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Declaration of Independence

Politics

Declaration Of Independence No Longer Expresses ‘The American Mind’

For most Americans, Independence Day means firecrackers and cookouts. The Declaration of Independence—whose proclamation, on July 4, 1776, we celebrate—doesn’t feature. Contemporary Americans are less likely to read it now that it is easily available on the Internet, than when it relied on horseback riders for its distribution. It is fair to say that the Declaration of Independence has been mocked out of meaning. Back in 1776, gallopers carried the Declaration through the country. Printer John Dunlap had worked “through the night” to set the full text on “a handsome folio sheet,” recounts historian David Hackett Fischer in Liberty And Freedom. The president of the Continental Congress, John Hancock, urged that the “people be universally informed.” (They were!) Thomas Jefferson, the author of the Declaration, called it “an expression of the American Mind.” An examination of Jefferson’s constitutional thought makes plain that he would no longer consider the collective mentality of contemporary Americans and their leaders (former Rep. Ron Paul as the lone exception) “American” in any meaningful way.… Keep Reading

Philosophy/Politics

Is America a Democracy Or a Republic?

“Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to eat for lunch. Liberty is two wolves and a well-armed lamb contesting the vote.”– Benjamin Franklin Our Constitutional Republic is designed to do exactly that – to prevent mob rule. We hear a lot of talk from politicians about the will of people and political mandates. They point to polls and focus groups for agreement. They justify passing laws that hurt some Americans for the benefit of others under the banner of shared responsibility or personal sacrifice. President Barack Obama says it’s how our Democracy works. A democracy is generally understood to be rule by the people. But a pure democracy is rule by the majority of the people, which is essentially tyranny of the majority. A republic is distinguished by mass voter participation, and by representatives who govern for the people. Since we can’t all meet under the same tree at the same time to agree on rules and laws, we send representatives to the capitol on… Keep Reading

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