Bob Franken

It’s always good to reflect on history and how it would unfold in modern times. Obviously, July 4th offers an opportunity to ponder whether the entire impact of the Declaration of Independence would have survived in an internet nation, festering with blogs, Facebooks and yes, Twitter. To be sure it has all kinds of snappy phrases that could easily be reduced to the 140 letter limit.

“—all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights—Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness”

That certainly works , although we’d obviously want to change all the references to just the guys.

“Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed—”

is another one of those that with the gender tweak, would make a mighty fine tweet.

It would not all be tweetness and light. Already, the bloggers would be going bonkers over

“All” (whatever)” are created equal”.

They would thunder that it’s reverse discrimination” against those who have benefited from inequality, just like they do when they’re opposing any affirmative action effort.

As the debate raged on Thomas Jefferson would certainly be describing his discomfort on his Facebook page.

“It is sooooo hot in here. They don’t even have air conditioning in this place”

Still there’s progress. Actually it would be much much easier today. The 1776 pre-web Declaration gives a detailed list of complaints about the King of England. One of them was how

“He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable and distant—”

That gripe hasn’t changed all that much. Have you ever been to Washington in summer? Be that as it may, in this age of superficiality, we wouldn’t want to deal with such substance—any substance, actually. We’d suffice with something like

“We’re mad as hell and we’re not going to take it anymore”

Or maybe
“Change we can believe in”

Each would come well below a hundred 40 letters. So would the big finish:

“—we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor.”

All that would be left would be a spell-check which would catch “purfuit”. Finally we could hit the “Send” button.

Then would come the biggest job in these modern times, which would be to explain what they meant by the term “sacred honor”

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