A Self-Evident Truth

Our nation began, with its very inception, as a series of stated principles that men of honor saw as truth. As recognized truth, it could not be yielded, broken, denied, traded, bought, or ignored. The basis for liberty and for this country was founded upon these recognized universal truths that bound men for centuries and would continue to do so, regardless of fashion, opinion, or time. A passing glance toward them begs the question as to why has a society that based its existence on, and whose founders sacrificed their lives toward, these eternal truths operates, today, in complete indifference to them. Those fundamental truths were enough to bring forth a new nation yet the basis of our current policies are not laid upon those foundations nor are its powers organized to most likely effect our safety and happiness. Those words once had meaning. Meaning enough to begin a revolution that has spread liberty throughout the globe; but today they are usurped by the public opinion poll and the sterile emasculation of political correctness.


Consider the situation. We no longer act in a way that suggests that all men are created equal. Firstly, the pro-choice crowd would take issue with the very wording of man being created equal. With the arguments swirling around whether or not life begins at conception one of the opening phrases in our own Declaration cannot be perfectly applied to our present circumstance. But even accepting the stipulation of being born equal, as opposed to created, our policies as a nation point in every way to inequality. It boils essentially down to the perversion of Martin Luther King Jr.’s great dream, which was a plea to future generations. We are a society that actively avoids any question of the content of one’s character because we are bent inexorably toward moral relativism. And our policies, and in many cases today our national debate, are obsessed solely with the color of one’s skin. While we continually congratulate ourselves with the idea that we live in a progressive society that has left behind it all of the unquestioned prejudice ascribed to previous generations, our social policy today is centered on the “soft bigotry of low expectations”. Affirmative action, for example, is nothing more than the government looking at a class of people and telling them, “You are not good enough to make it on your own. You need special help to be just like everyone else.” This insulting and backward line of thinking is antithetical to the principles enshrined at our founding. And before the discussion is bogged down into the statistical analysis typical of social policy debate and phrases such as “inner-city schools” and “urban education” enter into the discussion make no mistake, this is about discriminating based upon race. The last time I checked white students at those same inner-city institutions are not given any additional consideration. Progressives cannot declare a mandate for a popularly elected black President in one breath and then decry the nation is so stagnantly racist that the government must intervene with the next. This incompatible view of Americans flies in the face of any coherent review or casual observance. Either all men are created equal or we have turned our back on truth. It seems we have chosen the latter.


The next phrase of our Declaration states that we are endowed by our Creator with certain unalienable rights. Of course, any public discussion of a Creator, or Nature’s God, Laws of Nature, Supreme Judge of the World, or divine Providence will draw disdain from the ACLU and others. The First Amendment, in popular culture, seems to be read as to secure a freedom from religion. And the free exercise of religion seems best kept to private and enclosed spaces. At risk of thumbing my nose at those offended with this example, it is reminiscent of Daniel’s troubles under King Darius of the Persian Empire. Where the open prayer to Daniel’s God was outlawed and forbidden, today there is growing scrutiny in the public sphere for any such divine petitions. Such is the rampant foolishness of the progressive that the same policies enacted under an ancient Persian king are considered on the cutting edge of evolution. So while prayer is outlawed in schools, the Pledge of Allegiance is under attack, the symbol of the Cross is being eradicated from the public sphere, and our national motto is etched off buildings we are assured that we have moved beyond a need for superstitious myths and into an age of reason. A brave new age in which we trust our government, which at this point cannot even build a functioning website for the most transformative legislation passed in decades.  While the recognition may strike some as meaningless or insubstantial, there was a clear reason for the wording in our Declaration. Acknowledging our rights as a benevolent gift from an omnipotent Creator meant that they could not be diminished or devalued by any political entity or state. Those rights, therefore, belong to each individual who then gives power to the government strictly by their consent. The actions of government today treat the people more as sheep to be guided than as thinking individuals capable of self-governance. This usurpation of power walks hand in hand with a desire to deny any higher authority. Or at least passively tolerate its existence. Such movement away from recognition of a deity by or in the public erodes those rights granted to us by that very deity. With no alternative, the government steps in as arbiter of power and rights, which is as a frightening proposition today as it was under King George III.


A discussion of the remainder of this one sentence under review today, those high ideals of Life, Liberty and a Pursuit of Happiness, may be fodder for another time. But one need not look to hard at the news to find numerous examples of our distance from these high-minded beginnings. However, it is important to realize that there are exceptions to each and every rule. And today seems an appropriate time to recognize that there are shining examples of hope in adherence to these fine principles espoused in our Declaration. As today is Veteran’s Day we should rightly honor those who have stood to defend liberty, to protect the governed, and ensure equality. Those brave men and women have proven throughout their storied and honorable history that the ideas fought for so long ago are alive and well as long as we continue to pursue them. It is their courage that lights a path now to assure us that those truths are not ephemeral, that our foundation was based not upon the political expeditiousness of the time, but upon those ideas that form the basis of human existence. We were once a nation that held truths as self-evident, our adherence to them has not diminished their power or authority. We need only to rediscover our resolve, to reawaken that belief. Those ideas once had the power to reshape the world. As Thomas Paine once wrote, “We have it in our power to begin the world over again”. He was right. And he still is.