As we celebrate this July 4th weekend, it's important that we not forget the profound vision embodied in the Declaration of Independence.
"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."
Today, while the very rich become richer, the poor become poorer and the middle class disappears, the top 1 percent owns more wealth than the bottom 90 percent, and 95 percent of all new income goes to the top 1 percent.
Today, in terms of life expectancy, poverty has become a death sentence. With better health care, education and nutrition, the top 1 percent has seen an increase in their longevity. They now live 12 years longer than the people at the bottom of the economic ladder, people who are actually seeing a decline in how long they live.
Today, while it is projected that 60 percent of the electorate will not vote in the next national election because they don't see much to vote for, the top 1 percent will be spending hundreds of millions to elect candidates to make them even richer.
Remember the Declaration of Independence:
... governments are instituted among Men (and we would add Women), deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed; that when any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it...
Now is the time to alter our government. Now is the time to stop the movement toward oligarchy. Now is the time to create a government which represents all Americans, and not just the 1 percent.
No more excuses. We must all become involved in the political process.
Happy July 4th weekend.