Sunday, July 3, 2011

King George reborn as the Republican Party: An Independence Day missive.

In addition to its statements on the on the moral criteria applicable to declaring independence from a sovereign, which we all know by heart, the Declaration of Independence also contains a list of very specific grievances against King George.  In reading this list, it is almost eerie how similar these transgressions are to prevailing Republican policy today.

The very first item of complaint against the king was, "He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good."  As the republican party has joined hands in its refusal to assent to the raising of the debt limit without justification and in the face of the knowledge that a debt default would destroy our economy and send the world into a second depression, one must question their desire to serve the public good.

The second grievance is, "He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them."  The Republican controlled legislature in Minnesota has done just this.  By refusing their assent to the State's budget they have shut down the State government.  This is the same tactic being used in Congress.  The Republican party is joined in this dangerous game of chicken.  They would literally rather see the destruction of the U.S. economy and a complete closure of the government than to compromise for the benefit of everyone.

After a few more similar gripes, we come upon this doozy:  "He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands."  Goodness gracious, King George, like the Republicans of today, was also vehemently anti-immigrant and the founding fathers recognized that limiting immigration meant a deficit trade in the market of ideas, talent and innovation.

A little further down the list we get, "He has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary powers," and "He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries."  What?! The founding fathers had a problem with a partisan judiciary?  Why then do the Republicans of today think its okay for them to vote against every non-partisan judicial nominee?  The founding fathers were incensed by justices who were unabashedly loyal to the crown, and yet the Republicans of today unabashedly give a free pass to Supreme Court Justices who repeatedly and publicly declare their partisanship.  Why is such a judiciary any better than the one complained of and why don't the Republicans help us true patriots do something about it?

The founding fathers weren't too happy about the King's abuse and destruction of our environment either, adding to their list of bellyaches that fact that, "He has plundered our seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people."  This seems more than just a little like the Republican Party's unfettered support for offshore drilling, strip mining, mountain top mining,  privatization of public lands, and complete disdain if not outright contempt for any form of environmental protections or compensation to the citizens of the country for the corporate rape of our oceans, forests, rivers, and skies.

Finally, the founding fathers voiced their anger over the fact that, "He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions."  Well, today we have evolved enough to know that our native Americans were improperly classified as merciless savages, but even back in 1776 we knew that inciting aimless anger to create an environment of hatred and violence was wrong.  The British went to an easily manipulable population-- a population that felt itself to be independent of all government in all of its forms, a population without high levels of education, and no political sophistication or experience-- and incited their anger against the governments of the colonies.  This is exactly what the Republican Party did with the Tea Party movement:  they found a disenfranchised, uneducated, and politically naive group and fed them lies and incited rage.  When those same people proved their indiscriminate and violent natures, the Republican Party did not disavow or criticize them, they embraced them even more.

King George is alive and well in America in 2011 and this Independence Day is an excellent time for REAL Americans to educate the public at large about what the founding fathers REALLY valued.  What used to be the Republican Party has reverted to become the TORY Party and we should start calling it that.   They are worse for America than King George ever was.