OP-ED: A Declaration of Resistance

OP-ED: A Declaration of Resistance

by Peter Nagourney

Inspired by re-reading the Declaration of Independence, and depressed by realizing the state of the country, I wrote this Declaration of Resistance.

July 4, 2017


When in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with a Leader, a decent respect to the opinions of humankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men and women are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, the pursuit of Happiness, respect for the natural world, concern for the future of the planet and our children, and adherence to truth and belief in facts.

That to secure these rights, Governments instituted among Men and Women derived their just powers from the consent of the governed.

That whenever any Government leader becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to challenge that leader and demand a new leader who shall respect their principles. The People shall then organize their powers in such form as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety, Happiness and Principles.

Prudence dictates that Governing principles long established should not be changed for light and transient causes. 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 out such a Government leader and to provide for the future Security of themselves, their Children, and the Health of the Planet.

The history of the current President of the United States is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over the People. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

— He has diminished the Office of the Presidency by consistently issuing false and misleading statements, and demonstrating his disregard for the truth.*

— He has diminished the standing and reputation of the United States by his rude and intemperate interactions with foreign leaders.

— He has diminished the ability of the government to function properly by refusing to appoint personnel to fill necessary offices, including 2,000 Executive branch positions, foreign ambassadorships, and State Department Executive posts.

— He has appointed as leaders of government agencies individuals who are either ignorant of their agency’s mandate, actively hostile to their agency’s intended goals, or both.

— He has endangered the country’s security by refusing intelligence briefings, asserting that he’s smart enough to get by without them.

— He said the American intelligence community was untrustworthy after it produced information he did not like.

— He encouraged Russia to interfere in the 2016 Presidential Election, but has refused to criticize President Putin or the Russians despite overwhelming evidence of their meddling.

— He has allowed foreign agents and individuals with inappropriate and illegal connections to Russia and Russian officials to serve on his campaign team and within the Executive Office.

— He has shared classified Israeli intelligence with Russia, despite the condition that it not be shared, and did this while entertaining the Russian ambassador in the Oval Office and excluding the American press corps.

— He has consistently defended members of his presidential campaign team despite overwhelming evidence provided by the intelligence community of their inappropriate and illegal connections to Russia and Russian officials.

— He has indicated distrust and hostility to foreigners, and attempted to exclude any from Muslim countries.

— He has undermined international cooperation on climate change, harming the country’s credibility on the world stage, while loosening regulations on polluting industries.

— He has replaced the White House website’s page on climate change with a vow to drill for oil on federal lands.

— He has attacked judges and declared the court system a threat to national security because it found his immigration policies unconstitutional.

— He has obstructed the Administration of Justice by ordering the firing of the FBI director as he began in investigation into the president’s team’s actions.

— He has tried to silence the FBI director by threatening to release secret recordings of their conversations.

— He has encouraged America’s intelligence chiefs to undermine the FBI’s Russia investigation.

— He has consistently criticized the national media, labeling them as the “enemy” and calling their reporting “fake news.”

— He has told public lies or falsehoods every day for his first 40 days, and has continued to make demonstrably false statements on at least 74 of his first 113 days in office**.

— His disrespect for truth and facts has eroded the people’s respect for the Office of the President, and has diminished the standing of the United States in the eyes of other countries.

— He has consistently shown disrespect for women, making insulting and vulgar comments about women in politics, show business, and journalism.

— He has violated the emoluments clause of the Constitution by refusing to separate from his business interests, and has in many other ways enabled himself and his family to profit from his public office.

— He has appointed members of his family to key government positions despite their complete lack of experience in government.

— He has demonstrated a disturbing obsession with the 2016 election results, and the size of the inaugural crowd, to the extent that he insists there were 3 million illegal votes. He has appointed a commission to gather election names from all states, even though no state election official has identified any voter fraud.

— He has shown more concern for deflecting criticism and insulting television commentators than for defending the best interests of the country.

— He has continually engaged in intemperate tweets attacking real and imagined personal enemies, distracting himself and the country from the real business of governing.

— He has ignored or reversed almost all his campaign promises, and has allowed the Republican House and Senate to propose policies that directly contradict those promises.

— He has ignored the harmful income disparity in this country by supporting policies that transfer wealth to the wealthiest families by cutting health care benefits for poor and elderly Americans.

— He has embarrassed and distracted all men and women concerned about the future of the country and the planet.

We, therefore, men and women of the United States of America, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of this country, solemnly publish and declare, that we are Absolved from all Allegiance to the President, and that all political connection between us and that President is and ought to be totally dissolved.

And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor as we work to reverse the damage the President and his supporters in Congress are doing to this United States of America.

* https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2017/06/23/opinion/trumps-lies.html?_r=0

** http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2017/06/every-terrifying-thing-that-donald-trump-hasdone.html

2 Responses to "OP-ED: A Declaration of Resistance"

  1. Tim O'Connell   July 12, 2017 at 3:03 pm

    Amen. A thousand times, amen!

  2. Jeff Hayner   July 8, 2017 at 9:57 am

    My biggest fear with the Trump presidency is that our local leaders are claiming we are all in agreement: we must pick up the slack for the programs that will be cut, and they are moving quickly to raise our taxes to do so, even as we individuals are hurt economically by Trump’s actions. They have to stop squeezing the stone that is the Ann Arbor taxpayer. I DO NOT pledge what little Fortune I have left to reverse the perceived and real damages this administration may cause.

    Taxation without representation was a basis of the Declaration of Independence, and our local leaders are well on their way to doing just that. 4 year terms, partisan elections, big money backers, millage manipulations, defiance of state laws… when do we throw off the local yoke that is strangling the poor, the fixed income, working class, the middle class of Ann Arbor? When do we say Enough! to million-dollar condos in the flood plain, the monetizing of our parks and selling of public land without public hearings; the shady bookkeeping that has our water bills (water being both a human necessity and a human right) skyrocketing to pay for forestry and new development? Change starts at home. The greed and petty tyrannies of local leadership effect me much more than any presidential failings. Yes, resistance is needed; I say Think Local First.


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