“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.”
From owning guns, to gay marriage, to smoking marijuana – should the government have the power to tell us we cannot do these things? These all seem like valid questions. What should the people of the United States be allowed to do?
Our perspective has been skewed from the people giving the government permission to do something to the government giving the people permission.
Unfortunately, many people think this way. The better question is, should the government be able to control what we do if we aren’t hurting anyone?
The concept of liberty is the idea that a free person should be able to do as he/she wishes as long as it does not infringe on the rights of others. If that is not true, then the individual is not living in liberty but is instead living in tyranny. If the individual must ask for permission, he/she is not completely free.
As Dr. Ron Paul put it, “There is only one kind of freedom and that’s individual liberty. Our lives come from our creator and our liberty comes from our creator. It has nothing to do with government granting it.”
The above quote from the Declaration of Independence shows how our founding fathers thought a government should work. “Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.”
Government should protect individual liberty and do nothing else. If it does that, it will “form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity.”
Are we going to continue to consent to more governmental power? Are we going to let the blessings of liberty slip away? Perhaps you have never consented to increasing the government’s power, but isn’t complacently watching while it happens essentially the same thing?
In 1775 Patrick Henry said, “Give me liberty, or give me death!” The speech he concluded with this phrase was presented to the Virginia Convention in an attempt to convince them to pass a resolution declaring their separation from Great Britain. He was so passionate about his freedoms that he was willing to die for them, and that was true for so many Americans.
Thankfully, through the wisdom of our founding fathers, the Constitution of the United States was created to allow for the peaceful overturning of tyrannical policies. It was written in such a way that the people still have a voice.
We have a way to protect our liberty without having to die for it. We get to choose who represents our values. We get to choose who votes on our laws. We get to determine who will best protect our liberties. Sadly, it seems that few people care about who will protect our freedom anymore. It seems that too many people are concerned with who will help push their beliefs on others, but that’s a topic for another time.
Now is the time to pay attention to what our elected officials are doing. Our representatives should represent us by protecting our liberties or they should lose their elected position. We should elect people who will protect the liberty of all people. It is time for citizens to declare, “Give us liberty, or give us death!”