Saturday, December 20, 2008

GOP Mike's Educational Series - Why the Declaration of Independance is a Conservative Document.

To my Conservative Friends:

I am very happy to introduce the first in a series of educational articles to share my conservative perspective on the history of this great country...

For this intro article, I would like to start where the country started - The document where we stood together as a free and united people to declare to the British Royalty, and the world our intentions to become our own leaders and break allegiance with our English ruler - King George III.. The Declaration of Independence was the document that started it all...

The document has been studied and analyzed for over 200 years and you can read it in its entirety at US History's website. The original signed, embossed version is on display at the National Archives in Washington D.C.

I am not going to drone and on on about every word. However, I would like to summarize the Declaration, dispel some of the myths and legends about it and point out the conservative pillars that are peppered throughout the historic document.

Summary:

The Colonies had been at war with Great Britain for approximately a year prior to the Declaration due to host a reasons as outlined in the document, but mainly for the King imposing additional taxes on the colonists and the colonists protesting these taxes because they were not represented in Parliament. This is where the term "No taxation without representation" was derived...

The country hotly debated the issue of independence for several years, but after the imposition of these taxes, the pro-independence crowd got the support they needed to push for the break...

The document is basically segregated into 3 parts:

1. The introduction - 2 paragraphs - Basically declares our intention to "dissolve the political bands" with Britain and to lay the foundation as to our reasons and our rights to declare such independence.

2. The Tongue lashing of the King - Basically some 26 point-by-point ways the King had abused his power and put a beat down on the colonists. Two of the most memorable and referenced reasons were the imposition of taxes without our consent and depriving the colonists of a trial by jury...

3. Conclusion - 2 paragraphs explaining that based on the above reasons and our God given right to be a free people that, "with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence" we declare that "these United Colonies are, and of Right out to be free and independent States... Hence the name The United States of America was born






Interesting facts about the Declaration:



1. Contrary to popular belief, the Declaration was not signed on July 4, 1776. The wording was approved, or ratified by congress on that date, but the actual signing took place on August 2, 1776.



2. Although Thomas Jefferson was the primary author, he was not the only one who wrote the famed document. Several others, including Ben Franklin, John Adams - who wrote the Preamble, and others contributed to the writing. Jefferson and Adams, of course, went on to be our 3rd and 2nd Presidents, respectively. Franklin never ran for the Presidency, but did become one of the most famous American icons in history... As an inventor, business owner and writer, he became one of the most influential of the Founding Fathers. He is revered by all Americans and is the face of our $100 dollar bill to this day..



3. One of the most famous signors whose signature stood out as the boldest and largest signature (app. 5 inches long) was the President of the Congress at the time, John Hancock. The signature became so iconic, the term "put your John Hancock" is still, to this day, referred to as a symbol of one's signature. Here is the famous Hancock moniker from the actual document...




4. George Washington, although instrumental in the fight for Independence as the leader of our military forces against the British in the Revolutionary war, was not one of the signers or authors of the document... He help craft the United States Constitution some ten years later and became our first President from 1789-1797, but during the signing of the Declaration, he was a tad busy...

5. On July 1, 1776 when the states voted on the issue of Independence, the vote was not unanimous... Out of the 13 colonies, 9 states voted Yes - 2 states voted NO - Pennsylvania and South Carolina, 1 state did not vote - Delaware because its members were split 1 to 1 and New York abstained - Or in Obamaland - voted "Present". New York was not authorized to vote because of restrictions in its charter... The measure passed 9-4 and Independence was declared!!!

6. While Thomas Jefferson was a great thinker and well respected writer, he was not chosen to write the document because of those reasons... The main reason he was chosen was because he was from Virginia... The New England states were always thought to be more rebellious and pro-Independence... The congress mulled - If we were to get a southerner to craft the document, it would carry even more weight and gain more support among the colonists...

7. Once the document was signed, John Hancock, bracing for the onslaught of the British once the document was made public, told his fellow delegates "We must hang together now". To which Ben Franklin agreed and said "Yes, we must indeed all hang together, or most assuredly we shall all hang separately". The line is still used in corporate boardrooms and sports locker rooms to this day as a cry to convey unity...

8. The 56 signers of the Declaration showed extreme bravery and Patriotism knowing full well that their capture by the British would surely mean torture and, most likely, death... 5 of the 56 were captured and tortured to death as traitors by the British and a majority of the others were terrorized by the British, stripped of their possessions and died in poverty... We do indeed owe them a debt of gratitude only a free and great country can provide..

9. Jefferson's first draft of the document was severely critical of the slave trade... The congress removed such wording as to not lose any support for independence from the southern colonies... It is a decision Jefferson regretted for the rest of his years and it prolonged slavery in the new United States..



10. The famous John Trumbell portrait below is often referred to as the depiction of the signing of the document. However, this was merely the authors presented its draft to congress, and not the actual signing...




11. Bonus item to please our Hollywood half-wit friends who troll this site. One of the 56 signers to the Declaration was John Witherspoon - A direct descendant to Hollywood actress Reese Witherspoon.. Too bad Reese did not follow in her ancestors footsteps - Newsmeat.com reports that she is a true-blue dem supporter of Mz. Shrillary Cankles.... What a waste of the gene-pool...



The Declaration and Conservatism - A Match made by our Founding Fathers:

The Declaration has many overriding principles that are strikingly similar to Conservative ideals. Let's look at just a few so you shoot these zingers at some of your loony lib friends: The main phrase in the Declaration that is the most important and most repeated is: "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."

* The term "All me are created equally" is the guiding principle for the elimination of slavery and the term most responsible for breaking down of class segregation. It was the Republicans who wanted an end to slavery and it is Conservatives who treat all men equally... It is only the liberals who classify voters into voting blocks that they can pander to. - i.e. blacks, Hispanics, gays, feminists, etc... Why do these groups vote 90+ percent for the democrats. It is not because the dems have improved their lives any... No. It's because the democrats market to and treat these interest groups as separate voting blocks and pander to them and make them feel that they need to be treated differently to succeed... If conservatives and Republicans could only do a better job at explaining to these Americans that conservatism will unlock the individuals greatest potential regardless of race, color, religion or anything else the libs call their voting blocks, they will be much better off, I guarantee it...

* The term, "endowed by their creator" is a main pillar in the document to suggest that we are given our freedom by God and although we should allow everyone freedom OF religion, there should not be this desire by anyone to enforce freedom FROM religion... Our country and the founding fathers all believed in God in one form or another (as does a super-majority of Americans). They did not want God excluded from government. They just wanted Americans to be free to choose whatever religion they wanted to follow..

* I would argue that the first term in that phrase, Life, is a basic tenet to mean that all life, born and unborn, is to be cherished and protected... Obviously this would suggest that abortion, or the taking of life arbitrarily, is contrary to what are founding fathers had expressed in the Declaration. The protection of unborn life is one of the most important principles of Conservatism.

* The term, "Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness", would mean to me that all of us should be free to pursue our American Dream of Happiness. Not to be encumbered by an overreaching, invasive government. Conservatives have always stood for limited government and freedom to pursue our dreams unfettered by big brother looking over our shoulder... The liberals stand for government interfering and involved in many aspects of our lives...



The next line in the Declaration line reads "Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their powers from the consent of the governed".



* The main point in the above line is "consent of the governed". Conservatives have always been on the side of states' rights and individual freedoms where liberals have always sought to increase the Federal power by instituting the welfare state and many social programs that create dependency and need for more federal interference in personal lives and liberties... This would also include the lefts desire to have the Judicial branch of the federal government legislate from the bench. For example Roe v. Wade is a perfect example of the federal government overstepping states' rights in mandating abortion on demand.. And there are countless other cases where liberal justices are creating law instead of interpreting them... In the areas of same-sex marriage and affirmative action (quotas), etc.... The conservative principles of "self government" from the declaration is a conservative ideal from the start...

The same passage of the document goes on to say "Government long established should not be changed for light and transient causes". Tell that to all the liberal judges around the country creating liberal laws to move their liberal agendas forward in direct contradiction to the founding fathers' wishes..




To drive the points home with a sledghammer, I want to share some of the extremely insightful and enlighting quotes from the founding fathers who wrote this great document.... As you read these quotes, ask yourself which side of the political spectrum these gentlemen fell:

"I am for doing good to the poor, but I differ in opinion of the means. I think the best way of doing good to the poor, is not making them easy in poverty, but leading or driving them out of it."
Benjamin Franklin--

"To be prepared for war, is one of the most effectual means of preserving peace."
George Washington

"Were we directed from Washington when to sow, and when to reap, we should soon want bread."
Thomas Jefferson

"No nation was ever ruined by trade, even seemingly the most disadvantageous." Benjamin Franklin



Basically, I have noted several instances above where the Declaration of Independence is chock full of Conservative ideas and principles... And the actual words of the founding fathers who drafted the document and risked their lives for the priciples of freedom scream out - Conservative!!!

Your liberal friends will argue these points, but the evidence is clear....

The Declaration of Independence is a Conservative blueprint...

Just my thoughts....

GOP Mike


P.S. Next week, look out for the next in the Educational Series - The Pledge of Allegiance - Not a Liberal Fave!!

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