I find it necessary to remind our community of our shared American values. “We the people” pledge allegiance to a country of laws as outlined in the U.S. Constitution.
I believe the date that every American should reach for in times of disagreement and crisis is 1787. This, and not 1776, was when the true and everlasting brilliance of the American experiment began. It is true that in 1776 the colonies declared, should any government violate the natural rights of its citizens, “it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government.”
I suspect some mistaken individuals felt they were honoring this on Jan. 6, 2021. However, the Founding Fathers realized that a thriving and stable democratic republic cannot sustain by “throwing off” its government every few years and living in permanent revolution. And so, in their wisdom, they allowed for such processes to happen peacefully and democratically, through elections executed by each individual state, with representatives answerable to their voters every few years, with three competing branches within a robust system of checks and balances, a free and independent press to expose corruption, and the individual right to sue in a court of law should rights be violated.
These are the Constitutional means for citizens to peacefully “throw off such government.” The ideas of the violent revolution of 1776 were thus peacefully embedded, through rigorous compromises, within the social contract of 1787. Every day, in these United States, is, and forever shall be, 1787. Please remember that.
Andrew SchuhmannDurangoEditor’s note: The author refers to the year the U.S. Constitution was written, 1787.