For most of us, the idea that “governments derive their only just powers from the consent of the governed,” a central tenet of the Declaration of Independence (a.k.a., the reason you’re not working tomorrow), is taken as a given. But a surprisingly large contingent of Americans — 13 percent, according to Rasmussen — disagrees with that philosophy, apparently preferring tyrannical governments which wield power over their people through terror and violence. They must be very disappointed by all those elections we’re having all the time! Another 17 percent are “undecided,” which probably just means they couldn’t follow the question and/or zoned out.
Whatever the case, the Founders, who possessed not just a profound understanding of history but a firm commitment to the Enlightenment and the possibility of human progress, would likely be rather disappointed that so many Americans, well over two centuries after they launched their revolution of democratic governance, don’t understand what they did — nor what America truly means.