Tuesday, November 4, 2008


Today is election day in the United States. November 4. Today, we hold in our hands the ability to decide the fate of our nation and our role in the world.

Perhaps that sounds maudlin and overly dramatic. So be it. But let me put before you these timeless words:

When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, -- That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.*

Today is our day to abolish destructive government.

Today is our day to cast off the evil pall that has trampled our Constitution.

Today is our day to end absolute despotism.

Today is our day to throw off a government that has overthrown our most basic rights.

Today is our day to restore the values of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness for every American.

Today is our day to declare our independence.

Today is our day.

Please vote.

* Jefferson, Thomas; Declaration of Independence, Second Continental Congress of the Thirteen Colonies, Philadelphia, Penn., July 4, 1776.


Dingo said...

After I discovered that most of my students had never read the Declaration of Independence, I read it aloud in class.

I couldn't make it to the end without crying. Some of them get it. Some of them don't.

foundinidaho said...

I'm on it after work tonight. I'm dreading the lines but I know, even in Idaho which is supposed to go 65% McBush that it's worth it.

Then I'm going to the Idaho for Obama party and enjoy myself. I will have earned my drink by then, methinks.

Liz said...

I'm off in a few minutes, as soon as I'm done nursing the baby.

Babies for Obama, unite!

J.M. Tewkesbury said...

Dingo: Yeah, I'm sure your emotion was lost on most of them. Setting aside my cynicism, though, I have no doubt your reading of the DOI made a favorable, lasting impression on one or two students. Years from now, when they find themselves at a similarly pivotal point in American politics and history (God forbid!), they'll remember the day you read the DOI to them and realize that was the point at which they were inspired to be active citizens.

FII: This is why we need to abolish the electoral college: so your vote will actually mean something to the person for whom you cast it. Have fun at the Obama party tonight. I don't even know where ours is. Hm. I should look into that!

Liz: Yeah! Hey Lion?! Hurry up and eat! Your mama needs to vote for Obama!

Liz said...


Cele said...

Ahhh the end of another years long, contentious, bickering, slandering, throw the American people under the train, it’s all for the party - political season.

Wow, hadn't read the Declaration of Independence? Isn't that required reading in several classes and the entire eighth grade?

I'm so glad to live in a state where I was able to vote, with a paper ballot, days ago. Tewkes a special thank you for helping keep me up to date with news, information, and your wonderful wit and humor during this campaign.

Bilbo said...

I was at my polling location at 6:05 this morning (it opened at 6:00), and the line stretched for blocks. A long wait, but worth it.

J.M. Tewkesbury said...

Liz: Woo hoo!

Cele: It's been a pleasure. I hope Obama wins, because I'm not sure I can sustain four more years of this type of writing! Besides, if I don't get back to my old snarky self, Gilahi will stop reading my blog and I heart Gilahi! As for the DOI, Dingo's comment stunned me, too! Education in this country is going to hell in a handbasket.

Bilbo: I've heard similar stories all day from precincts in DC and VA. Amazing! It gives me hope that we'll have good turn out. Yeah, America!