Let's not mince words; the American experiment that began 234 years ago is at a critical juncture.
It was in critical danger in the 1860's and the Civil War but with Lincoln at the helm, it was preserved.
As with all experiments it never was perfect. The founders knew it and were prescient in their writing of the Constitution whereby it could be amended as the times and new conditions demanded.
They therefore created a system with three branches of government that would serve to check and balance the others so no one branch could dominate without the ability to be overruled by the other branches.
But today the Legislative branch of the republican form of representative government the founders devised has become dysfunctional and corrupted by big moneyed and special interests. The people's representatives have become sycophants beholden to those interests that underwrite their campaigns. They no longer serve the people.
The Judicial branch lead by the Supreme Court was intended to protect, defend and be the final word of the rule of law embedded in the Constitution. But today it acts to sanctify the power and influence of the big moneyed and special interests. Its ruling in the "Citizens United" v/s "FEC" case one year ago gave corporations (an artifice created by man) the rights and status of a citizen protected by the 1st Amendment right of freedom of speech. It is an incorrect interpretation and serves to overwhelm the election process to favor the aforementioned interests. The interests of the people are all but nullified by this ruling.
The Executive branch in the form of the President has become all powerful. It is the president that takes the country to war. The Congress has abrogated its duty as the sole body responsible to declare war by rubber stamping the executives call for war. Through the illegal manifestation of something called the "unitary executive" (not found anywhere in the Constitution) the president alone has authorized torture, warrantless wiretapping of citizens, the indefinite detention of suspects and the suspension of Habeas Corpus, the extraordinary rendition of anyone anywhere, even the ordering of assassination of an American citizen.
We have become an empire with only the trappings of a republic remaining. The new "Rome" with bases worldwide and in endless unnecessary war that feeds the maw of the military/industrial/political complex as well as the other big corporate behemoths that benefit from our imperialism.
It is all cloaked in the name of bringing "freedom and democracy", the propaganda fed to the American people but known unmistakably by the people we invade and occupy, the corrupt regimes we sponsor and the innocents we maim and kill in drone strikes and missile attacks as the hated Americans.
This state of affairs didn't happen overnight. It has evolved over the last 65 years in the aftermath of W.W. II as the unrivaled superpower (despite the temporary 45 year cold war with the now defunct Soviet Union) determined to exercise hegemony over the world.
Yet ironically, it all could be rectified. What is written in the Declaration and the Constitution are the ways and means to reclaim our country and restore the idea of, by and for the people.
However, that can only happen by the people. Do we have the will and courage to do it?
I suggest we begin by participating in the veteran led anti war civil resistance action at the White House December 16 (for more information go to stopthesewars.com).
Let it be the day we the people acted, a declaration to begin to reclaim our country.