The American Dream
“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.” The Declaration of Independence
It seems there are, in these troubling times, many misconceptions among the people living in the United States. Regardless of age, race, religion, occupation, gender, political ideology, or even “sexual orientation”, the numerous sects or communities in the United States each clamor for their rights. Gays and lesbians want their rights, the various ethnic groups want their rights, the environmentalists want their rights – even child molesters are demanding their particular idea of rights. And because there is an abundance of ideological overlap among these groups and organizations, the cacophony of pleas becomes a collective diatribe of indiscernible noise at times. But there is a reason for that.
Part of the reason is that each individual within each of these groups, desires their own idea of the American Dream. Each of them, at the core of their being, simply wants to live their lives free from ridicule, persecution and oppression – just as we all, as Americans, want to live. But it is precisely due to their misconceptions about rights that they are prevented from realizing their true desire to live their lives as they wish. Many of these people, I’m sure, would be surprised to learn just how much they have in common with the seemingly countless men, women and children who have fled persecution and oppression all over the world, to come to America to be free – for it is the core desire of all mankind to live freely.
So where is the misconception? It is illustrated in the very protests and demonstrations of these many groups and organizations. On nearly any given day any number of them protest for the government to grant them their rights – and therein lies the very root of their misconception. The government does not grant rights. If the government grants something to you, it is a privilege, and privileges can and will be taken away by those who grant them. World history is overflowing with examples of this. One need only to compare the political and societal practices of Russia, Red China, Argentina, Venezuela, Cuba, and North Korea to those of the United States, to see the glaring differences.
It is because the individuals which make up these numerous and varied organizations do not fully understand (or are not willing to admit) the origins of their rights, that they beg the government to grant them. This is a mistake, because it misses the crucial point of being an American citizen: That we all have the same rights, and that those rights can’t ever be taken away.
Many would say that our rights come from God. But this concept tends to cause, in many cases, the knee-jerk reaction of automatically rejecting the premise, for whatever reason. So let us simplify the concept in much the way the founders did, by simply stating that each of us attains these rights upon our very conception. They exist even before we are born, which is why the founders considered them to be inalienable – meaning they cannot ever be taken away.
Not only can our rights never be taken away by anyone, anywhere, at any time, for any reason, but they apply to every single one of us, regardless of age, race, religion, occupation, gender, political ideology, or even “sexual orientation”. In other words, there’s no need or reason to ask the government to grant us what we already possess. That is the wrong process of protest. What should, instead, be protested is the behavior of any government official, policy or legislation which hinders our ability to freely exercise our natural, inalienable rights – from the local police department, school board and town council, to the U.S. Supreme Court, Congress and the President of the United States. For they are bound, by law, to protect the rights of citizens and the several states, as outlined in the Constitution for the United States, the Bill of Rights and their own Oaths of Office.
What is needed is not to ask the government for anything other than to stand by its sworn purpose: To protect all of our rights, at all times. For when we, as a truly equal, united people, succeed in bringing about this fundamental change back to the American Rule of Law, we will have succeeded in ensuring the freedom and equality of ourselves, our children, and our communities.
Copyright 2010, Robert Browning, all rights reserved.