232 years ago tomorrow a small group of men got together and hammered out what would become the founding document of our great Democracy. 72 years later, another group, this time mostly women, but also a few men, gathered together to hammer out what would become the founding document of American Feminism.
The Declaration of Independence and the Declaration of Sentiments are two of the greatest political documents that citizens of this great country have ever produced, aside from our Constitution. They are worth reading again because they reach across the years and speak to us still. They speak to the thoroughly American notion that we, the people, should resist the forces of corruption and unrepresentative control. From our modern perch we can clearly hear the clarion call to our founding ideals: freedom for all people, and fairness for their lives. These ideals have become increasingly absent in our nation, and that fact now threatens the very foundation of the Democratic Party. That is how far we have fallen.
But tomorrow, another small group will release another document in another July. This document will speak to another kind of resistance against another form of corruption and unrepresentative control, this time against the Party that purports to preserve the ideals that Thomas Jefferson and Elizabeth Cady Stanton enshrined in their documents. Like Jefferson and Stanton, we say no deal to the status quo, and demand that our voices be heard and our concerns addressed.
With this document we present our major objections in language that is natural to the American intellect. We present our rational arguments and make our case for what must be done to resolve the issues borne of this campaign season, as well as the issues borne from years of Democratic acquiescence and inaction. We call this document The Declaration of Objections, and we will release it tonight at 12:01, in commemoration of the 4th of July holiday, and in the spirit of July 1848. It will be posted on this blog and on the blogs of anyone who wants a copy and contacts us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Like Martin Luther’s 95 theses, it will be posted without additional comment or explanation.
Call to Action
Like The Declaration of Independence and The Declaration of Sentiments, this document was originally authored by one author, and modified by others in agreement. The final document then is one of the community, and not the original author. When this document is posted tonight, it will be available for use without attribution. Claim it as your own, because it belongs to you, and you had a hand in shaping it.
And like the Declaration of Independence and the Declaration of Sentiments, change doesn’t just happen in the presence of text. It’s what people do with that text, the life they give it, how it changes them, and the facts on the ground that creates lasting change. So take this document, copy and paste it to as many places online as you can find. Print it out and mail it to your local congressional critters. Mail or e-mail copies to the DNC and the Obama campaign. Somebody, for goodness sakes, please e-mail a copy to Hillary Clinton.
And late Sunday night, after the sun has gone down, take a page from Martin Luther’s play book and print it out, take it down to your local Democratic Party Headquarters or your local Obama Campaign Headquarters and TAPE IT TO THEIR DOOR. Make sure it is there for them as a wake up call when they arrive for work on Monday morning. Make your voices heard by getting out and getting involved. It’s your movement. How are you going to move it?