By Francisco Gonzalez, JMI Director of Development
Less than an hour before Super Bowl XLV kicked off on February 6, 2011, the NFL aired a commemorative video featuring NFL players and coaches, along with everyday Americans and U.S. troops, reciting the words to the entire Declaration of Independence. It was a moving tribute to our nation’s founding document.The video starts with an introduction by former Secretary of State, General Colin Powell, and NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell at the National Archives. During the recitation, the scenes depict players and coaches with recognizable images from across America.In recent years there has been a rediscovery of America’s founding principles and documents. One might attribute this influence mostly to the tea party, which has arguably been the most powerful force in America responsible for bringing these founding documents back into the public square. After all, if it wasn’t for the tea party, the entire U.S. Constitution would have never been read on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives (for the first time ever) after the 111th Congress took power this January.I applaud the NFL for using those precious moments (including expensive advertising time) before the Super Bowl to use the star power of its athletes and coaches to remind Americans about the very founding principles that make our nation the most unique in human history.My only gripe with this video was the closing which stated that the Declaration of Independence is “the foundation of our democracy.” Well, thankfully we don’t have a democracy, we have a Republic. I suppose it can be argued our Republic was technically set up by the U.S. Constitution thirteen years after the Declaration of Independence was written. However, our Founders never intended to set up a “democracy.”In fact, our Founders knew that democracy always leads to some of the worst despotism in all of human history. A republic separates power against itself, while a democracy eventually leads to a “tyranny of the majority.” So the tea party movement and others committed to restoring America’s founding principles still have much more education to do, but I still salute the NFL for this very good start and encourage all to take 6 and half minutes of your time to watch this moving tribute.