This essay was written by my daughter, Jenny. I found this on my keyboard one morning last week. It is good to know she has been paying attention!“We hold these truths to be self evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable Rights, that among those are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.”
-The Declaration of Independence
As most of us know, this famous quote is a guarantee by the fathers of our country, promising to protect inherent rights that may otherwise be torn from us. Just the fact that those men, so long ago, thought to protect these rights should be proof enough to us that it's worth it to fight for them now. Unfortunately, many people have lost sight of what these words really mean, or no longer care enough to fight... I ask you to listen, to remember, and to take a stand for what is right. Take a stand for YOUR RIGHTS.
The right to Life, is easy enough to understand. It promises us, as Americans, that the government will never intrude on our right to be alive. It gives us a chance to grow up, make something or ourselves, and learn to thrive in today's world.
Liberty may be a little tougher. I suppose we can leave that one for now, and move on to the Pursuit of Happiness. I believe it's safe to assume that everyone would love to be happy. We all want the American Dream; two kids, a dog and a picket fence (all that good stuff). But just how much of this is guaranteed by this ancient promise?
None of it is. Somewhere in the past years, the line that separates a “Pursuit” and a “Guarantee” has become, not only blurred, but erased in some places. People have begun believing that they deserve everything—a house, a car, health insurance, gas money, college tuition—all just for being a United States Citizen. Believe me, that would be nice, but nothing in life is really free. The price for every person in our country to have everything they felt was “owed” to them by the government would be astronomical, unbelievable, and horrifying. The cost would be the last traces of personal responsibility we have, along with our freedom, our Liberty, and untold amounts of taxpayer dollars.
In order for the government to give us everything necessary for “Happiness”, our lives would have to change radically. It would mean giving up control of where we live, what cars we drive, how many electronics we run in our homes, what careers we choose and what schools we attend. The government would take control of everything, mix it up, and put us all exactly where they think we need to be to make out country work most efficiently. I suppose if you don't mind having to move around a bit this wouldn't be too bad. The government can be efficient, right? They've done a great job with the Post Offices, Social Security, and the Cash for Clunkers Program.
By now, I probably sound like some kind of conspiracy theorist, ranting about the evils of politicians and how Congress is really full of aliens. Really though, what I'm saying isn't quite as dramatic as I've probably made it seem. The government isn't going to “spring” overnight like a feral beast from the dark. The government is far too patient for that. The policies and laws will just keep “creeping” forward, slowly taking over every right they can seize while you're not looking. It's already begun with income tax, Medicare and Medicaid, car companies such as GM, and the push for national health insurance. Please. Listen, hear, think, and stand up for your rights. Remember what it means that we are born with Liberty, and fight for it while you still can!
Jennifer Trippett, August 23, 2009