Blog on the Run: Reloaded

Saturday, July 9, 2016 11:19 am

A long train of abuses and usurpations

Yesterday I posted a graphic on Facebook with a message to the effect that if it had been 11 members of Congress who had been shot down with an AR-15, we’d have an assault-rifle ban tout de suite.
Leaving aside the question of whether that’s actually true (I doubt it — the malevolent influence of the National Rifle Association on our politics remains too strong), one of my friends posted this comment, which I think bears further examination and discussion:
“What happened in Dallas is the revolt against government that the anti-government crowd has been telling us is the reason our 2nd amendment rights are so important.”
I infer that she means something like this: Our police departments, which are part of the government, have been committing so many unjustified offenses against so many of our citizens — primarily African American — that the attack on Dallas police might well be looked at as justified revolution against a corrupt, tyrannical and unjust government, the kind that people who oppose limits on gun rights say we all should be prepared to undertake if necessary.
To be clear, I don’t think that way: The killings of those officers in Dallas were, to me, nothing but assassination and should be prosecuted and punished accordingly. I believe — and perhaps this is nothing but an artifact of my white, male, until-recently-Republican privilege — that this problem, this crisis, still can be addressed via nonviolent political means (and I pray daily that it will be). Just one example, and one which to me made those killings all the more tragic, is the fact that, as Chris Lowrance and others have observed, the Dallas PD and Black Lives Matter have been working together to improve both police training and police-community relations, with both sides reporting progress.
Too, we have seen fake and unjustified “revolutions” at the hands of such criminals as the Bundys. And as I have said before, I am beyond tired of watching my government kiss seditious white ass rather than locking these fools up (which finally began happening after the takeover of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Oregon earlier this year).
But the comment has made me wonder: What pattern or system of government action would constitute something like the “long train of abuses and usurpations” mentioned in the Declaration of Independence that WOULD make revolution justified? And have we seen such a pattern or system in recent years?
What about torture? What about warrantless domestic wiretapping? What about kowtowing to banks and other for-profit corporations at the expense of the public good? I’m not arguing that these are good examples, just trying to get you to think about what a truly objectionable act of government, an act or pattern of behavior that might morally, if not legally, justify a revolution in the way that the American revolution was justified in the Declaration of Independence, might look like.
I welcome your thoughts.


  1. […] SOURCE […]

    Pingback by A long train of abuses and usurpations | Greensboro 101 — Saturday, July 9, 2016 12:09 pm @ 12:09 pm

  2. It’s an interesting question, Lex. In my opinion, the legalization of political corruption via a long series of practices, and culminating in Citizens United, could well be end of the “long train” that justifies action. What it means is that the US is not longer a democracy, but rather a plutocracy, and not a benevolent one, either. The evidence for this is so overwhelming it hardly needs restating: income gaps, wage stagnation, indifference in the face of unspeakable acts of violence, bail-outs, etc., etc. The rules are SO rigged in favor of the few (because they purchased the politicians who wrote them), that is seems unlikely to change without some sort of extraordinary movement — or event. Myself, I favor a grassroots movement to mobilize the states to call for a second Constitutional Convention. It’s a brilliant document that needs modernization. But that takes a lot of leadership and a lot of organization in the face of the vested interests which are currently favored by the rules. As for an event, if the number of shootings, abuses, financial crimes and other clear warnings cannot sufficiently mobilize the country, I’m afraid nothing can. Of couse, there’s always the slower way: Voters in November could elect a Democratic president and a Democratic Congress. They could perhaps make incremental changes, but they would be just that, as those folks benefit from the currently skewed rules as well.

    Comment by Blair Pethel — Tuesday, July 12, 2016 1:37 am @ 1:37 am

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