“When in the course of human events….” With these words, Thomas Jefferson introduced a justification for Great Britain’s American colonies to declare themselves independent. In so doing, Jefferson acknowledged the history of human events is indeed a course, a flowing stream. Where we are today is a product of our upstream past. And what mankind does “now” will influence human events downstream, in the future.

The Declaration then presented a series of grievances against the monarch ruling Great Britain — and its American colonies, King George III. Truthfully, many of the causes for complaint could be attributed to the British Parliament, which exercised constraints on the King, and was responsible for taxation and other policies. Still, it was convenient to focus the colonies’ ire on a single head of state, and it was an understandable result of the human events leading up to the period.

The preceding century had seen the decline of the doctrine of the “divine right of kings,” which had treated challenges to the inherited privilege and absolute authority of rulers punishable as an offense against God. Yet, the traditional view that “the king can do no wrong” persisted. Meanwhile, political writers began speaking of governments existing by the consent of the governed, and of the rights of the governed to replace governments that don’t properly serve them. This set the background for Jefferson’s Declaration, and informed the framers of our Constitution. Reacting to the perceived abuses of monarchies, the Constitution established an elected president whose powers were balanced by those of a Legislature and a Supreme Court.

George Washington, also wary of a too-powerful ruler, rejected opportunities to become one himself. In 1782, a fellow officer, disgruntled over Congress’ difficulty in assuring promised pensions, suggested a scheme for Washington’s becoming king of the emerging nation. This might have appeased the Tories, who had remained loyal to the Crown through the revolution. But Washington sharply, unequivocally rebuked the officer, then resigned as commander-in-chief of the Army soon after the 1783 peace treaty secured our independence. After election as our first president, followed by a unanimous electoral vote awarding him a second term in 1792, Washington declined to seek a third term, establishing a tradition that survived for more than a century. In 1951, the 26th Amendment limited presidents to two terms, well before term limits became common at lower levels of government.

So another Fourth of July passes, and we still have no king. Yet. However, there seem to be latter-day “Tories” who suggest our president is God-ordained, should be unchallengeable, unfettered by other governmental structures and unconstrained by the laws applicable to the rest of the population, and should be able to rule beyond two terms, even for life.

As George Santayana famously stated, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” We’re not destined to literal re-runs of history, but we can only avoid making the same mistakes if we recall their harsh lessons. Or we can “Make America Monarchic Again.”

Jack Evins lives in Galveston.

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(17) comments

Charles Douglas

Yeah Oh well! I guess you are another one of those who cannot get over the 2016 election results!! Hey, you and others might as well get over it! I don't see any of you accomplishing anything to change it. Yall have spent billions and billions of dollars with untold, powerful, and biased resources trying to set President Trump up for failure and he only succeeds in what he does. Funny thing about that is, out of all the so called SMART PEOPLE coming against him, excoriating his every move, and verifying him at every turn, NOBODY has put a glove on him! It is time for SOMMEBODY, ANYBODY, ....to ask why is that? Lolol. I worked on a job once....so many years ago, and I was not very popular. The thing nobody could figure was instead of getting fired, I kept getting promoted!!!!Lolol. The Democratic party in this country deals in constant hateful rhetoric, in dealing with President Trump, and the Mass Media is their partner in crime! What? You think Trump will love them for grinding on him and his family and administration 24/7? Don't work that way, Sorry! Congress has an obligation to change our immigration laws to better protect this country and it's citizens. Are they doing that? @&'ll Naw they are not! They are to busy trying to harvest African-American and Hispanic VOTES by giving free college, free Medicare, Reparations for descendants of slaves, this and that,.....trying to ascertain power to wreck this country by adopting Socialism! They're using Climate-change, and FEAR as the centerpiece of their pleas to the public in order to get the votes. I'll say this one more time, Trump is only guilty of NOT BEING A MEMBER OF THE DC SWAMP! HE is UNPREDICTABLE. He scares people! He scares Democrats, Allies, and our enemies!! Lolo

Steve Fouga

Are you a real person? You seem too over-the-top to be real. It's almost like the paper noticed the conservative side of the forum was getting pushed around a little too much, and launched a shill to keep the arguments hot. It's not working. You're not believable.

Carlos Ponce

The real question is, "Is Steve Fouga a real person?" [wink]

Steve Fouga

A resounding yes, for that one! I just got some DNA results that are very interesting, and definitely show a human lineage.

Carlos Ponce

Steve, did you find the "Liberal gene" in your DNA profile? Is so, there's a cure.

Steve Fouga

"Steve, did you find the "Liberal gene" in your DNA profile?" Heck yes! Conservative, too, in about equal quantities. What was really interesting, Carlos, (seriously) is that I'm my own personal microcosm of the American racial experience. My oldest ancestors detectable in the test are Ashkenazi Jewish, Senegambian, and Guinean, dating from the 1690s to the 1780s. From the 1720s to the 1810s, Ghanaian, Liberian, Sierra Leonean, Italian, Native American, and Eastern European. From the 1810s to the 1870s, Scandinavian, British, Irish, French and German entered the picture. Mid-1800s to early 20th century, Spanish and Portuguese. I have no idea which among these, if any, were legal immigrants, but it does appear my ancestors were on both sides of the slave trade. No doubt true of 10s of millions of us, here in the Melting Pot.

Charles Douglas

What's not believable sir? The Democrats wanting to give African-Americans reparations? Democrats wanting to give everybody FREE HEATHCARE, MEDICARE, AND COLLEGE money? What's not real? That the Democrats, Rhinos, Mass Media, DC SWAMP, have perpetuated fraud, hoax, or lie of the highest order for over two and a half years to harrass, and railroad President DJ TRUMP out of office with no laws broken? Maybe its not true that the Democrats are NOT PANDERING for the minority votes by offering all that FREE stuff they can't pay for? That right? So I fail to see what you are talking about although I realize you felt like you were punched in the gut because you hollered!!! LOLO. I will give you a smidgen of credit though, that was a cute little post you came with! You remind me of a poster I use to deal with on this forum some years back before you came along. Again your post was cute.......but didn't have no play. I digress. Lolo

Steve Fouga

"Again your post was cute.......but didn't have no play." Admit it. It was a great post. I caught you, you're a fake. If you're a real person, I apologize to you, Sir, for questioning your reality. I'm watching, though, for evidence of unsubstantiated ranting, sagacity combined with fakey backwoodsiness, lousy grammar combined with good grammar, overuse of caps lock, etc. Not that it matters, of course, it's just an Internet forum. [cool]

Charles Hughes

LOL

Carlos Ponce

"Yet. However, there seem to be latter-day 'Tories' who suggest our president is God-ordained, should be unchallengeable, Blah, Blah, Blah" Looks like someone's been drinking the Left wing kool-aid to come up with such a convoluted statement. Trump tweeted out a video to poke fun at all who believe that.

Michael Byrd

It must have been slim pickin’s for guest columns to print this. It is the biggest “nothing” article I’ve seen in a while. I half way expected an accompanying color by numbers graphic.

Bailey Jones

You know, the biggest difference between conservatives and progressives? Progressives can laugh at themselves. From the Capital Steps on NPR, July 4th - The AOC song - I am the very model of a modern major liberal I think that corporations and big profits should be minimal With open US borders there'll be no illegal aliens You'll get a tax deduction only if you're vegetarian... I'm very well acquainted with the reasons we have rich and poor Our problems would be solved if we just banned all guns I'm pretty sure Progressives will soon find a way to raise the wage you're living on If you're a millionaire I will tax you unto oblivion.... Our justice system must be changed I want to write some drastic laws Death penalty will be reserved for people who use plastic straws In short in matters foreign or domestic or political I am the very model of a modern major liberal... I'm learning about congress though you think that my agenda's strange but we will all be dead in 12 years if we don't fix climate change My Green New Deal is gonna pass, Big Oil will be smarting now As soon as we can figure out a cure for all those farting cows... I think the GOP and Trump are totally unbearable Would being socialistic like Venezuela be so terrible? You think that Medicare for all is something not affordable But that's before you met a Marxist this freaking adorable... I think it's time for old white men in government to hit the bricks This congress now likes vaping, avocado toast and selfie sticks In short in dealing with the future and most things in general I am the very model of a modern major liberal!

Charles Douglas

"Admit it. It was a great post. I caught you, you're a fake. If you're a real person, I apologize to you." Here we go again with with the distractions and changing the subject of what is important. I noticed through all your attempts at vilifying me, by my overuse of CAPS, my lousy grammar, you did not answer what was fake or untrue about the conduct of Democrats PANDERING for the minority votes by offering free Medicare, free college money for everybody. One candidate is offering one thousand dollars per month to everybody, and just about all of them signed on the reparation hoax! How about proving you are a real person and answering the questions I have resubmitted. I admitt you have me curious, because one of the left's greatest moves is to accuse others of doing exactly what they do. So lets hear your explanations!!!! Maybe you can quit being funny and explain, and maybe not. Lolo

Steve Fouga

You can call it pandering, or you can call it providing rationale for why a vote should be cast. Just because you disagree with said rationale doesn't mean it lacks appeal to the voters being courted. So of course the Dems are "pandering" for votes; that's what politicians do. A candidate who doesn't "pander" for votes has absolutely no chance, NONE. If you don't consider what President Trump does at his campaign rallies to be "pandering" to his base, you're either not paying attention, or you're brainwashed. Chill out, don't get pissed at candidates doing what candidates do, and just cast your vote as you see fit.

Charles Douglas

Yes sir, I fully intend to do just as you mentioned...and cast my vote, but before I do that, I intend to support my candidates financially and any other way possible, to keep the left from killing and destroying America. I will leave you with this promise, when President Trump kick the behind off the Ill-prepared and pathetic candidate that you guys put against him in 2020, please don't come with the same old unconscionable excuses yall spewed on the world in 2016 because Trump destroyed y'all candidate. Do us all that kindness. Now I really have to move on.I'm not going to convince you, but come 2020 Trump and his brainwashed deplorables will show you far better than I can tell you. So we shall see!!!

Steve Fouga

i have to say I'm relieved, but what are you moving on to? [whistling]

Charles Hughes

Mybrother really has the faux news talking points down pat.

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