It's been 236 years. Along with the other framers, I just wanted to say: Well done. You guys nailed it.
Back when we presented our little list of complaints to the British Empire, we had a vision of the kind of country we'd like to create. Unalienable rights. Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness. Governments deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. It was pretty wild, radical stuff back then. But we never imagined how perfectly you folks would bring it off!
Hundreds of military installations all over the world. A network of spies almost completely beyond democratic control. A Defense Department that spends billions in black budget programs to fund armies of secret soldiers. And of course, a horde of blue-shirted thugs harassing disabled people, old people, breast cancer survivors, and a seven year-old girl with cerebral palsy. Wow. Just... wow. That's exactly what we all were thinking about, way back when.
When we complained about George III's standing armies and his attempts "to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil power," what we really meant was we wanted to create our own force and scatter it throughout 130 countries. You people must have read our goddamn minds!
And when we griped about the king "imposing taxes on us without our Consent" to pay for his foreign military interventions, we never could have come up with the solution you devised. The idea of racking up trillion dollar deficits - essentially a Stamp Act every year on the nations' kids. It's simple. It's elegant. And it fixes itself. I mean, by the time they get old enough to vote, they'll be so far into the hole they'll just have to choose more of the same (until something Truly Bad happens, but let's not be negative about it). Way to go, America.
Finally we were really, really steamed about... well, here's the text:
He is, at this Time, transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the Works of Death, Desolation, and Tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty and Perfidy, scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous Ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized Nation.
You people understood that what motivated that sentence was pure jealousy. Man, we just wanted to get in on that action. Having private companies running around other countries kidnapping people, and torturing or even killing them makes us think we've finally got a real nation here. Sure people around the world used to be inspired by our liberties - so inspired that another country once gave us this. But isn't being known for our fleet of terrifying flying robots killing people without warning so much cooler?
So here's to the day when America stood up to an arrogant, bloody empire... and showed them how it's done. Am I right? Drinks all around, you crazy bastards. Drinks all around.
(NOTE: This is cross-posted at my dark blog, Goblinbooks).