Our Unalienable Rights

On July 4, 1776 the Declaration of Independence was adopted by the Second Continental Congress in Philadelphia, PA. That declaration is one of the most important documents in the history of the United States, possibly the world. It established the right of a people to throw off the bonds of a restrictive, and abusive, government, and to live freely under a rule established by common agreement between the peoples of the nation so abused.

I’d like here to quote the most famous part of that document; that of the second paragraph:

“We hold these truths to be self evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. That whenever any form of government becomes destructive to these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shown that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed….”

Please note the second sentence in that paragraph. It states that our government gets its power from the consent of people it governs. In short, through the election process, the men and women that are at the head of our government are free to run the government in such a fashion that they meet the needs of the people they govern. We elect these men and women to look after our needs, represent us to the world, and lead us into a better future. A better future.

Now, think about this. Think hard and be selfish. Are the men and women we have elected doing what we elected them to do? Are they taking care of our needs? I’d say they are. But, at what cost? Remember, our forefathers went to war because of the abuses inflicted upon them by the ruling power in Britain, and, most importantly, the idea of taxation without representation. Are we, currently, being faithfully represented by the elected officials who have levied taxes upon us without our direct consent? Sure, we elected them, but did we directly consent to the taxation that has been forced upon us through the decades that our nation has been in existence? Okay, maybe we did through the idea that we elected these people to represent us, but, for the most part we do not get a say in what taxes, and the amounts, we pay daily (at the federal level, anyway).

Take a look now at that third sentence. It gives us a right to alter or abolish the current government when that government is not meeting our needs. We are then free to form a new government, and give it the power to effect our safety and happiness. I am not advocating that we overthrow our government. Our capitalistic democracy, spiced up with some socialistic programs, meets the needs of the people of this country quite well. What am advocating, though, is that we toss out our current elected officials and replace them with people who have OUR safety and happiness in mind and not their own. You see, if you do a little research, you will find that the majority of the elected tend to build wealth while in office, and even more so once they leave because of the connections to big business, specifically the war machine driving this country, they established while in office. We of the “lower class” are not given the opportunity to make those connections. Why should we be given that opportunity? We cannot help these businesses line their pockets with our hard earned money, but our elected officials can—and do quite readily.

Alright, I’ve spouted off enough. I’m going to leave you with a sobering thought. That thought comes from the very document we have been discussing, and from the very paragraph quoted above. What it all boils down to is that our forefathers must of had a vision of the future, and that future was full of people not willing to change what they have become accustomed to. We’d rather suffer through the evils foisted upon us than make the attempt to change what we currently have. Change is scary. Let me quote, again, from the Declaration of Independence:

“…all experience hath shown that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed…”

Folks, I stand right there beside you when I say that we, as the citizens of a great country, would rather suffer through the evils that have been thrust upon us than attempt to make any drastic changes that might better our lives. We know what we have. We do not know what might happen if we attempt to make changes to what we have. We’d rather live life as we know it than take that leap into the unknown for the possibility of something better when that something better is not guaranteed.

So, on the third Tuesday in November be prepared for more of the same. Once all the votes are counted, know that only the names have been changed, policies have not, and, most likely, will not at anytime in the near future. We can bitch and moan all we want, but until we are ready to accept a change, whatever that change may hold, we must know that we will continue to suffer with what we have.