It is our duty to overthrow despotism

Dear President Trump,

While we wait to see what those tapes and other detritus that Lev Parnas has handed over to the House Intelligence Committee reveal about you and Rudy, I’m going to finish out the first section of the Declaration of Independence, which is basically the poetic portion most relevant today. The last two sentences of the paragraph are just setting up the specific argument for splitting from England before launching into a laundry list of 21 grievances against King George III.

You know, though, as I read through the grievances I see that some are still instructive. The final one particularly resonates with what I know of your divisive, mean-spirited White supremacist heart:

“He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavored 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.”

Here, of course, they are accusing KGIII of fomenting discord among the colonists and whipping up the Native people so they’ll attack colonists. Taking each section of the sentence in turn, I think it’s interesting how objectionable foreign interference in domestic matters was to the FFs while your Constitutionalist peeps seem all too willing to give Putin (and you) a pass if it means you’ll keep their taxes low and will install more conservative judges. I think the generous term for such people is ‘sell outs’ and the more accurate one is ‘traitors.’

Second, the idea that KGIII was the driving force for Native people in trying to defend their homes and their ways of life against the invading settlers is absurd, but you all have been happy to riff off this conniving portrayal of Native Americans as merciless savages in your racist attempts to keep your desperate hold on minority rule (i.e., White conservative empowerment). You’ve done the exact same thing in how you characterize immigrants, Muslims, people of color as you try to build a sham rationale for keeping power vested in the hands of a shrinking minority. There’s not really a generous term for this behavior – it’s duplicitous and despicable, in a word, it’s sick.

So now let’s circle back to the two final poetic sentences of the Declaration of Independence:

“Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that people are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.”

I’m not making this up. This is what our Declaration of Independence says. It really does tell us twice in the same paragraph that if Government is not working for the people, it should be changed out for something that does work for the people.

Yes, the original focus was on the break from England, but I don’t think the intent was to speak only to Despotic KGIII. I think they were also sending a message forward, warning future generations that if we are facing our own Despotic ruler and long trains of abuses and usurpations that we are no longer willing to suffer, we need to revolt and figure out new ways that will lead to our collective security and Happiness.

It doesn’t matter that the FFs would probably agree with you that immigrants, non-Protestants, women, and people of color should be marginalized and demonized if they, the FFs, were somehow brought back to life straight from their own historical context. It doesn’t matter because all of us wonderful Genies are out of the bottle and you can’t stuff us back in. The FFs inadvertently pointed the way to full empowerment for all and I think we should run with their message.

May we be safe as we navigate this transitional time.
May we see that fostering happiness for all will foster happiness for all.
May we throw out systems that fail to safeguard everyone’s health.
May we make peace with change.

Tracy Simpson

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