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Book Review: "The Declaration of Independence, with Short Biographies of its Signers", by Applewood Books

I've had the Constitution, the Declaration of Independence, and the Bill of Rights on my bookshelf for quite some time now, but I've never actually read through it. I think I was watching Jordan Klepper from “The Tonight Show” or something and he said they were really short. So I decided to just read them today and add them to my year's book quota, you know, why not. Turns out, it is hilariously short.

Also I have a weird feeling that a lot of the stuff the Founding Fathers said still apply today. That's just the nature of power.

For example, look at this curated subset of complaints in the Declaration compared to modern events:


He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.

Associated Press

“WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump declared Friday he could keep parts of the government shut down for “months or even years” as he and Democratic leaders failed in a second closed-door meeting to resolve his demand for billions of dollars for a border wall with Mexico. They did agree to a new round of weekend talks between staff members and White House officials.”


He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.

Vanity Fair

“Most troubling of all, perhaps, was a sentiment the expert said a member of Kushner’s team expressed: that because the virus had hit blue states hardest, a national plan was unnecessary and would not make sense politically. “The political folks believed that because it was going to be relegated to Democratic states, that they could blame those governors, and that would be an effective political strategy,” said the expert.”


He has plundered our seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnet our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.

Bloomberg

“A total of 3.28 million people filed for unemployment insurance in the week ended March 21, dwarfing previous highs in Labor Department reports published since 1967. Two weeks earlier, before closures of businesses swept across vast swaths of the country, the number stood at 211,000, close to a half-century low.”


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, af all ages, sexes and conditions.

Associated Press

“WASHINGTON (AP) — A violent mob loyal to President Donald Trump stormed the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday and forced lawmakers into hiding, in a stunning attempt to overturn America’s presidential election, undercut the nation’s democracy and keep Democrat Joe Biden from replacing Trump in the White House.”


At least for me, this is pretty bad, like being under two concurrent curfews during a pandemic, a coup, and a possible government shutdown all at the same time is not fun. The more interesting thing is how it bears striking resemblence to conditions that led the original thirteen colonies to secede from the British Empire. I think the great thing about the Declaration is knowing what should be tolerable and what shouldn't be tolerable.