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America in decline: Revolution redux?

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Tuesday, July 2, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

“Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient Causes,” wrote Thomas Jefferson in the Declaration of Independence.

But, he added, it is the citizens' duty to fight despotism, “to throw off such Government and to provide new Guards for their future Security.”

Is America at that point again? Is it the time, from the “time to time” to which Mr. Jefferson referred several years later, for “the tree of liberty” to be “refreshed ... with the blood of patriots and tyrants”?

Former avowed liberal but now popular conservative/libertarian pundit Roger L. Simon pondered just that scenario this week in a posting on his popular site. And his partial bill of contemporary particulars is no less onerous than that of the Founders:

• An “incompetent presidency” burdened by “an unprecedented number of scandals”

• The “looming monster of monsters, ObamaCare,” which few wanted and few understand but stands to bankrupt us;

• The “totalitarianism” of the Internal Revenue Service, “a kind of post-modern American Gestapo, asking not just to examine our accounting books but the books we read.”

“Everywhere we look this July 4th sees a great civilization in decline,” Mr. Simon writes. “Tahrir Square anyone?”

Or as Jefferson put it, in 1787, “(W)hat country can preserve its liberties if their rulers are not warned from time to time that their people preserve the spirit of resistance?”


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