Friday, August 14, 2009

A lesson in civics.

Last night, my other half and I had a friend watch the boy for us, while we went to see another friend in a local theater production of 1776.

It was spectacular.

Of course, Franklin stole the show...but he did in real life, too. The man was just a total smart ass. Neither the orchestra nor most of the players/singers were anything like professional quality--but you really didn't notice that at the time.

The thing I found interesting was simultaneously heartening and disheartening. To my immediate left sat a boy that'd just graduated high school, and his mother. He whined and complained to her before the curtain went up, and all through the intermission, about how much he didn't want to be there. How he hated it. His mother responded (rather tartly) that, had he not failed the American and state government class and test three times before he passed it, he wouldn't have been forced to come with her. (His response--that only the nerds, the stupid ones, had passed the test on the first try--struck me as a rather obvious oxymoron. I've known several stupid frat boys, and stupid jocks, and a few stupid preppies and geeks, but never a stupid nerd)

In any case, the whole musical struck me as a timely and pointed statement on current political events:

"...He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.

...

He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people and eat out their substance.

...

He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:

...

For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:

...

He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury."

These accusations, made against George III of England, are as applicable to our federal government today.

Ironic, isn't it, that the government our founding fathers worked so hard to create and limit has become no better than the tyranny that they risked everything to overthrow.

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