The 21st Century Declaration of Independence:
How America May Become a Truly Good Example to the World
This is to suggest an evolutionary idea that government should exist not merely by the consent of the governed, but also by their own initiative, free choice and equal opportunity to determine who represents them at the highest levels of government.
This would not only be an advancement. It would be a fulfillment of the real American Dream, because America does not yet have government that is truly of the people, by the people, and for the people, nor do we have government that promotes the general welfare and ensures domestic tranquility, liberty, freedom, and justice for all.
However, we, the people, can establish all that, at long last. And Americans are fortunate because the Founding Fathers not only made it crystal clear that the people have the right and duty to alter and reform their government when it no longer represents them or serves their interests. The Founders also foresaw that we may have the need to do that, and they provided the tools to do that in the U.S. Constitution.
Now, more than ever before, Americans need to do that, because the "United" States of America are not united. Its government is not a true Democracy, and Jefferson's Tree of Liberty is dying, suffering from a drought from a shameful lack of ethics and virtue in the public and private sectors, and from a shameful lack of informed citizen involvement.
Granted, America has done great things and is still great in many ways. Most of its people are great, and most of the public servants in government mean well. But, America has been put in increasingly grave jeopardy during the last 30 years because of rampant greed and corruption in the political and corporate culture. And, because the power of money rules and the wealthiest few have most of it, all three branches of the U.S. Government have increasingly served the interests of the wealthy few and betrayed the majority of the people.
They have also betrayed the intent of the Founding Fathers, not only regarding freedom from rule by an oligarchy and plutocracy of the wealthiest few, but also regarding theocratic imposition of religion into politics and the operations of government (which violates the Constitution).
Consequently, increasingly during the last 30 years many proud and militant political activists supported by the wealthiest few have gained power by claiming to be religious and patriotic, even as they have indulged themselves as they have ruled at the expense of the vast majority of the people, and at the expense of the infrastructure, the ecosystem, and the environment.
Of course, they believe they are virtuous and moral because they abide by the Reaganite "Gospel of Prosperity" that justified them (even though it turned Christianity up-side-down). But they paid no mind to that, because Reaganism revived the old Hamiltonian idea of "Christian Meritocracy," established a modern Federalist Society to take over the political and legal system, and steadfastly claimed or acted as if great wealth entitled them to rule.
Reaganism and Reaganomics gave them free rein and license. And even though the corruption of their giant corporations, banks and lending institutions inevitably caused another economic crisis (as it did before in 1929), they've not been held accountable. They've been able to come out of it enjoying record profits while everyone else is in bad shape and many of us suffer.
Remember the Best of the Founding Fathers
Remember: "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."
That declaration of human rights is the second sentence of the original U.S. Declaration of Independence written 236 years ago. Inspired by the writings of Thomas Paine and Thomas Jefferson, the Founding Fathers pledged their lives and fortunes, and they risked their lives by signing that declaration.
Their desire for fairness and social justice was summed up in the writings of Thomas Jefferson, and even of John Adams, who wrote: “Government is instituted for the common good; for the protection, safety, prosperity and happiness of the people; and not for the profit, honor, or private interest of any one man, family, or class of men."
They were men of faith, but they purposely used terms like “Creator” and avoided using religious names or terms specific to any particular religion, because they realized there can be no freedom of religion unless government respects all religions.
Even though many were Christians, most of them were educated "Enlightenment" thinkers who agreed with Deist thought. That is, they believed in the Deity and the Creator, but they realized how and why religious doctrines, dogma, superstitions and myths that had caused so much trouble in the name of the Christian religion during the preceding 14 centuries.
They wanted government to be impartial and neutral regarding religions, and honor universal spiritual values. And their Declaration of Independence, like their Constitution, was like a seed planted, which was intended to grow into a great Tree of Liberty and government of, by, and for the people.
Unfortunately, Jefferson's dream of a Democratic Republic and a "Tree of Liberty" has not grown to maturity. In fact, it has often suffered from drought and it is now dying, because even though those who benefit from the present political-economic system steadfastly claim they want democracy and liberty for all, they are driven by greed and self-interest.
In Thomas Jefferson's day they they were called Federalists, and while some of them were fair minded and just, Jefferson called some of them "Economic Royalists." And even though Jefferson stopped them for awhile, their ideology was soon brought back. It flourished in the 1920s, and it inevitably led to corruption, malfeasance, economic collapse and the Great Depression.
President Franklin D. Roosevelt's New Deal saved the country and made it and its middle class great. But then, ignoring the lessons of history, in 1981 the Reaganite "Gospel of Prosperity" turned Christianity up-side-down and established a culture of "It's Every Man for Himself."
They simply ignore the Golden Rule. And in fighting to gain and maintain political power they simply ignored that the wise Solomon said pride and arrogance go before a fall. They ignore that Jesus of Nazareth said that a house divided against itself cannot stand, that the rich put themselves in spiritual jeopardy, that the poor are blessed, and that the humble and meek shall inherit the earth.
To Establish Liberty and Justice for All
We can establish real liberty and moral, fair and just democracy, but we won’t be able to until enough Americans acknowledge some very crucial facts.
America has been pushed far backward and our national spiritual growth has been severely stunted because the American "democratic process" (partisan politics) became tainted by greed and lust for money, and the corruption that it causes. That's why it perpetuates conflict and division. It does not unite us, and it does not produce government that is truly of, by, or for the people.
Instead, it has produced government of, by and for the wealthiest few, because it has enabled deceptive people driven by greed and self-interest to gain the power of government --- or manipulate it by deceptive, obstructionist tactics --- by claiming that government is the problem and not the solution, even though they actually make government the problem rather than a solution.
Unfortunately, they deny or ignore the lessons of history, and they even try to sell a revisionist idea of history. They either ignore or deny that good government should promote the general welfare; ensure justice for all the people; maintain the infrastructure; provide sufficient regulation and oversight of companies, banks, lending institutions and corporations; protect the environment, and provide proper quality public education, safety, security and protection for all the people.
Their focus is instead on lowering their own tax liability and providing themselves and their businesses and corporations with tax breaks and loopholes, subsidies, and free rein to operate without sufficient regulation and oversight. Thus they cause government to shirk its responsibilities, operate with insufficient revenue and face huge deficits, simply because their main goal is to avoid paying their fair share of taxes.
In fact, even though the forces of greed and self-interest can well afford to pay their fair share of taxes based on ability to pay, they fight for tax cuts even as they fight for cuts in humanitarian services, claiming "we can’t afford" to provide help to those who need it.
Ironically, they claim to be Christians, and they insist that our leaders must be Christians. However, many of their words and deeds reveal that they are the opposite of true Christians. In fact, rather than serve God, they serve Mammon.
They simply ignore that the Founding Fathers wanted to establish freedom of religion mainly to establish freedom from theocratic rule -- writing Article 6 of the U.S. Constitution to ensure that "no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States," and writing the First Amendment to ensure that no particular religion or sect could rule or legislate according to a particular religious agenda.
The Founding Fathers wanted no laws respecting an establishment of religion or faith-based institutions, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof, "thus building a wall of separation between church and state," as Thomas Jefferson so clearly stated on behalf of his fellow founders.
That was not only to establish freedom of religion, but also to establish freedom from "religious" bigotry and theocratic imposition, because to have real religious freedom we must have mutual respect between religions, equality of religions, and religious pluralism.
Even the U.S. Supreme Court has acknowledged that, citing Jefferson’s words and declaring that "The First Amendment has erected a wall between church and state. That wall must be kept high and impregnable. We could not approve the slightest breach."
Unfortunately, the forces of greed and self-interest simply ignore all that, thumping their bible as they wave the flag to gain political power, and since 1981 they have managed to gain political power in local school boards, city government, state legislatures, and Congress. And the do it by making many Americans forget or ignore what once made America great, and what once made its "middle class" large and great -- Roosevelt's New Deal.
Reaganism has practically ruined that, and even many Democrats bought into it. Even though Democrats have traditionally served the interests of the majority, the working poor and the poor, under Reaganism they have increasingly become the "lesser of the two evils" that divide us, and they too tend to favor the wealthiest few at our expense.
That is not to say that there is anything wrong with being wealthy, because many of the wealthy are good people and deserving of their wealth. However, some are not, and we should prevent the greedy, selfish, corrupt ones from continuing to make such a mess of things for everyone else, just so they can rake in so much more money than they need.
They claim it's fair, and they fight dirty when anyone says it's not. That’s why they hate and slander President Barack Obama today, just as their counterparts hated and slandered the great President Franklin D. Roosevelt in the 1930s and ‘40s for the same reasons.
Roosevelt became president after the forces of greed and self-interest had nearly ruined the country by causing a stock market crash, tens of thousands of bank failures, a horrible economic crisis, a great depression, and widespread poverty.
In order to save the nation, Roosevelt’s New Deal instituted policies, programs, regulations and wage and price controls that provided needed control over commerce, and Roosevelt’s legacy was widespread prosperity for the vast majority, and a large and great middle class.
Today, even though the legacy of Reaganite Republicans has proven to be the opposite, they still fight against all that which is democratically ideal, fair and equitable, and they fight for all that which benefits the wealthiest few. And to do that they have no choice but to be misleading and deceptive.
That is why their shills have used "push-button" words like "socialism" and "government takeover" to mislead, incite and rouse gullible people against Obama. And it's why even today they claim "regulators" are bad, and label Democrats as "tax and spend liberals."
The same tactics were used back in the 1950s with "McCarthyism" or "Red-Baiting," marked by right-wing demagoguery, slander and deception to appeal to people’s emotions, prejudices, and fears. At that time they tried to denigrate and negate the success of progressives like Woody Guthrie, Pete Seeger, Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt, Joe Hill, Paul Robeson, Josh White, Dorothea Lange, and countless other progressives who were heroes of the average, vast majority of the people.
That is why Americans actually made the best choice they could in electing Mr. Obama, even though he has so far been unable or unwilling to get to the root of our problems. In fact, in far too many case Mr. Obama has simply sold out or allowed himself to be extorted by Republican deception and obstructionism, particularly with regard to so-called health care "reform," Social Security and Medicare. The Obama administration still caters to the wealthiest few and betrays the vast majority. But, electing Obama was a step in the right direction.
As it has turned out, though, it has been a very small step, because Mr. Obama has been reduced to doing what is politically expedient. He has not been able to address the root causes of our problems, using band aids rather than using needed medicine to cure the underlying infection.
Mr. Obama has not yet learned how to deal with his malicious enemies, either foreign or domestic. He has surrendered to Republican intimidation and permitted cuts in needed human services while demanding no increased revenue to reduce the debt.
Mr. Obama doesn’t realize that he needs to give a speech like President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Inaugural Address in order to establish sufficient reforms, regulations and wage and price controls, and demand that the wealthiest few pay their fair share of taxes. (And the "Buffett Rule" is not sufficient, and would be like a drop in the bucket.)
Americans Need to Take a Giant Leap of Faith
No matter what President Obama does, Americans need to make a much greater choice — a choice that will bring much greater, lasting change, which will enable us to progress forward more united. For divided we will continue to fall, whether Obama wins the 2012 election or not.
If we perpetuate this partisan political-economic system and its built-in conflict and division we will fall further. A people divided against themselves cannot work together in common purpose to achieve common goals for the common good, and a nation divided against itself cannot stand.
We, the people, are going to have to fix it, because even the Democrats who won power in 2006 and 2008 by promising great change have not produced much, and it is no wonder. They are hindered by the very cunning, very deceptive, and very aggressive forces of greed and self-interest that masquerade as religious and patriotic. But, even if they weren't, Democrats in government also benefit and profit from the status quo, so it is perhaps naive to think they are very motivated to produce the changes, reforms and regulations we really need.
Therefore, Americans need to realize we can and will save our nation, be truly united, and establish government that is of, by, and for the people. However, in order to do that, we must utilize the tools the Founding Fathers gave us to reform, alter, and improve the whole political-economic system.
However, the U.S.A. must not only become actually united and fulfill the real American Dream. It must also give up its globalist imperial role. For regarding both religion and government, the U.S. has become what the Founding Fathers wanted freedom from.
Any great nation has the right to defend itself. However, the U.S. is the only nation maintaining regional multi-service military commands in all parts of the world. It is a global military empire. The U.S. Military accounts for 46.5 percent of the world’s total spending on military with a $680 Billion budget for war, while the next-biggest spender on military is China, which spends $114 Billion. In 2011 the U.S. Military-Industrial Complex was involved in 3,019 contracts between the Pentagon and its military contractors, and those contracts amounted to more than $269.8 Billion.
Of course, Americans have been conditioned to regard their military role as totally beneficent and good. However, while that is true in part, that is in part ostensible rationale. Even though most Americans want to be beneficent and good, some of what their government has done and still does is neither.
The U.S. position in the world (from which it is falling) was accomplished in a process initiated in the nineteenth century by the imperialist notion of "manifest destiny." It expanded significantly following World War II when the U.S. became the most powerful military force in the world. It expanded again under Reaganism, and then global dominance was carried to the extreme during the reign of George W. Bush with The Project for the New American Century calling for global military industrial domination.
Ostensibly, it was all to establish the U.S. as the greatest worldwide "Christian Superpower," even though it actually established a very powerful military industrial complex feigning religiosity. That is an ominous sign which has been obvious for a long time since it was learned how the Air Force Academy had been infiltrated and dominated by right-wing evangelical Christians. In addition, more recently a West Point Academy cadet wrote an article to publicly announce his decision to quit the prestigious military academy just months before graduating to protest the illegal infusion of military procedures and events with evangelical fundamentalist Christian proselytizing — because all that not only betrays the intent of the Founding Fathers and the U.S. Constitution. It also violates long-standing traditions of religious equality and pluralism in the U.S. Military, one of which is that military Chaplains are supposed to respect all religions as equal. That is no longer the case, because during the last 30 years evangelical Christians have virtually taken over the U.S. Military.
Unfortunately, President Obama has done little or nothing about that, perhaps fearing the clout of the "Christian Right." -- (which is neither Christian nor right).
Consequently, America has been and still is falling is because the Reaganites and Bushites turned Christianity up-side-down and made the U.S. the biggest "piece" of the symbolic "Babylon" of prophecy, mentioned in the books of Daniel and Revelation. As such, it serves not God, but "Mammon," to use Christian terminology, and Babylon is falling and will fall -- not the country, but the corrupt parts of the government's political economic system.
Whatever you want to call it, "Babylon" is fueled by greed and self-interest, and the worst of its divisive leadership is characterized by the aggressive pursuit of personal wealth, power and domain, at the expense of others. And while President Obama has made token efforts to try to at least get the wealthiest few to pay a little more toward a fair share of taxes, he has been fought tooth and nail by the misleading puppet politicians who totally serve the wealthiest few and the corporate forces of greed and self-interest.
That is why we must really reform our government so that it is actually of, by and for the people, so that it is truly representative, so that it will protect us from those who are essentially robbing us, so that it will prevent lawmakers and policy makers from being bribed by the wealthiest few and their large corporations and lobbyists, and so that it will protect us from theocratic hypocrites.
To Turn the Tables on The Hypocrites
To turn the tables on the hypocrites who claim to serve God and Country, other articles on this site show how they ignore the core teachings of Jesus as well as the intent of the Founding Fathers – especially Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Paine, John Adams, Abraham Lincoln and others who felt the same way about equality, equal rights and religion.
The Founding Fathers would be appalled at what has happened to America. They would be shocked at the extent to which religious bigotry has affected the political process, alarmed that the former wall of separation between church and state has been so badly eroded since 1980, and particularly since 2000, to the point where it was practically torn down in 2008 during the presidential campaigns when being a Christian became a litmus test for becoming president.
In addition to betraying the intent of the Founding Fathers, that betrays Jesus, who taught that we should render to government its due, but seek the "kingdom" within and be not overly concerned or obsessed with money and material things.
The real Jesus would have applauded Roosevelt’s New Deal but would frown upon what has happened to America since 1981 under the Reaganites. They have deceived you (and probably even themselves), because their ostensible, misleading, self-serving rationale has been used for the last sixteen centuries by rich "Christian" emperors, kings, heads of state and their very wealthy loyalist supporters to gain personal power, wealth and domain at the expense of others.
For centuries people claiming to be Christians have lived by the sword, gun and bomb and killed many innocent peoples all over the world to gain and maintain such material power, wealth and domain, plunder natural resources and try to rule the world, while ostensibly claiming it was their"divine right and duty" and all in the name of "civilizing the heathen and saving souls." And even today it’s the same old story.
That is not to say that all Christians have been wrong and harmful. In fact, most Christians are good and conscientious. They understand and abide by the Golden Rule, like the good and conscientious people of other faiths who abide by the same universal divine imperative, and thus they are the "sheep of the good shepherd." However, not all who claim to serve God actually do.
Therefore, Americans should progress forward now, toward the day when ALL human beings, all nations, all religions, all races and all cultures are respected equally, and enjoy truly equal rights under the laws of our lands and our world.
Otherwise, if we perpetuate this partisan political-economic system we will still be stuck having to choose between the lesser of two evils, and it would keep the partisan political pendulum swinging. It would perpetuate the partisan political conflict, division, polarization and instability, and it would perpetuate the corruption that it inevitably produces.
Peace, freedom and justice is now ours to achieve and establish peacefully, together. All we need is the wisdom to acknowledge the way to save and improve our world, and the courage and faith to make it so, in America, and by good example, in every other country.
Even though evil can masquerade as good in the public eye or be cowardly and sneaky in its murderous ways, and even though it has been and still is very powerful in its ability to denigrate or even kill those who would deny it power to rule over the people, we can overcome it.
We can ensure that people driven by greed, self-interest and self-righteousness are not able to gain power again, because there is a way that we can finally prevent the wrong people from dividing us and ruling over us ever again -- a way that will enable us to peacefully establish good, representative government that serves all the people.
We Hold These Truths to Be Self-Evident
These truths should be self-evident: that all human beings are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are the rights to: life; liberty; equal rights; equal opportunity; justice; public safety; universal health care; complete public education from preschool-child care to post-graduate school; fair and adequate compensation for your labor; adequate social security income for those in need of it, so that no one suffers from hunger, poverty, or homelessness; freedom of religion, with freedom fromtheocratic imposition of religion into government by any particular religion or religious sect(s); and real freedom in the pursuit of happiness.
We do not have any of those rights or freedoms now. Not really. In fact, our rights and freedoms have been diminishing, and there is no politician in our country right now who will establish all those rights.
Therefore, to establish and secure our God-given universal rights, even while ensuring that government is secular with a wall of separation between religion and government, the people should adopt a revised and updated Declaration of Independence to re-state and expand our rights, and then demand a Constitutional Convention to adopt constitutional amendments that will ensure those rights.
Consider that the U.S. Constitution and many of its amendments were written in the late 1700s, and while the idea that government should be by "the consent of the governed" was then a revolutionary idea and a great leap forward, it did not lead us to where we are destined to be.
The precedents for improvement and advancement are clear. For example, the Thirteenth Amendment written in 1865 officially outlawed slavery and involuntary servitude, and did so by repealing Article Four of the Constitution (which Southern leaders had insisted upon), which required that slaves that escaped to another state be returned to the owner in the state from which they escaped.
Now we the people need to repeal, revise or replace certain articles and amendments, and/or establish new amendments, particularly to put an end to rule by the power of money and an end to the presidential form of monarchy, because government can and should be of, by and for the people, and by the absolute free choice of the people, which we do not have now. We are faced with a choice between competitive candidates who seek power of the highest office and the "throne" of a presidential monarchy, when we should have government really of, by and for the people.
Now it is time to take advantage of the tools which the Founding Fathers created for us to advance and progress forward, instead of continuing to be pushed backward.
Article 5 of the U.S. Constitution
Article 5 of the Constitution of the United States stipulates that new amendments may be proposed either by two-thirds of both houses of Congress, or by a national convention assembled at the request of the legislatures of at least two-thirds of the states. The amendments must then be ratified either by approval of the legislatures of three-fourths of the states, or by ratifying conventions held in three-fourths of the states. Congress has discretion as to which method of ratification should be used.
However, ultimately the power is with the people. Our government is supposed to operate with the consent of the governed, and if enough people demand something, politicians will do what the people want. Politicians know that they have to abide by the will of the vast majority of the people or be elected out of office, and one way to make our demand clear is described in The People's Campaign for Reformation (click here).
But, the write-in vote is not our only tool. The people can also take action either though a petition process to create citizen's initiatives and establish state ballot measures so that the people can officially register their demands. We can also voice our demands in peaceful public assembly in open parks and in other appropriate public spaces, obtaining permits if needed (and NOT wearing hoods). And ultimately, whether it's using the citizen's initiative process or the write-in ballot or public demonstration, we the people can persist until our demands are met to utilize the provisions in Article 5 of the Constitution to establish the kind of government we want and need.
You see, the Founding Fathers of the nation wrote Article 5 because they recognized the importance of providing this means by which we, the people, could initiate amendments to change and/or clarify and/or update the Constitution, the Supreme Law of the Land.
Even in the earlier Declaration of Independence they declared that whenever any form of government does not serve their interests, it is the right and duty of the people to alter and reform it, or even institute new government.
That has become necessary because the Founding Fathers did not provide specific provisions to ensure the rights listed above. Being men of their times they were apparently of the opinion that it was not the role of government to care for the needy. And, even though Roosevelt's New Dealbegan to enable government to promote the general welfare as it should, the Reaganites have tried to destroy it and have negated much of the New Deal reforms and progress.
That is why we need new amendments to the Constitution, to officially make it part of the supreme law of the land that we will be a conscientious, caring, charitable society that actually promotes the general welfare and guarantees fairness, equity, and justice for all, and ensures that no one suffers from abject poverty, hunger or homelessness.
Few if any politicians have advocated that. Most politicians like the status quo whether they are Republicans or Democrats. And no Republican or Democrat has ever mentioned the need for Constitutional amendments to correct our situation and solve the root problems.
Nevertheless, many politicians in the past have favored a Constitutional Convention, including such notables as Republican Presidents Abraham Lincoln and Dwight D. Eisenhower.
In his first inaugural address, March 4, 1861, Lincoln said: "This country, with its institutions, belongs to the people who inhabit it. Whenever they shall grow weary of the existing Government, they can exercise their constitutional right of amending it or their revolutionary right to dismember or overthrow it." And Lincoln added that "to me the convention mode seems preferable, in that it allows amendments to originate with the people themselves, instead of only permitting them to take or reject propositions originated by others..."
President Dwight D. Eisenhower also supported an Article V Convention saying: "Through their state legislatures and without regard to the federal government, the people can demand a convention to propose amendments that can and will reverse any trends they see as fatal to true representative government."
President Eisenhower warned against the growing power of the Military-Industrial Complex when he left office. But, as I have said on the page titled Little Known American History, Eisenhower’s warning was not heeded. In fact, the Military-Industrial Complex not only grew and became more corrupt, it became the Religious-Military-Industrial Complex in 1981, and has become even more so in the last nine years. But it is religious in name only, and it has not served God or humanity. It has served Mammon and the wealthiest few Americans, and thus it has proven fatal to truly democratic, representative government.
The core, universal teaching of Jesus of Nazareth are recognized only by the wise, like Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin and most other Founding Fathers who understood the real message of God’s servant, and they worshiped only the infinite, eternal, omnipresent Holy One, the Great Spirit-Parent in heaven, who is God by any other name.
There is no such thing as a holy war, and the "weapons" of God’s true servant are not carnal, or lethal. They are divinely inspired, written words of truth. And the truth about imperialistic militarism is that it is always fueled by propaganda about an evil or inferior enemy, and it is through religious and military indoctrination, justified by a doctrine of preeminence and superiority, that fascist states come into being and their military empires are forged and expanded by the fire of war and force of arms.
The reality is that the U.S. Religious-Military-Industrial Complex has grown fat and rich, and it is militarizing the culture of our nation to prepare for endless war. It has conditioned Americans to think of the U.S. as a beacon of Light and the global force for good, God, and morality. But while there is some truth to that, and while most people in the military industrial complex are good people or at least think they are doing the right thing, it is in part propaganda and a smokescreen to hide some very scandalous and atrocious facts. And one of those facts is that the forces of greed and self-interest are gearing up for endless war, and war would and will be endless if we continue in this madness.
Americans need to realize that the U.S.A. cannot perpetuate the Reagan myth that America has nothing to be ashamed of, nor can it perpetuate the polarizing, arrogant Bush doctrine that “If you’re not with us, you’re against us.” The truth is that many Americans and most other people in the world are well aware of the sins of the U.S. Government and its military, and we realize that we must become as a family of equal nations and religions and races and cultures if we are to put an end to conflicts and hostilities and save the world from utter destruction.
But, two wrongs don't make a right. Violence is not the answer, nor is taking the law into your own hands. Only truth can prevail, and only good can overcome evil. And lasting peace cannot and will not be "won" by waging war. It cannot be done, especially not today or in the future. We will have lasting peace only when truth overcomes falsehood, when love overcomes hate, and when good overcomes evil that masquerades as good. And we will have lasting peace only when nations confess our offenses, make amends, reconcile our differences, and actually make peace.
Therefore, in America we advocate a Constitutional Convention, and we advocate this New Declaration of Independence, which is an edited and revised update of Thomas Jefferson's work.
21st Century Declaration of Independence
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all human beings are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are the rights to: life; liberty; equal rights; equal opportunity; justice; safety; universal health care; complete public education from universal preschool-child care to post-graduate school; fair and adequate compensation for our labor; adequate social security income if and when needed, so that no one suffers from hunger, poverty, or homelessness; real freedom of religion, respecting all religions and preventing theocratic domination by one; and real freedom in the pursuit of happiness.
We declare that to secure these rights, governments are instituted among peoples, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed; that whenever any form of government becomes obstructive to or destructive of these ends, it is the right and duty of the people to alter or abolish it, and to institute new or reformed government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form as to protect the people, ensure that all the people enjoy those equal opportunities and equal rights, and ensure that the common wealth is used for the common good.
Now granted, governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes. Therefore, the people have been more willing to suffer, while abuses and offenses seemed bearable, than to free themselves by abolishing the government to which they are accustomed. However, when a long series of deceptions, offenses, betrayals, and abuses of power, invariably pursuing the interests and the favor of the wealthiest few at the expense of the many, creates conditions which reduce the majority to subservient, dispensable subjects, it is the absolute right and duty of the people to throw off such government, to institute new or better government, and to provide new safeguards for their future security, equality, prosperity, and well being.
Such has been the patient sufferance of the majority of the people; and such is now the necessity to alter their system of government. The history of this government is a history of repeated deceptions, offenses, betrayals, injustices, failings, injuries, and abuses of power, resulting in the establishment and perpetuation of an unjust, corrupt, inequitable, divisive political-economic system and society in which a wealthy, privileged few disproportionately enjoy the fruits of the labor of the majority, while the lot of the majority diminishes and growing numbers of good, hard working people are reduced to conditions of poverty, to the extent that tens of millions of innocent children in this nation suffer from its devastating effects.
Furthermore, since this inequitable political-economic system of government functions by a money-driven, partisan political contest for sovereign presidential power and congressional dominance, the people are repeatedly divided and polarized by a foolish and juvenile partisan rivalry for the throne of political power. The wealthy and powerful from the right and the left fight amongst themselves to maintain and even gain more wealth and more power, soliciting support not only from their wealthy peers but from the average people who generate that wealth and power but cannot sufficiently benefit from it themselves. Thus the wealthy few keep the people divided and weak, unable to stand united because they are misled and pulled in opposite directions. A partisan monarch (president) sits on the throne, serving the interests of his winning party and supporters, while the majority of the people and the losing party suffer the consequences.
Therefore, in the name and by the authority of the good people of this nation, it is now solemnly declared that:
1) We the people shall bring about a comprehensive reformation of government so that it will finally be of the people, by the people, and for the people, so that we may share the power as equal joint heirs to our inheritance and birthright;
2) Recognizing that partisan politics and the winner-take-all competition for the throne merely perpetuates conflict and division and causes government to serve the interests of the wealthiest few to our detriment, we shall revise, alter and amend the Constitution utilizing Article 5 of the Constitution;
3) Taking advantage of the tools the Founders provided, we the people shall put an end the rule of money and an end the presidential form of monarchy, so that executive power shall no longer be held by a president or chief executive but by an executive council of equals, and so that the electoral process is turned over to a citizenry trusted to make good choices;
4) Given equal free choice and equal opportunity, we will freely choose, nominate and elect, by secret write-in ballot, an executive council of six men and six women to replace the chief executive and serve and represent us in administering the executive branch of our government;
5) The executive council shall have equal voice and equal decision-making power, but they may choose a facilitator and spokesperson if they choose. Their decisions shall be by consensus, or by two thirds majority vote when not unanimous. And all council members will be at all times available to hold meetings through electronic conferences wherever they may be in the world;
6) Political advocacy during the electoral process shall be confined to brief, positive, free public service messages through the print and broadcast media, and the official advocacy period utilizing such media services shall be no longer than the three months prior to elections;
7) There shall be no paid commercial political advertisements, and safeguards shall be put in place to prevent wealthy interests from being able to use money to influence either the political advocacy process or the electoral process;
8) Political endorsements may be made in non-commercial forums by advocates recommending candidates, but regardless of endorsements the people shall have free choice to nominate by write-in ballot whoever they want to represent them, and the six men and six women who receive the most votes and accept the call to serve shall be elected;
9) Lobbying and all other efforts to influence or bribe political leaders, legislators, law makers, policy makers or the judiciary shall be prohibited, and instead all political representatives of the people shall keep in touch with them by holding regular local "town hall" meetings and events in which constituents may ask questions and offer suggestions;
10) We the people shall ensure that our government protects our religious freedom, honors the universal human values common to all religions, builds a solid Jeffersonian wall of separation between government and religion, and ensures that government respects all the major religions and acknowledges the Creator and Nature's God, or the Spirit of Divinity by any other name;
11) Freedom of speech and freedom of the press shall be protected and censorship shall be prohibited, within reason, so that:
a) The information and news media shall print, publish and broadcast the essential, relevant truth and nothing but the truth when reporting the news, offer opinion only when identified as such, and lose the right to operate if it is proven that they commit slander or knowingly violate the public trust and cause harm or loss to others;
b) Journalists will fulfill their responsibilities and honor their ethical code, be truthful and unbiased, and dutifully investigate the operations of government, corporations, industry and all other institutions to keep them honest and ethical, and to expose them whey they are not; and
c) Every effort possible will be made to ensure that what is broadcast on the air or published on the Internet is truthful, so that when wrongdoing or falsehoods are alleged, reliable, independent fact-checkers contracted by the public sector to investigate and bring charges, thus helping to prevent false, slanderous and harmful claims, fraudulent solicitations and content, and malfeasance.
It is also solemnly declared that the government thus produced shall have full power to levy taxes fairly and equitably according to ability to pay, without any loopholes or shelters and without any deductions for charitable contributions; provide for the common defense; keep the peace; contract alliances; regulate commerce and the economy to ensure equity, fairness and stability; promote the general welfare; provide for the health care and public education of all the people; use the common wealth to serve the common good; be good stewards of our environment; protect the environment, correct the mistakes and clean up the mess that greed, corruption and folly have created; and do all other acts and things which independent states have the right and the duty to do.
For the support of this declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we the people mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor.
May God truly bless our nation. May it abide by the new covenant with God and finally become known in truth as the land of the free and the home of the brave, under God or the Spirit of Divinity only, and may all nations in the world follow suit and be liberated.
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Note: The above declaration is merely a suggestion. It is up to the people to adopt it, or revise it.