By Dr. Jim Ferguson

Did you do it? Becky and I took the challenge and read the Declaration of Independence on July 4th. If you missed the challenge and the deadline, it’s not too late to read this soaring statement of Enlightenment thought and American ideals. We memorized portions of the Declaration of Independence in grammar school, but recent man-on-the-street interviews convince me that students don’t study our founding principles any longer.

Most of us embrace the notion “that all Men are created equal” and believe that men “are endowed by their Creator (not government) with certain unalienable Rights.” Thomas Jefferson, with help from Benjamin Franklin and John Adams, wrote the Declaration of Independence, and held that Rights included, “Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.” You may not know that almost a hundred years earlier, the English philosopher John Locke held that rights were established to secure a citizen’s “life, liberty and estate” (property). How does this hold with the notion of “eminent domain”?  I challenge you to Google the SCOTUS decision of 2005.

Jefferson and the Founders considered themselves “Englishmen,” and it was only after a “long Train of Abuses and Usurpations” that they declared their independence from England, “Mutually [pledging] to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor.” I agree with these stirring words which said, “Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just Powers from the Consent of the Governed.” Jefferson and his colleagues finally concluded that they had no recourse and wrote, “whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these Ends (Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness), it is the Right of the People to alter or abolish it (government), and to institute new Government…”

I had not read Jefferson’s list of King George’s “Abuses and Usurpations” in a long time, but as I did so I couldn’t help but compare the situation in 1776 to 2016. King George refused to “Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public Good,” and essentially we have an open border policy as well as Executive orders to resettle unvetted Middle Eastern refugees in America, many of whom have tuberculosis. King George “erected a Multitude of new Offices” (Obama’s Czars) and “sent hither Swarms of Officers to harass our People” (EPA, IRS). Jefferson believed that King George “excited domestic Insurrections amongst us” and made me think of the inflammatory statements Obama made in the Trayvon Martin case and many others. Lastly, King George, like our Prince, has subjected “us to a Jurisdiction foreign to our Constitution, and unacknowledged by our Laws” (UN, and world opinion with the “apology tours”).

A recent Pew Research poll found that 80% of Americans distrust their government; and this was before FBI Director, James Comey refused to recommend a criminal indictment against Hillary Clinton (HRC) regarding violations of State Department policy and misuse of email communication. Rasmusen just reported that 54% of Americans disagree with Obama’s FBI director. What astounds me are the 37% who agree with Comey, whose decision came only days after Bill Clinton met “secretly” with Loretta Lynch, Secretary of Obama’s Justice Department. Is it any wonder why Trump’s message “the fix is in” resonates with the “Country-class” rather than the “Ruling-class?”

It is disturbing that the lack of “intent” to commit a crime is now a defense. I’ll use this argument if I’m pulled over by the State Trooper for “speeding.” The statute says that either intent or negligence defines malfeasance. Comey used the former criteria and not the latter. Finally, in sworn testimony, Comey said that HRC didn’t understand which emails were classified. I thought the media said Hillary was “the smartest woman in the world.” I thought that ignorance of the law is no excuse. The take home point is that justice is not blind. The rich and famous, and the Washington elite get a pass. HRC gets a pass, but Comey would send the rest of us to jail.

You may not believe it, but I hate to be political. I, like most of us, just want to be left alone, but that is not an option with the bunch that now runs our country and has left the world in flames. Our nation is being torn apart and this soldier must do his duty.

“We are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation or any nation so conceived can long endure.” Lincoln understood civil war; our people are just beginning to grasp what a desperate state we find ourselves. I wish we had a leader like Lincoln or George Washington.

The situation was desperate at Valley Forge when Thomas Paine wrote “The Crisis.” In it he decried the “summer soldier and sunshine patriot” who would “in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country.”

Recently, Becky and I watched the movie Into the Storm, a documentary about Winston Churchill during WW II. The British bulldog was loved and hated, but he persevered and saved England. Churchill was a wordsmith and his stirring thank you to the small British Air Force which defeated Hitler’s Luftwaffe encourages me even today: “Never have so many owed so much to so few.”

America needs more than stirring rhetoric. We need a uniter, not a divider. We need someone who loves the country and “We the People,” not another self-serving, lying, elitist, career politician. I was never a “Trumpster.” However, HRC lied to the American people and Congress, put American security at risk and destroyed evidence (30,000 emails), which undoubtedly contained more than details of her “yoga regimen and Chelsea’s wedding.” In April, Obama said, “No one is above the law.” I guess that’s another lie.

A Democrat friend of mine told me he “always votes for party rather than the person.” That’s the definition of an apparatchik. What will you do in November? Will you just go along to get along? Another friend told me to quit worrying about the election and the country. He advised me to just vote whatever is financially best for me. Another’s advice was to retire and “let your children support you.”

I cannot in good conscience do any of the above. Therefore, I will do my duty and speak to those who will listen until November, and then we’ll see.