Two hundred and thirty-eight years ago today, the Declaration of Independence from Great Britain and its king was signed, even though leading churches in Philadelphia already had a copy on July 2.
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The key phrase for us is the beginning of the second paragraph: “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.”
Also contained in that second paragraph is an interesting caveat: “Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed.”
And the second paragraph concludes with an accusation that is followed by its proofs: “The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.”
We picked out a few of the complaints about the king of Great Britain that might apply to the current president and his legislative henchman, Democratic Senate Majority Harry Reid:
“He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.
“He has forbidden his Governors (of Mexican border states) to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.
“He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people, and eat out their substance. (Such as the Environmental Protection Agency calling carbon dioxide a pollutant and trying to preempt state regulation of oil drilling).
“He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation.” (The most immediate example is trying to implement United Nations gun regulations.)
The lesson to draw from the Declaration of Independence is the citizens of the United States must continually work to ensure our rights to “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness,” and that those rights will only endure if we work to keep our federal government from growing to such a size that it threatens those rights. To accomplish that we must work to ensure the federal bureaucracy shrinks.
The Declaration of Independence is not an historical relic. It is a document for all time. It still speaks to us today.