Cover of Time Magazine June 18, 2018
Remember when people in the American colonies revolted against King George III of England? It’s a well-known account in elementary and high school history books and worth reading again. Read it to compare the past with some current circumstances.
Colonists bitterly objected to a tax on goods sent from England to the colonies. Today, in a turnaround, the U.S. federal government via the wannabe king trump, is imposing tariffs (taxes) on goods imported from England, as well as Canada, France and other countries. Those countries are adamantly objecting and threatening to retaliate against the United States.
Before we became a nation, part of the Declaration of Independence stated that a government derives its “just powers from the consent of the governed and whenever any form of government becomes destructive…it is the right of the people to alter or abolish it.” Currently the federal government is led by an autocrat who is bent on destroying U.S. institutions and laws that protect American citizens. Unlike the revolutionaries of the 1700s, few in the federal government (House, Senate, and Cabinet) are willing to declare that our form of government has become destructive and corrupt.
Thus another type of American Revolution is needed. It’s essential that citizens stand up and rebel in order to “alter or abolish” the present federal administration. Civic and religious groups have organized to counter Trump’s efforts to form a kingdom. The ACLU is at work filing lawsuits to prevent autocratic rule. The Sierra Club, Everytown for Gun Safety, and Planned Parenthood are among groups organizing protests against Trumpian policies.
Yet, as most Americans are aware, there is a stark division in allegiances. As in Revolutionary times when at least half of the colonists were loyal to the King of England, the other half wanted freedom from monarchs. Today, about 50 percent of Americans are loyal to the wannabe king, while the other half want Trump overthrown.
Americans are also divided regarding who should be allowed to come into the United States whether it’s legal immigrants or illegals. That’s not new. In the 1800s, for example, legal and illegal Chinese laborers were welcomed in the United States to work on the Transcontinental Railroad and in gold mines.
But as gold mines closed down and demand for railroad workers diminished, competition for jobs was fierce. U.S. workers supported the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882, which prohibited all immigration of Chinese laborers. Today, the United States is separated in regard to whether immigrants seeking asylum from brutal regimes and/or death squads should be allowed to enter our country–see my previous blog.
These divisions are likely to continue until mid-term elections. So it is up to the “right of the people to alter or abolish” a destructive government, and vote to oust these government leaders. The alternative is to live with an autocratic ruler and his supporters who admire the world’s dictators.