Do you know what I discovered about American teenagers regarding Independence Day? I ran across a survey where some of them thought it was a really cool movie (okay, I guess I can see that, given the charisma and popularity of Will Smith and all). But in another survey, when gently nudged towards the topic “History,” 14% of them said that July 4th was the day we declared our independence from . . . wait for it . . . wait for it: FRANCE! And according to a dude named Colin Campbell, head of the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, 5 million teenagers didn’t have a clue as to the meaning of why we celebrate July 4th. (Parents, you got some splainin’ to do!)
Used by Permission: Nate Beeler, The Columbus Dispatch
Egads, our founding fathers must be rolling over in their graves. Of course, I can’t be too hard on our teenagers when the adults aren’t representing the true meaning of Independence Day well with our partisan bickering and all. Of course, when we have people like the Former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-Texas) stating that God “wrote the constitution,” and Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal declaring, “I can sense right now a rebellion brewing amongst these United States where people are ready for a hostile takeover of Washington, D.C., to preserve the American Dream for our children and grandchildren,”* what are our children to think? (By the way, even though I think Jindal is a goofy character, don’t make light of his plagiarized statement about a “hostile takeover of Washington, D.C;” the author of that statement (preacher Rick Joyner who despises President Obama) means every word of it because he believes he is hearing from God—he needs to be carefully watched. ** If you want to know what swamp Sarah Palin and Michele Bachmann crawled out of, look no further than the influence of Rick Joyner.)
Used by Permission: Bob Englehart, The Hartford Courant
I actually can’t completely blame these knuckleheads for their misinterpretations and stupid declarations of terrorism. Do you want to know who I blame? I blame our founding fathers. Although I love my country very much, and I truly appreciate all their hard work and sacrifice, I don’t think we’d be in this place today if they had made several unorthodox (for their time) changes when they declared our independence in 1776 and wrote the Constitution some 11 years later in 1787. What, you say? They were already laying their lives on the line—what more could we have asked of them? (Hmmmm, because they were all white, male, landowners who couldn’t see past their own aristocratic noses, they could have included women, ex-slaves, slaves, Native Americans, indentured servants, and new immigrants in the room to give them a broader perspective.)
I’ve always fantasized about becoming a time traveler and going back in time to influence history. Can you imagine the heart-attack scenario if I had the ability to pop into the Founding Fathers’ midst in Philadelphia on July 1, 1776 (yep, you read it correctly: the bill wasn’t signed on July 4th. Twelve of the thirteen colonies voted on the declaration on July 2, 1776, and then they spent the next two days massaging the language—in fact, most of the delegates didn’t sign the document that kept us from having British accents until August 2nd).
Used by permission: Jeff Parker Florida Today and the Fort Myers News Press
Can you imagine a room full of sweaty men in Philadelphia with all the windows closed and shutters latched (due to the treasonous nature of their activities) on a sweltering day as they tried to function in woolen clothing and wigs—most of them scared shitless at what they were about to engage in? And “poof,” out pops my chubby-21st-Century ass into the middle of the room.
TIME TRAVELER (TT): Yo, yo, yo FFs—how’s it hanging?
(Several of the FFs faint dead away, but the rest remain stupefied.)
TT: Robert Livingston and John Jay of New York would you please administer smelling salts to Edward Rutledge of South Carolina and Richard Henry Lee from Virginia, and make sure they are awake and listening? I don’t have much time, and I have a lot to say. Besides Livingston and Jay, you aren’t going to have the gonads to sign this document: I know it and you know it, so you might as well make yourselves useful by resuscitating your comrades. No judgment here—just the historical facts.
Gentlemen, I am from the future: 2014 to be exact. My name is Eleanor Tomczyk and I am a writer and a blogger. I just published a book called Monsters’ Showdown that you’ll never get to read, but you should know that even though you didn’t insure my unalienable rights as a descendent of a slave/a Cherokee Indian/a woman—I am free, I am educated, I am intelligent, I’m married to a white man, I live well, and I pontificate on everything from soup to nutty politicians on something called the World Wide Web. All this communicative power is mine because you will provide me freedom of speech in the Bill of Rights that you’re going to pass on August 21, 1789. Thanks FFs—I am forever in your debt because of that.
Blogger and Author of Monsters’ Throwdown/Photo by C. Tomczyk
But I just wanted to let you in on a secret that unless you pull in some women, some Black folks, some Indian peeps, and some new kinds of immigrants with Spanish accents, before you write the Constitution (yep, you’re gonna kick the Brits asses!), you’re going to set up our beloved country for a world of hurt in the future. Lots of things are going to change by the time 2014 rolls around. Actually you can go on and pass this declaration thingie because it is the Constitution in eleven years that you’re going to really need to expand your horizons on that really needs inclusion of the aforementioned groups.
Right now that foolish 2nd Amendment is causing all sorts of mayhem. It needs to be changed because you didn’t think it through well enough. When you pass that in the Bill of Rights, please note that thousands of precious children will be murdered in the future, and scores of foolish men and women will demand to open/carry their guns in our “marketplaces” just because they think that is what you meant by their “unalienable rights” and the “rights of individuals to bear arms.” What you meant then and the nutty shit we’re doing with guns now would cause you to weep. Also, can you add a little note that the Constitution was not written by God, America is not the New Jerusalem, and you could be wrong on at least a couple of things in the Constitution (ahem: slavery and a woman’s right to vote).
Used by permission: Steve Sack The Minneapolis Star Tribune
TT: Franklin, Adams, Jefferson, and Hamilton (you can catch George Washington up to speed once he takes a break from the war), there is a line that you’ll put in the Constitution that bears fleshing out, if you ask me; if you really want to know:
“WE HOLD THESE TRUTHS TO BE SELF-EVIDENT” (so far so good), “THAT ALL MEN ARE CREATED EQUAL” (should read “that all men AND WOMEN—no matter what their color or position in life—are created equal”) “THAT THEY ARE ENDOWED BY THEIR CREATOR” (should read “whomever you deem your creator to be”—leaving this open to interpretation will cause the lack of freedom of religion you fought so hard for because hardcore Christians will demand it to be their God, and the Materialists, the Deists, and the Atheists who most of you declared yourselves to be, will have Hell to pay) “WITH CERTAIN UNALIENABLE RIGHTS, THAT AMONG THESE ARE LIFE, LIBERTY, AND THE PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS” (should read “no matter what your gender, color, race, or social status in life”).
TT: My time is up—wish I could stay longer. Just one more thing: we elected a black president in 2008 for two terms. He’s getting the shit kicked out of him by the haters, but I believe he’s going to make it if one of those 2nd Amendment right-wing nuts doesn’t assassinate him. Every day that I wake up and he’s still alive, I thank my God with all my heart because your 2nd Amendment has been grossly misinterpreted. It has taken on a religious fever against a president that these nuts think doesn’t belong in the White House. Once you pass the Bill of Rights, by 2014 there will be more than 20 attempts to kill sitting and former presidents; 4 sitting presidents will be assassinated, 2 sitting presidents will have attempted assassinations on their lives, and every president from John F. Kennedy on will be threatened with assassination. As you can imagine, threats against our only black President will increase by 400%. Surely, my dear FFs, that is not what you intended when you dreamed up our Declaration of Independence and our Constitution.
Used by permission: Parker, Florida Today
“The assertion that ‘all men are created equal’ was of no practical use in effecting our separation from Great Britain and it was placed in the Declaration not for that, but for future use.”—Abraham Lincoln
“The legitimate powers of government extend to such acts only as are injurious to others. It does me no injury for my neighbor to say there are twenty gods or no god. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg.” ― Thomas Jefferson
“You can protect your liberties in this world only by protecting the other man’s freedom. You can be free only if I am free.”—Clarence Darrow
Happy Birthday, America!
Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Eleanor Tomczyk and “How the Hell Did I End Up Here?” with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.