ELECT THE PEOPLE'S LAWYER: David Van Os, Democrat for Texas Attorney General

Monday, July 03, 2006

A Day of Reaffirmation

this is an audio post - click to play

[audio post]

July 4, 2006, is the 230th anniversary of the American Declaration of Independence. This year let it be a day of reaffirmation.

The Declaration of Independence is one of the most revolutionary documents ever written. For the first time in human history, the words, "All men are created equal," were publicly uttered as a fundamental principle of government. For the first time in human history, a nation was founded on the principle that government derives its authority only "from the consent of the governed."

It is not my intention to gloss over the fact that the signers of the Declaration did not apply its promises to everyone even at the time of its issuance. Nor is it my intention to ignore the fact that its promises have never been fully implemented nor its vision yet applied to everybody. The signers of the Declaration were imperfect human beings, the nation they founded was imperfect, and the history of the last 230 years is full of the often-bloody struggles to fulfill its promises.

Nevertheless the revolutionary vision of the Declaration of Independence sets forth an extraordinary mission for all Americans, whether we are native-born or have adopted this place through immigration. Every one of us is an heir of Franklin, Jefferson, Hancock, and the other signers of the Declaration. Its noble vision belongs to each one of us. We Americans are unique in this, every one of us.

It means that upon each generation of us there rests the obligation to carry the mission forward, to progress our society closer to fulfillment of the promises of the Declaration than it was before. This is not an easy task. It is fraught with difficulty and hardship. Too many of us aren't even aware of it. But it is a task that I believe resonates in the cultural DNA of virtually every American.

In today's America we live in a time of Constitutional crisis. Squatters who do not understand the meaning of the Declaration of Independence occupy government. These squatters believe that it is right for some people to be more equal than others. They believe that the people derive their rights from the consent of the government rather than the other way around.

Independence Day, July 4, 2006, the 230th birthday of what our forebears wrought, let us reaffirm ourselves to their vision. They didn't mean for it to be laughed off as "unrealistic" 230 years later. They didn't intend for it someday to be just a fairy tale for schoolchildren. They meant for the dream of equality, liberty, and democracy to endure. They pledged to each other their fortunes, their sacred honor, and their very lives for the birth of that dream. It is now up to us, all of us together, "we the people," to reaffirm ourselves to the same level of commitment, and sacrifice if necessary, to preserve and protect the vision of the Declaration of Independence. As it was left to us, so we must leave it to those who will come after us.

I do so reaffirm.

posted by snarko! at 1:46 PM


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