For 219 years, from 1789 to 2008, Americans have been choosing who will defend their liberties and uphold the Constitution of the United States by entrusting one of our own with the presidency of this nation.
In a matter of days, Americans will exercise the greatest liberty afforded to them, their right to elect our nation’s next chief defender and preserver of liberty and our Constitution.
Despite the past 232 years of freedom-derived prosperity, our liberty and our Constitution, both, are under attack by an ideology that does not seek to work within the spirit or letter of that liberty and Constitution. Rather, it seeks to slowly and subtly replace our way of life with one this is led by the central government, despite a super-majority of Americans desiring less government intrusion in their daily lives. In other words, Americans are demanding their liberty back!
If you are like me, you believe that we must insist that our government serve us, instead of us serving our government.
The question we should ask ourselves this, and every, election is: “how best can the government serve us?”
In terms of proper American governance, like the nation’s founders intended, the question should be rephrased in the following manner: how best can government preserve, protect, and enable the people to exercise their rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness?
Nearly every domestic issue we face in America today, as well as many foreign issues, can be traced back in some way, to a fundamental adulteration of these inalienable rights. If America is going to remain the preeminent example of freedom and good in the world, these rights must be defended and re-secured in our own nation. If America fails to defend and secure these rights, America is lost. Americans and the rest of the world simply cannot afford for liberty to fail.
I believe the context of these rights is incredibly valuable. The nation’s founders believed that these inalienable rights are granted to us by God and that no government should posses the power to force an individual to surrender them. The good news, if you do not espouse the Judeo-Christian God the founders invoked, is that regardless of whom or what you put your faith in, you still receive these unalienable rights. The government does not ordain them to us as privileges they can revoke, they are God-given and cannot be infringed upon by government.
One can judge a society’s resolve in defending the inalienable rights of life and liberty by how it regards its most defenseless and innocent members. How can any of as feel as though our country has the ability to fulfill its most important charge in protecting our lives, when it fails to protect the most vulnerable among us. As a man, I can defend myself to some degree should the need arise. The unborn child squirming away from the abortionists knife has no where to hide nor any weapons with which to defend herself. This issue is definitely a sensitive topic to many Americans, myself included, but in the context of the inalienable rights granted to us all, not by government but by God, there is a moral imperative that we all protect the right to life, that government is rightfully forbidden to deny, and ensure it is afforded to all mankind, even the most vulnerable of us.
Does that mean, that since we all have the unalienable right to life, the we all have the right to healthcare, for instance, as some people think we should? The right to life means, the right to exist or live. It does not afford additional privileges such as healthcare. If that sounds odd, consider this: not only are we endowed with the inalienable right to life, but also the right to liberty. Liberty is the right to live free from oppressive restrictions imposed by authority on one’s life. In essence, it is our right to live how we choose, and to seek out the privileges we desire. It comes with the responsibility to be self-reliant. You can choose to work hard and gain the privilege of health care. You can also choose to not work hard and be unable to attain the privilege of health care.
Privileges are choices that we are at liberty to choose for ourselves. If health care is a right and not a privilege, then it is inalienable and we cannot divest ourselves of that right. You make ask, well who would choose not to have proper healthcare? While most want healthcare, there are many who could afford it but spend their income on other prerogatives such as smoking, drinking, illicit drugs, prostitution, or any myriad of choices. Why would we impose healthcare on all, that is paid for by some, to the benefit of others who choose not to responsibly pursue healthcare? If free people choose ill for themselves, it is their liberty to do so. Likewise, it is my liberty to chose healthcare that is best for me and my family. It simply is not the government’s role to tell the people, by revoking their liberty, which privileges they should seek for themselves by elevating them to the status of a ‘right’ and forcing them on the people; rather, the government’s role should be limited to encouraging individuals to be self-reliant and not dependent on society or the government to meet their needs.
Another great example of unalienable rights misrepresented are those who think there is a valid argument for the redistribution of wealth through taxation. John Locke, penned the original argument for property ownership as an unalienable right. Thomas Jefferson referred to this right as the pursuit of happiness. Regardless of wording, both are legitimate as they refer to the right to lawfully accumulate personal wealth and property as it pleases them and without the government infringing upon that God-given right. We find ourselves today in a position where one candidate believes it is best to take away a portion of one’s wealth for the purpose of giving it to someone it does not belong to. To the founder’s of our nation, this was one of the reasons that sparked the Revolutionary War.
Today, we find ourselves on the precipice of the very same offenses to our rights of liberty and self-reliance, as well as to our pursuit of happiness and wealth. What gives anyone the right to decide that some other person is more deserving of the money that you worked so hard for? Do you think its better for you to decide when your family has accumulated enough wealth, or would you rather someone in Washington make that decision for you? The idea of wealth redistribution was criminal to the nation’s founders and for an overwhelming majority of Americans today it still is. For some reason, we find ourselves in an election where this right to property and happiness will be attacked without authority or just cause.
We are Americans. Let us not forget who we are and where we come from. Millions from countless backgrounds have sacrificed their blood, sweat, and fortunes to lay hold and preserve a cause to which there is no earthly rival. We are Americans! By our example, we are the chief defenders of liberty in the free world. The responsibility is upon us, in our generation, to preserve and advance the cause of freedom to a world waiting to embrace it.
There has never been a more perfect time to stake our prosperity on a renewed claim to freedom. And that call will not go answered. President John F. Kennedy once uttered, “Do not pray for easy lives. Pray to be stronger men.” In a time when the solutions that, we the people, are offered by our elected leaders include only increased government infringement upon our hard-fought liberties, we are morally bound by the precedent of liberty’s previous procurers and defenders to throw off such notions that only seek to enslave us to the state.
Those who espouse socialist ideologies seek to prey on the weakness of some in the hope of enslaving us all to government in a far reaching oppression of our inalienable rights. The resolve of the people is only weakened each time the government ascribes power to itself. Now, more than ever, we should not pray that the government would make our lives easier, for that only makes the individual weaker and more dependent; rather, that we would make our lives easier by becoming stronger and more self-reliant thereby decreasing the power of government to exert its force in the discourse of our lives.
This year, when you vote, be sure to vote for candidates who will preserve, defend, and protect the cornerstones that America was founded upon: 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.
To do anything less would be fundamentally unAmerican.