It is generally accepted that a birthday is a cause for celebration to recall the welcome a new entity into existence and there is hardly any parent in the world who feels anything less than joy at the arrival of a new family member. Nearly any new arrival has the potential for greatness even though as time passes, the joy can turn to disappointment and remorse if the newborn turns out to be an Adolf Hitler or Osama bin Laden. Of course, those are extreme cases of humans who transformed into monsters responsible for mass deaths and untold misery for humanity. As many Americans celebrate our nation’s birthday and the adoption of the Declaration of Independence, there is cause to feel disappointment and remorse at the direction conservatives have taken a potentially great nation that has turned out to be monstrous in its treatment of the majority of its citizens.
Thomas Jefferson took great pains to articulate to England why the colonies were breaking away and creating a new entity, and yet despite his brilliant, impassioned words that were the blueprint for America, the country has transformed into a monstrosity of inequality, and an entity that has “become destructive” of “Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.” The Founding Fathers cannot bear all the blame for the hideous country America has become, but even they belied the words of the Declaration of Independence when they crafted the Constitution. Conservatives though, have taken inequality, destructiveness, and suffering of the masses to a level the Founders could have never imagined. The conditions conservatives have imposed on Americans are the reasons the colonies broke away from England in 1776, and are shameful, abject contradictions of Jefferson’s words in the Declaration of Independence.
In the Declaration of Independence, Jefferson enumerated a list of charges against King George III that represent the Republican Party’s grievous actions against the American people causing suffering, injustice, and inequality, and are not conducive to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Indeed, going through the Declaration’s “list of grievances” reads like current Republican policies being imposed on citizens in the states and at the Federal level, and are more in line with Hitler’s Nazi Germany than a free country where every citizen is purported to be equal. Some of the more obvious complaints against King George III and Republican tyranny are; preventing free migration to America, dissolved Representative houses, plundered our seas, destroyed the lives of our people, excited domestic insurrections among us, and abolished our most valuable laws altering fundamentally the forms of our government.
The last grievance regarding abolishing our most valuable laws and altering the forms of government is the centerpiece of Republican policies and represent the undoing of the American way of life. Although conservatives have always elevated the wealthy to god-status, never before in American history has a class of wealth and privilege enjoyed such favoritism over the general population. Ronald Reagan made destroying the government the pinnacle of his administration’s goals, and since the second Bush-era; Republicans have chipped away at the foundations of democracy to usher in corporatism and theocracy in direct violation of the Constitution. The current Supreme Court has violated their mandate to determine the validity of laws and statutes based on the constitution and instead, have legislated from the bench a new paradigm of law that removes any recourse of justice for the people.
The conservative Court has given unprecedented power to corporations and foreign governments to control elections in this country and have effectively altered the form of government from a representative democracy to a government sold to the highest bidder; whether domestic or foreign. The Citizens United decision gave power to corporations and foreign interests that supplant the will of the people and subjugated them to third-world status without a voice or representation. In fact, in states like Michigan, elected officials are summarily dismissed and forbidden to govern if the governor determines a corporation is better suited to administer local governments. In other states like Florida, voter suppression laws deprive students, seniors, and poor people from having a voice in choosing their leaders, and gives advantages to conservative candidates who favor corporations and perpetuate suffering of citizens.
One of the more well-known reasons for the Declaration of Independence was “taxation without representation” and since the Bush-era tax cuts, American taxpayers have witnessed Republicans give taxpayer dollars to corporations, the oil industry, and the wealthiest 2% of Americans who do not represent the majority of American people. If voters oppose giving our hard-earned tax dollars to corporations and the oil industry, Republicans characterize them as being anti-American and against the freedoms the Founding Fathers guaranteed for corporations in the Constitution. The Republicans have usurped their authority by subjugating the American people to the will of corporate entities and wealthy landowners. If Thomas Jefferson were alive today, he would replace King George’s name with the Republican Party and the Declaration of Independence would be as valid today as it was in 1776.
Of all the Republican’s grievous actions, and there are many, it is their refusal to extend equal rights to every citizen and it prohibits America from becoming a potentially great nation and defines this country as a monstrosity of evil and oppression. The primary reason conservatives deny equal rights is their extremist religious beliefs that cause Republicans to fervently deny life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness to every American with particular harshness against women, gays, and the poor. The Preamble to the Declaration of Independence is the ultimate expression of the pursuit of happiness as an unalienable right, but Republicans, at the urging of their conservative Christian masters, have made it one of their primary missions to deprive certain groups of those rights. The Constitution reiterates those rights with the 14th Amendment, but Republicans still discriminate against any group that does not subscribe to the bible’s tenets of hate, and have support from their minions within the religious community.
The Founders had high hopes that the nation they gave birth to would fulfill its potential for greatness, but like so many young entities, America was corrupted by bad associations into becoming a monster to millions of its citizens. On this Independence Day, the loudest voices proclaiming America’s greatness will be the Republicans and conservatives who have produced a country that discriminates against minorities, gives tax dollars to corporations, allows foreign powers to influence elections, and denies Americans the right to vote. In their view of America, causing citizens to suffer may well be a sign of greatness, but for most Americans, discrimination, subjugation, oppression, and most Republican policies are the definition of a monster.
Decent Americans can understand how Osama bin Laden’s parents must have felt when they realized their baby grew up to be an evil monster and rued the day he was born. At the rate Republicans and conservative Christians are transforming America into a theological corporate monster, next year instead of celebrating America’s birthday, millions of Americans may mourn the day it was born.