A Cautious Man
July 06, 2008
 
Stuff The Right Wing Doesn't Get
All through this Independence Day weekend, I am sure that you have been hearing or reading that famous phrase from the Declaration of Independence about truths being self-evident, and all men being created equal, and being endowed by their creator with rights, etc.

Right-wing commentators seemed to flock to those phrases, without any regard to the rest of the Declaration.

Leaving aside the fact that the document in question was written in order to throw off a form of government (kind of a liberal concept, don't you think?), would it kill anybody to just look at the next phrase, as they piously summon up the spirit of "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness"? -

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 "government" part never seems to make it into the right-wing commentaries. They seem to think that "rights" will take care of themselves.

Well, this is a little cold hard truth. "Rights" are secured by the people, through their government. If the people are heard by their government, they can secure their rights. Any government which merely pays lip-service to those rights, can expect to be confronted by a people who believe that the government should be changed.

That's what the Declaration is all about.

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