Mercy Otis Warren, and calling the Declaration of Independence’s bluff.


We went for a walk, and saw children on a porch lighting minor league noisemakers.

D said, “Do you think if we asked those kids what July 4 meant, whether any of them would know?”

Nah. Neither the kids nor the nearby adults. But Charlie Pierce will take a stab at it.

It’s Time We Called the Declaration of Independence’s Bluff, by Charles P. Pierce (Esquire)

It’s the most American thing we can do.

Mercy Otis Warren suspected, as Herman Melville later would say outright, that the Declaration of Independence made the difference, that it not only was a statement of revolutionary principles, but that the statement was so profound that it could not be bound by the monochromatic and unisexual demographic of the people who signed it. She sensed that, at its heart, the Declaration was a self-perpetuating land mine in the history of the country that was just then coming to be …

… So, here’s to Mercy Otis Warren, and to Frederick Douglass, and to Susan B. and MLK and poor old LBJ, too, kickass women and kickass men who understood that we are children of Revolution, but that this Revolution was based on an enormous bluff that demands to be called by every American generation in its own way.