Say it ain’t so, Joe! – You Really Said THAT?
Joe Biden said the Declaration of Independence is “corny” last week. Shame on him! He’s lost sight of the basics and is taking an awful lot for granted.
The Declaration is a classical liberal document. Classical liberalism is the most coherent, humane, and sustainable political theory in the entire history of political theory. Classical liberalism provides civil liberties, the rule of law, limited government, and political and economic freedom. Abraham Lincoln wrote it is no accident we have freedom and prosperity in America. They have a “philosophical cause” – “the principle of ‘Liberty to all’ – the principle that clears the path for all–gives hope to all–and, by consequence, enterprize, and industry to all,” Lincoln wrote.
Where did Lincoln find these principles? In the Declaration of Independence, which states:
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…
Unalienable rights – these are also called natural rights.
Under the Declaration, you are born with these rights.
They are not something the government gives you and government cannot take them away from you.
In fact, the government’s job is to protect your rights. “That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men.,” the Declaration says. This means government is supposed to protect your rights from, among other things, the tyranny of the majority. Political minorities are not supposed to be persecuted under our system, which is pretty important given the number of times political minorities have been trampled throughout human history.
Freedom, prosperity, and unalienable rights – Joe Biden calls these “corny”. Perhaps he would prefer tyranny, poverty, and misery. Limited government – maybe Joe would prefer the totalitarian governments of the 20th century, the ones that deliberately killed people by the tens of millions, just because they could and nobody had any rights.
One of the rights in the Declaration is the “pursuit of Happiness”.
- Joe Biden thinks its “corny” you should want to be happy. Alright, Joe, no more pizza and ice cream for you.
He also thinks it’s “corny” governments should have to derive their “just powers” from “the consent of the governed”. Joe Biden was in the Senate for 36 years. What did he think he was doing there if not providing consent of the governed? The Declaration goes on to list a “long train of abuses”.
The King of England disbanded colonial legislatures when he felt like it, and proclaimed no laws could be passed in the colonies without his assent.
What position would Senator Joe Biden have taken if the President disbanded the U.S. Senate? Or am I just being “corny”?
The King also quartered soldiers in people’s homes, that was another of the long train of abuses. I hear there’s a nice beach house in Delaware just sitting there waiting for the military to take up residence. The King also put the English military over civilian authorities. Since the Declaration is “corny”, I propose we put Mark Milley and Lloyd Austin over Joe Biden. Joe won’t mind, will he?
Joe also said about the Declaration, “we’ve never lived up to it.” That may be true, but who has ever completely lived up to an ideal? Not on this planet. But the Declaration by declaring “all men are created equal” paved the way for getting rid of slavery. Blacks in America perfected the Founders’ vision of equality and justice for all. They saw the principles and rights enunciated in the Declaration and said ‘those principles apply to me, too.’ I doubt former slaves thought equality for all under the law and the pursuit of Happiness were “corny” ideas.
Finally, the ideas in the Declaration were implemented in the Constitution. One of those ideas is limited government, expressed in the Constitution in the office of the President as one of three co-equal branches of government, an office Joe Biden now holds.
So, tell me Joe, is that a “corny” idea, too? You’ve said it is, so what are you still doing in the White House? So many pizzas, so little time.
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