Saturday, July 04, 2009

July 4, 1826

On July 4, 1826, both the 2nd and 3rd Presidents of the United States died, within a few minutes of each other. After many conflicts, these two friends passed away on the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence.

Another 183 years has passed and we would do well to go back and re-read that document that bears both of their signatures. Many seem to stop reading with these words.
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
. They have been so important to this country's finally growing up about racial equality, especially as they were echoed by Dr. King. We are not there yet, but have come a long, long way.

The list of grievances against King George is long and little remembered. It was enough to justify the Revolution in spite of this caution penned by Jefferson.
Prudence, indeed, will dictate that governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shown that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed.
When we consider this list of grievances, maybe we should consider ourselves fortunate but acknowledge that we are yet threatened; threatened by a system that demands ever more growth to pay for all of our current excess, threatened by a politics based on media manipulation rather than a Jeffersonian ideal of an informed citizenry.

We in California have an opportunity right a lot of wrongs. Our current governance is broken and neither Gavin Newsome nor Meg Whitman will have the solution as both are locked into the old paradigm of left / right political slogans. The time to move forward is now if Greens have the courage to seize this opportunity.

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