To the editor:
This coming July, we will be celebrating the 241st anniversary of our Declaration of Independence. Before that date, it might be necessary to read that document once again. I wish to recommend this in light of some recent developments, since they are related to objections initially stated in the Declaration. Keep in mind their list began with: “let Facts be submitted to a candid world.”
Protesting the policies of King George III, regarding immigration: “he has endeavored to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither …” These words have a familiar ring to our times. Two hundred and forty-one years later, we have to wonder if history is repeating itself.
Twice in the document, “tyrant” is mentioned; twice more, “tyranny.” I remember, with other students in grade school, singing “Columbia, the Gem of the Ocean,” our voices soaring to the words, “thy banners make tyranny tremble.” And now we have a president praising tyrants, cozying up to them. I wonder what parents tell their children about this.
Meanwhile, one major news outlet refers to these actions as “a change in U.S. policy.” Please tell us this is fake news. In rebelling against tyranny, our nation was founded, the Declaration was written. For our independence from tyranny, our original patriots suffered and died in the most extreme conditions.
It is well-documented: King George III, defined as a “tyrant” in the Declaration, was a victim of disease which strongly affected his decision-making. We do not know the states of mind of present-day tyrants. But we can see the traits: boasting, bravado, false claims to victories and grand achievements, refusals to explain themselves or their claims, and frequently lying to those in their charge. Perhaps we’ve become too accustomed to the words “I am the greatest” from Muhammad Ali, of boxing fame.
It is an old adage that a lie, if repeated often enough, will be believed; something a would-be tyrant will depend on. In any case, the words of the Declaration’s author, Thomas Jefferson, should be taken to heart: “The price of liberty is eternal vigilance.”