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July 04, 2021


When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
In modern Business English, this opening sentence of the Declaration would have been:

The purpose of this memo is to justify our rebellion in the eyes of world opinion.

Devoted adherents to America First principles have some trouble accepting my modernization, for it smacks of "internationalism". But they can console themselves with the mention of "Nature's God", which America-Firsters are prone to consider a shout-out to Jesus.

I make it a point to re-read the Declaration of Independence every 4th of July, just to remind myself how interesting a mixture of timeless wisdom ("We hold these truths to be self-evident ...") and incidental racism (... the merciless Indian Savages ...) this famous memo really is. And then there are the foreshadowings of present-day controversies, like this complaint against King George III.

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.
I haven't researched enough to know, but I would bet serious money that most of the signers of the Declaration were younger than I am. Or than most of us here, for that matter. An excellent piece of work for men so young, to be sure, but can I bring myself to a quasi-religious reverence for them? Can I think of them as demigods whose opinions were inherently wiser and more mature than the opinions of modern-day Americans? Not exactly. In my charitable moments I am inspired to hope that my modern-day fellow citizens can be just as wise as the Signers, if for no other reason than that we know about 250 years more history and over 1000 times more science than they did. Then I allow myself to peek at the news, and I begin to doubt.


Just reading Michael Klarman's (excellent) Framers' Coup, which gives a good idea of how anxious were most of those who wrote the Constitution not to put too far into practice the finer ideals of the Declaration.

The making of constitutions is not unlike the manufacture of sausages, as Bismark might have opined.

Tow nations, divided by a common language...

(It would help if I could spell two...)

Tony P: much interesting stuff, thank you.

Nigel: LOL

I haven't researched enough to know, but I would bet serious money that most of the signers of the Declaration were younger than I am.

"It’s a simple question—perhaps so basic that it’s been overlooked: How old were the leaders of the American Revolution?

As it turns out, many Founding Fathers were younger than 40 years old in 1776, with several qualifying as Founding Teenagers or Twentysomethings. And though the average age of the signers of the Declaration of Independence was 44, more than a dozen of them were 35 or younger."
How Old Were the Leaders of the American Revolution on July 4, 1776?: Younger than you think.

There were some highly successful teenage generals in European history. Most of the past would be astonished about how late in life we put people into positions of responsibility to-day.

Most of the past would be astonished about how late in life we put people into positions of responsibility to-day.

Two things:

First, when life expectancies are shorter, you have to get started quicker. Specifically and especially to raise your children to maturity while you last. Plus, there are more older people still holding those positions of responsibility, so the opportunities to grab them young are substantially more limited.

Second, the world has gotten substantially more complex. It just takes longer to learn everything you need to know in order to function above the very lowest level. (And even so, for lots of careers you have to keep learning yet more stuff for decades, even while you are acquiring more responsibilities.)

Not that everyone also uses the extra time given for acquiring the necessary maturity :-(

Competent parents can raise children who are reasonably mature by their mid-teens. They need more information to live their lives, but they are mature in their judgements and behaviors otherwise.

But some people seem incapable of achieving maturity until a far later age. Or, in depressingly many cases, ever.

Allow me to say that I have been richly enjoying the accounts of Patriot Front fascist wanna-be's getting chased out of Philly on 4th of July eve by random bystanders.

Brave, brave sir Robin! Who needs antifa when you've got Gritty?

sic semper nazi fanbois.

In an altercation that occurred during a trip with friends in DC, my wife yelled to an adversary, "Come to Philly, motherf*cker! We'll see how tough you are!"

There you have it.

(My darling bride is usually a preschool-teacher/librarian sort of person. Just don't make her mad.)

Meanwhile on the other side of the pond the England football team manager is being accused by the Tories of being a tool for, wait for it:

"deep woke"

There you have it.

hsh, I love your wife.

hsh, I love your wife.

Me, too. ;^)

The land that never has been yet - and yet must be - is still waiting to be born.

Real Americans know this. Here is one such person:

thanks for this post

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