Last time we looked at the unalienable right to life. Next comes the rights of liberty and the pursuit of happiness. I want to look at those together because they are very much intertwined, not to mention misunderstood.
First a little history lesson on the origin of the phrase, "pursuit of happiness".
As I referenced last time, slavery was at odds with the principles of the republic from the beginning. The inherent right Jefferson was speaking of when he penned the phrase, "the pursuit of happiness", was primarily the right to keep the fruits of ones own labors, i.e., to own property. But he knew that if it was stated that way it would inevitably be used by some to justify slavery and that this would make it virtually impossible to ever abolish the practice. So the phrase, "the pursuit of happiness", was used instead.
I doubt if Jefferson was satisfied with that phrase or that he ever imagined the impact those words would have, but I am inclined to believe that that simple phrase is primarily what so resonated in hearts and minds of people everywhere, that they would leave everything to come here. To them it meant that In America they could have a chance to make their dreams come true. No guarantees, just the opportunity. And in the end, that is what made America great.
The big issue in this election cycle is the economy and politicians are offering all kinds of ways to fix it. What is needed for America's economic recovery is prosperity. Government can never create prosperity, it can only confiscate and kill it. Free people pursuing their dreams, under the Constitution, is what creates prosperity.
I suspect that most people today would define "pursuit of happiness" in a million different ways, mostly having to do with doing whatever you want, whenever you want, i.e., the pursuit of pleasure. As such, it should come as no surprise they will vote for politicians who promise to clear the way, and even to pay for them to do so, but that is a recipe for disaster, as we are seeing. What is needed to combat those deadly ideas is a steady diet of the truth about our founding principles and the necessity of returning to them. That is our calling as Patriots in 2012. May God make us equal to the task. Keep fighting the good fight.
Macon County Patriots
August 15, 2012
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