The Road To Disaster
Copyright 2007 Andy Delbridge
Governmental practices are straying from the original focus of a central government that created this nation.
History shows us that this nation was created when disagreements arose between the government and the governed. We declared independence from a former government. The action was eloquently justified by Jefferson in the Declaration of Independence; "…that to secure these rights (Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness), Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers form the consent of the governed, That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of 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".
Let’s look at the basic principles alluded to in the declaration.
I believe any rational person would agree upon these rights, Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness. However, interpretations differ widely in our present society as to how to protect these rights.
The first of these is Life. You have a right to live. No one can intrude upon another’s right to live. How does one secure the right of Life? Is it to take away another right, Liberty? By disarming the law-abiding citizen, and mandating that no weapons can be obtained or possessed, one is restricted in his liberty to protect himself and his family.
The second of the unalienable rights is Liberty. You have certain freedoms. Many of these are detailed within the first 10 constitutional amendments known popularly as the Bill of Rights. The constitution would never have been ratified had it not been for the detailing of these certain rights. George Mason was perhaps the biggest proponent of the rights, refusing to sign the Constitution without these guarantees. It was his work on the Virginia Bill of Rights that would carry over, almost word for word, into the Constitutions Bill of Rights.
We cannot allow government to chip away at any of the rights that make this country great. These Liberties include right to free speech, right to bear arms, right for speedy trial, etc.
The final of the basic rights is the pursuit of Happiness. One would define happiness as enjoying the fruits of one’s labors—to strive for a goal and be able to obtain that. To be set apart from others based on how hard one works. Happiness could be defined as a result of many years of working towards a goal and achieving that goal. This is after all, the foundations of not only a capitalistic society, but, how our country has been formed and perservered. Anything that would tamper with out goals or ability to achieve them, could be seen as chipping away at our ability to observe our pursuit of Happiness.
Frustration prevails because many interpret actions of those who govern as not representing the beliefs of the majority. Echoes of Jefferson’s document reverberate within the minds of the majority—"That whenever any form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government…" Again, it states, "it is the right of the People to alter or abolish it".
Looking back to history again, it has been widely debated whether the South had a right to seceede in 1861, which initiated the Civil War. Regardless of the detailed factors as to why the South felt abandoned by their government (the reasons could fill the contents of several books) the fact was, the South DID feel betrayed by their government. According to the Declaration of Independence, they had a right to secede. If one disagrees with this conclusion, one must believe we had no right to separate from the English Crown.
If one disagrees with the content of the Declaration of Independence, one disagrees with what made this country great.