By Jeb Bladine • President / Publisher • 

Whatchamacolumn: Surrounding the Fourth of July with political debate

This week’s column, written and published via e-edition on July 3, goes into a newspaper issue dated July 5 for mailed delivery in print on Friday. We thus are surrounding the 4th of July after experiencing a weeklong political trainwreck triggered by the June 27 presidential debate.

What better time to re-visit July 4, 1776 — adoption day for the U.S. Declaration of Independence? The Declaration is partially presented below in original text followed by my own “Cliffs Notes” version.

“When, in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume, among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the laws of nature and of nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.


Jeb Bladine is president and publisher of the News-Register.

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“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.

“Prudence, indeed, will dictate, that governments long established, should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shown, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. 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 off such government, and to provide new guards for their future security. Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former systems of government.”

In summary:

When united people must separate from their former rulers, responsibility to mankind requires that they proclaim and affirm the causes of their disaffection. Governed people, with equal and inalienable rights, are the architects, the builders, the consenters and, ultimately, the renovators of their governmental bodies. When long-standing government despotism usurps inalienable rights of the people, the governed have a right and duty to overturn that government for their future security.

In another 1,000 words, the historic document declared King George III of Great Britain an absolute tyrant who oppressed, plundered, injured, harassed, obstructed, deprived, usurped and terrorized the people of the American colonies. The message: “We warned him; he was deaf to our voice; and we now declare ourselves free and independent” and “absolved from all allegiance to the British Crown.”

That was quite a day … worth contemplating these 248 years later.

Jeb Bladine can be reached at or 503-687-1223.



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