A reflective essay about modern times and old foundations. Newell ©
Perhaps the sentiments contained in the following pages are not sufficiently new to procure them useful to modern minds. The long proof that this nation is the great hope of the free world, gives cause to trust in its foundation. But when modern society believes that change is the only form of progress, then we are in an aimless spell.
If modern minds are to judge, as is often done with a narrow or punitive perspective, that the Framers of our Founding Documents should be remembered first for their sins and last in our hearts, then we behold a hubris state.
Common Sense tells us that the Founding Fathers are not honored for moral wrongs; but rather the great hope they declared to be unalienably right.
Common Sense knows it’s not easy to reverse the course of the human events or end the evils of human nature.
Common Sense finds that this country had an imperfect start, as great hopes always do; that great hopes never end.
Common Sense remembers that the Citizens of this country are unified by the Founder’s declaration; that we uphold a few of their common virtues; that we share this common ground.
Common Sense submits we must carry on; that we each do our part; that we do it together.
Common Sense advises that the promise of freedom rests on the virtue of the People rather than the power of Government; that restraint is the role of Citizens, and not the rule of Administration. In this fanciful notion, perhaps what we need is not so new, but rather a mirror to the past; only here, the words appear opposite in the reflection; giving us reasons to unite rather than causes of separation.
of UNITY for
the people of the United States of America
WITH COMMON SENSE ASSEMBLED.
WHEN in the course of self-government, it becomes necessary for the People to renew the sacred hopes which have connected them to each other, and to assume among the privileges of citizenship; the personal and collective responsibilities to which the blessings of Freedom, and Freedom’s deliverance, obligate them, a reverent knowledge as to the price to mankind requires them to recall what it is that holds them together;
We hold this to be our self-government;
That we are many people and one nation;
that we are united by certain original documents;
that among these are; the Declaration of Independence, The Constitution; and the Bill of Rights;
That to guard the spirit of human endeavor, limits were placed on Government, endowing the flag of freedom to the virtue of People.
That whenever any reform or policy creates dependency on Government, it is the Right of the People to resist or oppose it, thereby remaining independent; placing their trust on the foundations of freedom and giving hope to the generations of tomorrow; as to them, it shall seem most likely to affect their Lives and Pursuits.
Reform, indeed, will proclaim; that all forms of equality are for right and just causes; and accordingly that all regulation evinces fairness; that the People are less able to self-govern, though fortune is abundant, than those appointed by the powers of Government. But when a long train of regulatory and protective agencies, claiming invariably the need to control the blessings and safety of mankind, form branches of Government without Constitutional provision; have power to rule without election of the People; create laws without the consent of the governed; create national debt without public interest; then it is the Right, it is the Duty, of the People to dismantle such administrative forms and uphold the promise of Self-Government. — Such has been the sacred hope of America and the duty of its citizens.
Copyright 2020. Newell.
All rights reserved.
Thomas Paine, Common Sense: The Call to Independence, January 10, 1776.
Thomas Jefferson, et al., preamble to the Declaration of Independence, July 4, 1776.