Would the signers of the Declaration of Independence put up with this?

To answer the question in my title – not a chance. When you read about the strength, courage and principle that defined the founding generation, it’s easy to see how they’d be running primary candidates against every failed Republican Party office holder they could.

I shouldn’t have to explain what I mean by “failed.”

Barack Obama is president, Nancy Pelosi is U.S. House Speaker, and Al Franken is now the 60th Democrat in the now filibuster-proof United States Senate.

In Illinois we’re already veto-proofed in the state senate, losing seats almost every cycle in the state house, and shut out of all the statewide offices – including both U.S. Senate seats. We’re down to seven members of Congress out of a delegation of nineteen.

Here’s a simple question for you: Have you seen a state budget proposal from our Republicans in the General Assembly? Nope. They’ve been in the minority for six years and haven’t produced one.

What are they doing? They’re:

  • Defending incumbents.
  • Circling the wagons around their failed caucus leader in the state house.
  • Listening to party bosses and a state party chairman who have demonstrated they know nothing about building a Republican Party in this new century. Anyone who still doesn’t support your right to vote (SB600) doesn’t deserve your vote.

In the early 1770s John Adams wrote:

“The preservation of liberty depends upon the intellectual and moral character of the people. As long as knowledge and virtue are diffused generally among the body of a nation, it is impossible they should be enslaved.”

Guess what, folks, that’s our problem. Not enough people get it – you can’t separate economics from morality. Behavior is civilization. More Americans won’t get it unless conservatives do the work we’re obligated to perform as citizens.

The Declaration of Independence is worth re-reading if you haven’t done so in a while. There are so many terrific lines and sentiments expressed. This one – it seems to me, also sums up where the country is at today:

“…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.”

Freedom loving Americans are reaching a tipping point once again. The “tea parties” we’ve seen are like a cloud the size of a man’s hand. (Those of you educated in the public schools might need to Google “book of Kings” and “Old Testament” to learn about the phrase I just used.)

Thomas Jefferson said:

“The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.”

No, we’re not at the point where actual blood needs to be shed. But real politics – grassroots party politics – is war by other means.

Our founding fathers men were serious. Our leaders can’t even get tax simplification passed while they hold the White House and the Congress. In Illinois, the notion of rank and file Republicans voting for their party leadership is seen as controversial.

The fantastic close of the Declaration of Independence reads as follows:

“And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor.”

The founders weren’t afraid to state a reliance on the protection of Divine Providence. And they weren’t afraid to talk about “sacred” honor.

As John F. Kennedy said in his first Inaugural, “We dare not forget today that we are the heirs of that first revolution.” Yes we are. So, patriots, let’s fight.