As we celebrate the 4th of July this year a thought occurs to me. What if the 13 colonies had to deal with the number of lobbyists we now have registered when they were trying to come up with an acceptable Declaration of Independence?
The delegates then meeting in Philadelphia would have to hold meetings on it.
The first spokesman would be president of the God Save the King Assn.
He would read from his notes, "Gentlemen, my organization opposes this Declaration as an affront to everything these great colonies stand for. It is full of accusations and half-truths about His Majesty. if this Declaration of Independence is passed, we will see nothing but those violence and a drop in the Gross National Product.
"This document invites anarchy. It is seditious and a call to overthrow the government by force. The God Save the King Assn. will not stand idly by and see it passed. We intend to raise a war chest to see that it is defeated. Anyone who votes for it will be opposed by our organization in any future elections."
The next witness would be the president of of the British-American Chamber of Commerce. "Gentlemen, I cannot tell you how strongly the British-American Chamber of Commerce feels about the Declaration of Independence. It is the most anti-business document ever presented to a legislative body.
"If it is passed by this Congress we can expect to see American businesses fail, factories shut down, a disastrous decline in trade that will lead to inflation, a balance of payments crisis, and an inevitable rise in the price of tea. While some charges against the King may by valid, we have to look at the big picture. The very life blood of our commerce is England. In order to do business with her we have to put up with some pretty inconveniences.
"It's true that taxes are high, but are thy going to become any lower if we break away from the mother country? Our economists estimate that an independent country will raise the base tax in this country by 30 percent. This tax will have to be passed on to the consumer. You people must come to your senses. The business community cannot afford a revolution.
"Before you vote on this, ask yourselves: 'Do we want liberty, justice and the pursuit of happiness, or do we want a sound and healthy economy?'"
A third witness would be the commander of the Veterans of the French and Indian Wars.
"I am here to speak for the soldiers who served His Majestu during the great North American war. We believe that the Declaration you are planning to sign is a left-wing radical plot, financed by unnamed European powers who have everything to gain and nothing to lose by the States and Britain going at each other's throats. We ask that a congressional committee investigate the people behind this subversive attempt to overthrow the system. They are splitting on the Union Jack and must be brought to the bar of justice and hanged, and left slowly twisting in the wind."
The last lobbyist to speak would be Roger Nader, who would say he could not support the Declaration because there was no mention in it of seat belts for 1776 two-horse carriages.
After the hearings, the Declaration of Independence committee would decide to adjourn until July 10. When asked why, the chairman would reply, "The Continental Congress never works on the July 4th weekend."