circumstances of Language; Religion and Blood have their natural and full Effect.”

I dare not say that these were the King’s precise Words, and it is even possible that I may have in some Particular mistaken his meaning; for altho his Pronunciation is as distinct as I ever heard, he hesitated some Times between his Periods and between the Members of the same Period—He was much affected & I was not less so, and therefore I cannot be certain that I was so attentive, heard so clearly and understood so perfectly as to be confident of all his Words or Sense; And I think that all which he said to me should at present be kept a Secret in America, unless his Majesty or his Secretary of State should judge proper to report it. This I do say, that the foregoing is in his Majesty’s Meaning as I then understood it, and his own Words as nearly as I can recollect them.

The King then asked me whether I came last from France, and upon my answering in the Affirmative, he put on an Air of Familiarity and smiling or rather laughing said, there is an Opinion among some People that you are not the most attached of all your Countrymen to the Manners of France. I was surprized at this because I thought it an indiscretion and a Departure from the Dignity—I was a little embarrassed but determined not to deny the Truth on one Hand, nor leave him to infer from it any Attachment to England on the other. I threw off as much Gravity as I could and assumed an Air of Gaiety and a Tone of Decision as far as was decent, and said—That Opinion Sir, is not mistaken, I must avow to your Majesty, I have no Attachment but to my own Country. The King replied as quick as Lightning: an honest man will never have any other.

The King then said a Word or two to the Secretary of State, which being between them I did not hear, and then turned & bowed to me, as is customary with all Kings and Princes when they give the Signal to retire. I retreated, stepping backward as is the Etiquette, and making my last reverence at the Door of the Chamber, I went my Way.—