Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Quote of the Day #2: The Declaration of Independence

 

“The Declaration of Independence is not only an American document. It follows on Magna Carta and the Bill of Rights as the third great title-deed on which the liberties of the English-speaking people are founded. By it we lost an Empire, but by it we also preserved an Empire. By applying its principles and learning its lesson we have maintained our communion with the powerful Commonwealths our children have established beyond the seas…We therefore join in perfect sincerity and simplicity with our American kith and kin in celebrating the auspicious and glorious anniversary of their nationhood.” – Winston Churchill, July 4, 1918

His words are just as true today as when he said them 101 years and two days ago. The Declaration of Independence and the Constitution may now seem as if they are under siege, but the were under siege by those who hate liberty when they were written and have remained under siege ever since.

If those now attacking them seem more shrill and more fevered than they have in the past, that is in part because they are more desperate. They saw victory snatched from them with the defeat of Hillary Clinton and now fear if the party of slavery loses next fall that victory will be denied them for at least another generation. So they are trying to make patriotism and a love of our country’s heritage seem evil.

Published in History
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There are 10 comments.

  1. James Gawron Thatcher

    Seawriter: If those now attacking them seem more shrill and more fevered than they have in the past, that is in part because they are more desperate. They saw victory snatched from them with the defeat of Hillary Clinton and now fear if the party of slavery loses next fall that victory will be denied them for at least another generation. So they are trying to make patriotism and a love of our country’s heritage seem evil.

    Sea,

    I just put this clip up on another post but it seems most appropriate on yours.

    THE DEVIL AND DANIEL WEBSTER

    https://youtu.be/RBRrzz3FM_E

    To win your case you’ve got to close strong.

    Regards,

    Jim

    • #1
    • July 5, 2019, at 12:13 PM PST
    • 7 likes
  2. Susan Quinn Contributor

    Seawriter: If those now attacking them seem more shrill and more fevered than they have in the past, that is in part because they are more desperate.

    I would like to think this is true, @seawriter. And I hope they feel even more fearful in the months to come! I always appreciate a Churchill quote.

    • #2
    • July 5, 2019, at 12:30 PM PST
    • 6 likes
  3. EJHill Podcaster

    “The price of greatness is responsibility. If the people of the United States had continued in a mediocre station, struggling with the wilderness, absorbed in their own affairs, and a factor of no consequence in the movement of the world, they might have remained forgotten and undisturbed beyond their protecting oceans: but one cannot rise to be in many ways the leading community in the civilised world without being involved in its problems, without being convulsed by its agonies and inspired by its causes.

    “If this has been proved in the past, as it has been, it will become indisputable in the future. The people of the United States cannot escape world responsibility. Although we live in a period so tumultuous that little can be predicted, we may be quite sure that this process will be intensified with every forward step the United States make in wealth and in power…

    “We do not war primarily with races as such. Tyranny is our foe, whatever trappings or disguise it wears, whatever language it speaks, be it external or internal, we must forever be on our guard, ever mobilised, ever vigilant, always ready to spring at its throat. In all this, we march together. Not only do we march and strive shoulder to shoulder at this moment under the fire of the enemy on the fields of war or in the air, but also in those realms of thought which are consecrated to the rights and the dignity of man.”

    Winston Churchill at Harvard, 1943

    • #3
    • July 5, 2019, at 1:21 PM PST
    • 8 likes
  4. Vectorman Thatcher

    Winston Churchill was elected an MP in 1900 as Conservative, then defected to the Liberals in 1904. In 1917, he returned to government under the Liberal PM David Lloyd George.

    The quote above shows that “Classical Liberals” like Churchill were reasonable people, unlike today’s Leftists.


    The Quote of the Day series is the easiest way to start a fun conversation on Ricochet. We have many days available on the July Signup Sheet. We even include tips for finding great quotes, so choose your favorite quote and sign up today!

    • #4
    • July 5, 2019, at 1:24 PM PST
    • 5 likes
  5. Randy Webster Member

    EJHill (View Comment):
    intensified with every forward step the United States make in wealth and in power…

    Churchill understood Federalism better than many Americans.

    • #5
    • July 5, 2019, at 2:07 PM PST
    • 5 likes
  6. Mark Camp Member

    Mr. Churchill,

    Thanks for your good wishes. I have this reply.

    The Declaration of Independence is not only an American document.

    It is only an American document. It is an absolute, implacable, revolutionary rejection of your ideology, what you call “Tory Democracy.”

    It follows on Magna Carta and the Bill of Rights as the third great title-deed…

    It isn’t the third of anything. It is the first of something. Unlike your English documents, it doesn’t document the grant of some gift of rights by the class of Kings to the class of nobles, or of your class to the class of commoners. In fact, it doesn’t document the grant of anything from any superior class to any inferior class. It documents the claims of the single class of individual human beings, creatures not of you, but of the very God who created even you, whom you have rejected, as against the proud claims of your vain, bloodthirsty, greedy class.

    …on which the liberties of the English-speaking people are founded.

    It isn’t a Declaration of the liberties of your preferred, supreme hereditary subclass of your preferred, supreme racial class of Englishmen. In fact, it isn’t a Declaration of the liberties of any class at all. It is a Declaration of independence from you and your class, and every other class: yours, Hitler’s, Mao’s, Bernie Sanders’s.

    By it we lost an Empire,

    That’s true. You imperialists have lost your Empire, praise God.

    …but by it we also preserved an Empire.

    You’ve not. We are no longer your colony.

    By applying its principles and learning its lesson we have maintained our communion with the powerful Commonwealths our children have established beyond the seas…

    We aren’t your children, except by accident of birth. We are your mortal foe.

    We therefore join in perfect sincerity and simplicity with our American kith and kin in celebrating the auspicious and glorious anniversary of their nationhood. –Winston Churchill, July 4, 1918

    Thanks.

    • #6
    • July 5, 2019, at 4:57 PM PST
    • 2 likes
  7. Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… Member

    Mark, I’m not sure if you’re trolling or not.

    If not, I disagree with just about everything that you wrote. By Churchill’s time, British Tories had pretty much come over to our side about everything. Even the monarchy was just ceremonial and symbolic. Our Declaration was an assertion of what the Founders considered to be the rights of Englishmen, in opposition to a tyrannical (and Germanic) king.

    Even the Empire of Churchill’s day was a pretty good thing, on balance. It’s been quite a nuisance for us, since we forced the dissolution of the British and French Empires, and found: (1) that this played into the hands of the Communists, and (2) that we had to step into the void to preserve order.

    • #7
    • July 6, 2019, at 8:18 AM PST
    • 6 likes
  8. Gary Robbins Reagan

    I was confused when I read the quote from Churchill, where he had the Declaration of Independence third after the Magna Carta, and the Bill of Rights. Didn’t our Bill of Rights come after the Declaration of Independence and then the U.S. Constitution?

    So I looked it up. England enacted a Bill of Rights a hundred years before we did. According to Wikipedia at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bill_of_Rights_1689:

    The Declaration of Right was enacted in an Act of Parliament, the Bill of Rights 1689, which received the Royal Assent in December 1689.[16] The Act asserted “certain ancient rights and liberties” by declaring that:[17]

    • the pretended power of suspending the laws and dispensing with[nb 2] laws by regal authority without consent of Parliament is illegal;
    • the commission for ecclesiastical causes is illegal;
    • levying taxes without grant of Parliament is illegal;
    • it is the right of the subjects to petition the king, and prosecutions for such petitioning are illegal;
    • keeping a standing army in time of peace, unless it be with consent of Parliament, is against law;[nb 3]
    • Protestants may have arms for their defence suitable to their conditions and as allowed by law;
    • election of members of Parliament ought to be free;
    • the freedom of speech and debates or proceedings in Parliament ought not to be impeached or questioned in any court or place out of Parliament;
    • excessive bail ought not to be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted;
    • jurors in trials for high treason ought to be freeholders;
    • promises of fines and forfeitures before conviction are illegal and void;
    • for redress of all grievances, and for the amending, strengthening and preserving of the laws, Parliaments ought to be held frequently.

    The Declaration of Independence refers to these rights by noting that they petitioned the King and sought a redress of grievances, consistent with the English Bill of Rights.

    • #8
    • July 7, 2019, at 1:48 PM PST
    • Like
  9. Mark Camp Member

    Gary Robbins (View Comment):
    The Declaration of Independence refers to these rights by noting that they petitioned the King and sought a redress of grievances, consistent with the English Bill of Rights.

    Correct. 

    Lest history think that a system of benevolent hereditary dictators was a reliable means of protecting human liberty, and judge that the Americans simply hadn’t followed prescribed procedures in asking for their masters to deliver on the favors they promised their them (their inferiors), in the English Bill of Rights (and the English Constitution in general…it was all of a piece), the Americans wanted to let it be known, one final time, that any system of despotism, of false claims of class superiority, did not and work and never would work as a practical substitute for a government created by the people themselves.

    The Declaration is a letter to History: the English Constitution is a phony constitution, a pseudo-liberal charade used to maintain the people in a state of subjugation.

    • #9
    • July 7, 2019, at 2:41 PM PST
    • Like
  10. Randy Webster Member

    Mark Camp (View Comment):
    The Declaration is a letter to History: the English Constitution is a phony constitution, a pseudo-liberal charade used to maintain the people in a state of subjugation.

    I’m not sure ours isn’t now.

    • #10
    • July 7, 2019, at 2:48 PM PST
    • Like