Declaration Of Independence– From Trump

Anyone who follows the news even superficially recognizes that America is at a watershed of sorts.

Intellectually honest people know that we frequently haven’t lived up to the ideals of our founding–“liberty and justice for all” has been and remains tantalizingly elusive. I would argue, however, that so long as we at least aspire to the values of liberty and equality, so long as we recognize when we fall short, and try to address those failures, the country is moving in the right direction.

We fought a Civil War over the idea of equal human worth. As we are seeing, that war–and the debate over that idea–isn’t over. The Americans who voted for Donald Trump, who endorsed his attacks on immigrants, who “overlooked” his encouragement of the so-called “alt-right,” applauded his vitriol against Muslims and elevated him to an office for which he was manifestly unfit, did so because those sentiments resonated with them. They are the philosophical heirs of the slavery apologists and the thugs who beat and killed civil rights workers.

The good news is that the rest of us aren’t going along with this effort to define “American” as White Christian.

The most gratifying response to the election has been the enormous groundswell of civic engagement by people who had not previously been politically active. Marches and protests haven’t been confined to the big, blue cities like New York or San Francisco; businesses and churches and nonprofit organizations have spoken out forcefully against the re-emergence of the KKK and Nazis, and in opposition to Trump’s heartless decision to rescind protections for the Dreamers. New organizations have been formed–in Indiana, Women4Change, created in November after the election, has some 14,000 members. “Resistance” chapters dot the national landscape.

I recently came across another of those new efforts, Declaration 17.

Declaration 17 is an open alliance of private individuals who have joined in opposition, challenge and resistance to the policies and practices of President Trump.

Our goal is to rekindle public commitment to the founding documents that first articulated America’s core values.

If you share our faith in the Constitution, the Declaration of Independence and the core American values we hold to be self-evident, please add your name and stand with us in opposition.

I don’t know how robust this particular effort is, but I really like the fact that it is emphasizing what makes us American–and what makes us American is not the color of our skin, not the God we worship (or don’t), not the geography of our birth. What makes an American is allegiance to the values of those founding documents.

Those of us who understand America in that way are engaged in a struggle against people who want to change the very essence of our system, who want to define Americans by their identity rather than by their willingness to embrace this country’s principles and values. They are a loud and destructive minority, but they are a minority.

As the description of Declaration 17 puts it,

We want the people to have hope—not despair. We want the people to remember that throughout our history, when America’s values have been threatened from without or within, we have prevailed in upholding those core values—and we will prevail again.


  1. Two days a week I teach the HSE (formerly GED…same program, new title) class in Seymour. On my classroom door I have a sign…”I’m not telling you it will be easy – I am telling you it’ll be worth the effort.” Surviving our inept President will be the same.

  2. Living in the dark shadow of an habitual liar, mentally unstable and a diplomatically destructive man with cabinet appointees of the same ilk, fully supported by Congress; leaves little room for hope of independence from Trump in the near future. We must continue to fight and look for hope wherever we might find it. Bill Bailey’s sign could be a guiding light for us on our darker days; and there are only dark days these past eight months. Our greatest fears prior to Trump’s inauguration did not prepare us for the reality of his destruction of our government and our hard-fought for democracy and too often, our hope.

  3. Sheila, “……when America’s values have been threatened from without or within, we have prevailed in upholding those CORE values—and we will prevail again”

    Maybe so, but not until we ADMIT that the CORE OF THE BODY POLITIC in the USA has been corrupted. TRUMP/PENCE/BANNON are only a BYPRODUCT of the corruption. Until that happens the POLITICAL RUNAROUND will continue.

    by’prod’uct n. anything produced in the course of making another thing
    run’a-round n. [Inf.] a series of evasions
    ~ Webster’s New World Dictionary

  4. “Wisdom [political] seems to come from being both an insider and an outsider from passing through the inside with eyes and ears wide open and returning to the outside to think and to write.”

    “Thinking the Twentieth Century” by Tony Judt and Timothy Snyder


    “To live in the process is absolutely not to notice it–please try to believe me–unless one has a much greater degree of political awareness, acuity, than most of us ever had occasion to develop. Each step was so small, so inconsequential, so well explained or, on occasion, ‘regretted.’

    Believe me this is true. Each act, each occasion is worse than the last, but only a little worse. You wait for the next and the next. You wait for one shocking occasion, thinking that others, when such a shock comes, will join you in resisting somehow.

    Suddenly it all comes down, all at once. You see what you are, what you have done, or, more accurately, what you haven’t done (for that was all that was required of most of us: that we did nothing)….You remember everything now, and your heart breaks. Too late. You are compromised beyond repair.”

    [A German professor describing the coming of fascism. An excerpt from “They Thought They Were Free: The Germans 1939-1945” by Milton Mayer]

  6. Interesting quote, Marv; if I am reading it correctly, this is why I mourn the loss of “real Republicans” due to working for Republican leadership in Indianapolis for 20 years where I saw the best and the worst. NO; I was not a Republican, I was an Independent voter till 2000. I hope I live long enough to have the confidence to again listen to and consider voting for the best woman or man, whether they be Democrat or Republican. I hold tightly to President Obama’s views and beliefs in his book, “The Audacity of Hope”. That audacity was that once again our elected officials from both parties could sit at the bargaining table and find solutions to our problems. Marv; do you believe either of us will see that happen?

    We can be assured it will not happen with the current administration; we desperately need a “Declaration Of Independence– From Trump” which will not happen unless and until Congress recognizes and adheres to the responsibilities assigned to it by the Constitution. Their empowerment was written into the Constitution to protect us from the Fascist tyranny we are now living under. And unless and until the current SCOTUS ceases to stand against our civil and human rights as Americans.

  7. Close behind the village idiot are the village puppets. The idiot proposes an idiotic idea … as idiots are expected to do. Then the idiot asks the puppets to stand behind him while pictures are taken … as puppets are expected to do. And this is the story of Fake President Trump. Why anybody listens to him and stands behind him are two of the world’s biggest mysteries.

  8. Paul,

    “Why anybody listens to him and stands behind him are two of the world’s biggest mysteries.”

    This is one good reason why the mystery in some quarters:


    by Chris Hedges

    01/06/05 “New York Times”—FRITZ STERN, a refugee from Hitler’s Germany and a leading scholar of European history, startled several of the listeners when he warned in a speech about the danger posed in this country by the rise of the Christian right. In his address in November, just after he received a prize presented by the German foreign minister, he told his audience that Hitler saw himself as “the instrument of providence” and fused his “racial dogma with a Germanic Christianity.”

    “Some people recognized the moral perils of mixing religion and politics,” he said of prewar Germany, but many more were seduced by it. It was the pseudo-religious transfiguration of politics that largely ensured his success, notably in Protestant areas.”

    Thus the need of Mike Pence as Trump’s running mate. That shouldn’t be a mystery.

  9. People should be made aware of the case, Bailey, et al v United States, et al, pending before the United States Supreme Court, docket 16-1464. In a Petition for Writ of Mandamus, Petitioners—my clients—seek appointment of a Special Master to conduct an independent investigation and, if the report of the Special Master supports the conclusion the election was stolen, the election be declared void. If you think this sounds fallacious, you should read the last ten or so blogs at my website, civildiscoursenow dot com. The case is scheduled for conference at the Court on September 25. A 1976 District Court case articulated the basis, in the Federal courts’ equitable jurisdiction, to void a Presidential election. I am counsel of record for Petitioners in Bailey.

  10. Standing with and resisting is fine. I will stand and I will resist, but what we need is to vote. If we could get half of the people who have not voted to show up and vote, their would be a landslide like we have never imagined. Let’s focus our standing and resisting on getting those people to vote. That will bring change. Anything short of an increased turnout is simply a dilettante’s dream of change.

  11. Charlie has it right. We must defend our democracy by vacating the couch on election day and going to the polls to put an end to this idiocy. As for Bailey et al. v. U.S., I fear greatly that the court will find as it usually does, i.e., that it is a political matter beyond the court’s jurisdiction to decide, thus kicking the can down the road – as usual – the court’s equitable jurisdiction nothwithstanding. Good luck on the conference, and as an aside, I resigned from the Supreme Court bar folling Bush v. Gore, the third worst decision the court has ever made, surpassed only by Dred Scott and Citizens United.

  12. Yes, we need to vote so let’s make sure it gets easier instead of harder to vote. Mail in voting anyone?

    Yes, the 2016 election should be considered null and void and another election should be conducted. I so agree like I’ve said many times on this page, I do not accept that the Russians stopped short of changing votes on November 8th. I just can’t accept that line of thinking.


  13. HERE ARE THE REAL WORDS….and we did it in 2016: 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 shewn, 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.–

  14. Has anyone else noticed how much Gen. John Kelly has aged over recent weeks; since being appointed Trump’s Chief of Staff? Will this result in becoming his death sentence. I saw a photo yesterday and could not believe it was the same man. Can you even imagine being in intimate contact with Trump, his offspring and those in-laws, the treacherous appointees with our Congress sitting idly by allowing their rampage and looting our tax base for their personal pleasure? Should we be watching Gen. Kelly closely for signs of physically failing due to the stress. For many years we have watched our presidents age monthly; think of youthful President Obama eight years ago and his grey hairs today. Trump appears to be thriving on the chaos (and getting fatter)…and those tax dollar paid for golf outings, hotel rooms and restaurant meals for his entourage (including Secret Service protection for each of them) at businesses he owns and is getting richer due to the business he brings along with him on every trip. Should we include Gen. Kelly in our need for a “Declaration of Independence – From Trump”?

  15. Mark,

    Good Luck! Make sure you’ve COLLECTED ALL THE DOTS. I attended a conference in New York back in 2004 on mobilizing to impeach President George Bush. It was sponsored by the Atlantic Monthly Magazine. You might want to get hold of the the transcript (tapes). There’s much more than just the legal aspects in order to be successful.

    A good example would be the media both foreign and domestic.

    You need more than 10 bloggers supporting your efforts. You need MILLIONS. Then the Court might have to take you SERIOUSLY. That’s not impossible if the PR is handled appropriately.

    Unfortunately, there wasn’t enough PUBLIC support to impeach George Bush. That DOT was missing. As you know there’s a big difference between George Bush and Donald Trump.

  16. Marv I think you have my e-mail, but I can’t find yours. E-mail me, if you could, and I’ll send you my cell # and I can ask a few questions. Need all the help we can get.

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