Would YOU sign the Declaration of Independence?

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So asks Advocates for Self-Government, in a recent emailed fundraising appeal:

Dear fellow lover of liberty,
Would you sign the Declaration of Independence?
I’m betting that you would!

Not me. This is one source of our current troubles–a utopian experiment that led to the central-state-empowering Constitution, to democracy and to the abolition of monarchies, to the Civil War and greater centralism, to American entry into WWI, to the punitive Treaty of Versailles, and thus to the rise of German nationalism and Hitler and WWII, tens of millions dead and the Holocaust, nuclear bombings of Japan, the Cold War, etc.

No thanks. Give me back the modest taxes under King George III, and rule from over the Atlantic.Update: A reader emailed me:

Don’t forget the great irony that a country settled by puritans who were not allowed to cruelly enforce their code on their country men, and by criminals who could not abide the rule of law, came across the sea to live in a land where they rose up to be slaveowners who yearned to be free (of the British). There were a few great spokesmen and thinkers to be sure, and some of their deeds were heroic, but if we are to judge them by the company they keep and their actions alone, from a truly outside perspective, it is difficult to find much that is admirable about the founding fathers.

10:22 pm on April 3, 2009
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