Emotional Documentation
May 15, 2009

declarationindependence1.jpgI'll admit it, I'm a bit of a sap when it comes to history. I've always been one of those people who has great appreciation for everything old. I love old movies, old music, old Bibles, old sayings, and old books. I even love old people...when they're not driving behind the wheel. And while I'm on the subject, can we please think about re-instituting some sort of driving test once you reach a certain age? I'm just saying. One of my favorite cities in the entire world is Washington D.C.. I get teary-eyed upon decent. I relish in the architecture, the museums, the symbolism and the foundational nature of the place. The fact that I enjoy the liberties I have today because I stand on the backs of others who've passed on is not the least bit lost on me.

So it's no surprise that when reading the Declaration of Independence the other day, I sniffled a bit. Okay fine I was probably a bit hormonal, but something struck me about the language and the definiteness of intent in that beautifully and masterfully written document. And then, as if straight out of the movie, "National Treasure," a poorly and monotonously delivered Nicholas Cage line came to me. I thought to myself, "People don't talk like that anymore....I'm going to steal it. I'm going to steal the Declaration of Independence." Just kidding about the second part. Oh the things people can say in movies. If Nicholas Cage's character had been a black man, that scene would've been so unbelievable (if it wasn't already). I hate to say it, but Nicholas Cage was right about the first part. People don't talk like that anymore. There is an eloquence of speech in that document that has been severely diluted over the years. Nowadays if you throw in an SAT verb or two, people accuse you of using "big words."

When you read a foundational document like The Declaration of Independence, your mind really does have to work hard to comprehend what it is they're saying. And yet, they wrote it in plain English. Woe unto us who have been completely robbed of the beauty and authority of intelligent linguistics.

What's sad to me is that most of us can mouth along the words on "Disco Night" of American Idol but we don't even know the preamble of the Constitution by heart. I'm talking to myself right now. How insanely powerful would it be if kids grew up memorizing the the Declaration of Independence? Maybe then we'd have citizens who actually held the government accountable for doing their job and not overstepping the boundaries of their authority. Did you know the Declaration of Independence says the people have the right to overthrow their government? That's some crazy stuff right there. Maybe my silly dream of pitchforks and torches wasn't quite so far-fetched after all.

My favorite part of the Declaration of Independence is the beginning, which reads like this (emphasis mine):

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.

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 to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, -- That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind 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.

Word. And now I think we all should go out and use "usurpations" in a sentence today.

Posted by Ambra at May 15, 2009 11:55 PM in Politics
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A challenge---can I try?

It is time to take back our country from the left media because I am sick and tired of their usurpations as to the truth and what is best for this great country.

I also am a word nerd and I also have a soft spot for all things old...including the Declaration of Independence. I totally agree with you that it should be memorized in every elementary school. And I'm proud to say, I actually used the word "usurpation" twice this week in conversation in reference to the twits in congress.

Thank you for the reminder. Watching Fox News on the treadmill this morning I was thinking the same thing!!
I completely agree with you on history! We need to all take a trip to DC together when we are homeschooling the kids!!

Ambra:
I love that post about the Constitution I was browsing the internet and I previously sent you a Linkedin friends request anyway I agree with you that America would be a better country if every kid knew the bill of rights it's the bill of rights that allows me to say all the things I have so much fun annoying people by sayingLOL

Weather someone is liberal or conservative we all are lucky to have a bill of rights on Memorial Day while I'm hardly a very traditional person I like to think about the fact that I live in a country where I have written permission to say what I want when I want it I always as a kid would ask,
"If there's a bill of rights isn't Unconstitutional that my parents have a bedtime for me?LOL"

Anyway I gotta get going now

Ambra:
So I do as untraditonal as I can be on Memorial day like to think about the fact that this is one of the few countries on Earth with a written document giving you permission to stay whatever you want and while today it maybe no big deal because most countries are that way in 1776 when the American Revolution began this was the only country on Earth with no King and a leader selected every 4 years by regular citizens

And while it wasn't perfect they unfortunately didn't include African-Americans and Women America still was the only country on Earth that besides having no Monarchy allowed a group of common citizens to select a new leader every 4 years of course England only allowed it's citizens to elect a Parliament because they had a lifetime King in place

The official U.S. Cosntitution wasn't ratified until 1787 so yes as imperfect as it was it still is a special document and yes I did wonder as a kid, "If we have a Constitution why are my parents allowed to give me a bedtime?"

I couldn't find the clause that legalized itLOL

@Andy Freedman

Andy,

If you don't stop harassing and following my wife, there will be serious repercussions.

Have a nice day.

--The Husband of Ambra

Aw man, you missed your chance!
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Reflections on the Ill-Read Society
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The Double-Minded Haters
Hindsight
Hip-Hop in Education: Do You Wanna Revolution?
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