Tea Party has wrong take on Declaration of Independence…

April 14, 2010

There have been reports that some in the so-called Tea Party movement are forming armed militias and threatening insurrection, using the Declaration of Independence as a justification.

While it is true that the Declaration of Independence does indeed call for the people to rise up against an unjust government, it was referring to the situation in the 13 colonies in the 18th Century who were under the thumb of the British monarchy. While the English did have a form of democracy, the rebelling colonists contended that they were even denied the “rights of Englishmen.”

While citizens in the 21st Century United States of America may have reason to object to an oppressive government, if they took part in armed rebellion they would be rebelling against a representative democracy in which they to my knowledge have not been denied any rights. It would essentially be a minority rebelling against the majority.

I suppose if the rebellion took hold, it could become a majority rebelling against the government, their own government, but I suspect the vast majority want to maintain stability and avoid violence.

The Declaration of Independence, I think, was not intended to be a tool of those who simply had a political disagreement in our representative democracy.

It is healthy, though, that folks can threaten rebellion and not be immediately locked up. We indeed live in a free country (so far). If the mob had its way, though, we might not still have a free country.