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Heil Harvard!

Where is the 2023 Version of the 56 Signers of The Declaration of Independence?

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Townhall.com.

There is a very telling scene in the 2004 blockbuster movie titled National Treasure – a film which depicts a plot to steal The Declaration of Independence in order to protect it – where the Benjamin Franklin Gates character – played by Nicholas Cage is speaking to the Riley Poole character – played by Justin Bartha – as both men stand on the floor of the National Archives looking down at the original copy of The Declaration.  


While staring at the most important document in our history, the Gates character says: “Of all the words written here about freedom, there’s a line here that’s at the heart of all the others. ‘But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object, evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their duty to throw off such government and provide new guards for their future security.’” 

Riley then looks at Gates in confusion. “No idea what you said.” 

Gates then clears it up for him: “It means, if there’s something wrong, those who have the ability to take action have the responsibility to take action.”  

Late last week, with that very subject in mind, I had a call from a former high level U.S. government official and now very successful businessperson who basically pleaded over the phone: “You have to write about this. You have a voice. You wrote a book seeking to protect the 56 Signers of the Declaration of Independence and the 4th of July from cancellation. The Republic those men created is now literally falling apart before our eyes. We are losing our country. Where are 56 such people today to act as one to save the greatest nation on the face of the earth?” 

It was – and is -- a critically important question. 

What set this person off was the latest banking crisis exacerbated by the failure – and highly suspect bailout – of Silicon Valley Bank and the negative ripples washing over our greater financial system.  


For this person, it became the last straw laid atop our collapsed southern border; the watering-down and weakening of our military, police, firefighters, pilots, air traffic controllers, and utility companies via far-left-woke policies; the mass destruction of our major cities via far-left-woke policies; the mass indoctrination of our colleges and universities via far-left-woke policies; the stripping of parental rights with regard to the education of their children; the destruction of our fossil fuel industry – and the life-blood of our nation -- via far-left-woke policies; the hijacking of our three-letter agencies by the far-left; the mass destruction of our corporations via the dictates of social justice activism, identity politics, DEI (Diversity, Equity, Inclusion), ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance), and the ever-changing definition of “Climate Change”; the hijacking of science and medicine by the far-left; turning a blind-eye to China’s massive power-grab because they have become the paymasters to so many on the left; the smearing of our American heroes and censorship of our American history; and the increasing attacks on traditional faith.  

There are of course, many more, but that list alone is enough to help to bring down our nation. So, then the logical and common-sense question becomes: who – to the point of Benjamin Franklin Gates -- will save us before we replicate the Fall of the Roman Empire and are destroyed from within?  


Over the last number of years, I have written repeatedly about my belief that what has most contributed to the toxic corrosion of our nation from within has been the far left gaining a vice-like grip on what I call the five major megaphones of our nation. Those being: the media, academia, entertainment, science, and medicine.  

As I have also stressed, within our nation, there are Republicans, conservatives, and people of traditional faith who collectively are worth over $1 Trillion. As in over one thousand billion dollars. 

And yet, most choose to remain silent for a host of reasons.  

As they do, I would remind them of a few lines from the famous speech delivered by Teddy Roosevelt on April 23, 1910, in Paris titled “Citizenship in a Republic.” A speech now much better known as the “Man in the Arena.”  

Stressed Roosevelt in part: “It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again...but who does actually strive to do the deeds...who spends himself in a worthy cause...and who at worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”  


Again, collectively, there are men and women of substantial means who have the “ability to take action” on the floor of the arena and not stay in the shadows of the stands “with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”  

How? To start, by investing in or creating their own megaphones of power. Not, by the way, to turn them into “conservative” propaganda echo-chambers. That would be just as wrong and just as vile as what the left is now doing.  But rather, to create honest and truthful sites and institutions where all people are welcome, and all thoughts are allowed to be expressed without fear of reprisal or cancellation.  

As a recent example -- and a quite heroic action in my opinion considering the attacks and threats he is facing from some on the left – we have Elon Musk acquiring Twitter. A site that was actively censoring Republican, conservative, and faith-based voices.  

The destruction of our nation from within has been decades in the making. Nothing is going to change overnight. 

But one thing is certain. If those who do have the ability to effect change don’t take the responsibility to bring about that positive change – such as creating fair, non-indoctrinated colleges and universities, entertainment platforms, social media outlets, and science and medicine institutions dedicated to actual science and medicine – then the destruction of our nation from within with exponentially accelerate. 


Knowing that, are there 55 other new Founding Fathers and Mothers out there willing to join Musk on the floor of that arena? 

We need them now more than ever. 

Douglas MacKinnon is a former White House and Pentagon official and author of the book: The 56 – Liberty Lessons from those who risked all to sign The Declaration of Independence.  


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