COLORADO SPRINGS, July 4, 2016—As we celebrate the 240th year of the Declaration of Independence, we have an opportunity to reflect on the reasons that we sought our independence in the first place, and what kind of country we were intended to be. In the midst of a very contentious election season that might not be easy to do.
Perhaps most often quoted today is Jefferson’s aspirational statement that “all men are created equal.” The socialist left in this country take absolute equality to be the ideal and slam the history of the last 240 years because there are rich and poor and everyone is not equal.
That might sound good but it both distorts and misses the point. The part of the sentence that follows is key to understanding: “that we are endowed by our Creator with certain unalienable rights…”
This is the part those seeking the fundamental transformation of America don’t want you to remember.
That we are created implies that there is a Creator. Created, not evolved. Created in the image of our Creator and given certain rights by Him and not by government; that governments exist to protect those rights, not manage our rights as it sees fit. This was nothing new: Jefferson writes that these things were “self-evident.” They’re included in the Declaration not because they’re novel but because they are foundational to the argument for independence that follows.
Reading to the end of the argument, Jefferson concludes that when governments are destructive of our natural God-given rights we have one more right: the right to rebel.
Now that’s revolutionary!
Never before in history had a people made such a declaration of principle. What the Continental Congress was asserting was that all previous governing systems in history were wrong.
Divine right of kings: wrong. Right by virtue of conquest: wrong. Might does not make right. No one people, race, ethnicity or family bloodline gives any person or group the right to rule. Only the consent of the governed does. We call that the social contract. Our American social contract is the Constitution.
One thing didn’t change: We had to fight for our freedom as we had defined it. We still fight to preserve that idea. It’s what makes America exceptional.
Our current president doesn’t understand that—or chooses to disagree with it, along with the rest of the American left, who look not to the American Revolution but to the French and Russian Revolutions for their inspiration.
Their value is not liberty and the rights of the individual; theirs is material equality and the right of the collective to force its will over the individual. It’s perfectly all right in their view to take from one person to give to another—just because. “Fair” and “right” is whatever the majority say it is–until they change their collective mind, that is.
Socialism’s belief in the collective is what gives them the right to sacrifice any minority in the name of the common good. It’s what allowed Hitler to sacrifice the old and infirm through forced euthanasia long before he set his sights on homosexuals, Jews and gypsies. It’s also what justified Stalin in collectivizing farms and starving millions of Ukrainians.
It’s why mandatory “end-of-life counseling” was inserted into Obamacare.
That is the definition of tyranny. Our American understanding of proper human relationships isn’t based on majority rule; it’s based on the Ten Commandments.
The Anglo-American idea isn’t about what kind of socialism we’re going to have. Our ideal pre-dates socialism and the belief in the collective. It emphasizes the sovereignty of the individual. God created us as individuals with free will, not part of a collective hive-mind.
Christ died for each of us as individuals, not as members of a race or class. In this sense, too, America was founded as a Christian nation on Christian ideals.
On June 23rd, the British people realized that their sovereign rights were being sacrificed to the European Union collective. They voted for liberty. Dan Hannan, MEP, was for Leave. He wrote: “I voted Leave because I prefer democracy to oligarchy, Liberty to conformity, free trade to protectionism.”
This year, let us remember who we are and follow the British down the road to liberty.