The past is not dead. It is not even past, as earnest historians (presumably progressive) attempt to revise the Declaration of Independence. From the Times:
Every Fourth of July, some Americans sit down to read the Declaration of Independence, reacquainting themselves with the nation’s founding charter exactly as it was signed by the Second Continental Congress in 1776.
Or almost exactly? A scholar is now saying that the official transcript of the document produced by theNational Archives and Records Administrationcontains a significant error — smack in the middle of the sentence beginning “We hold these truths to be self-evident,” no less.
The error, according to Danielle Allen, a professor at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, N.J., concerns a period that appears right after the phrase “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” in the transcript, but almost certainly not, she maintains, on the badly faded parchment original.
That errant spot of ink, she believes, makes a difference, contributing to what she calls a “routine but serious misunderstanding” of the document.
The period creates the impression that the list of self-evident truths ends with the right to “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness,” she says. But as intended by Thomas Jefferson, she argues, what comes next is just as important: the essential role of governments — “instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed” — in securing those rights.
“The logic of the sentence moves from the value of individual rights to the importance of government as a tool for protecting those rights,” Ms. Allen said. “You lose that connection when the period gets added.”
The story reviews her very impressive detective work and concludes with her perspective:
“We are having a national conversation about the value of government, and it does get connected to our founding documents,” she said. “We should get right what’s in them.”
Oh, brother. Progressives are about to ener their Blue Period and righties are about a week away from being labelled 'period deniers'.
I should add something about 'who controls the present controls the past and who controls the past controls the future'. But the future is now!
ERRATA: The text in question is in italics:
The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America,
When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
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.
IN OTHER NEWS: A timely surprise for libs was found in a recently discovered version of Lincoln's handwritten Gettysburg Address:
...testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure without national single payer health care.