The Founding Fathers believed that truth was not only a virtue but that it was everlasting. They didn't think that what they wrote in the Declaration of Independence was only true in their day, but that it was true prior to their existence and would be true forever. Many people today, mostly on the left, but not exclusively, believe that what was true over 200 years ago is not true and/or relevant in today's world. In the second paragraph of the Declaration, they wrote, “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.”
Those with a revisionist history bent would say that the authors of the Declaration didn't even believe those words, since many of them owned slaves. This begs the question: then why didn't the primary creators of that document, (Jefferson, John Adams and Franklin), add the words, “except slaves” in that sentence? The obvious answer is that slavery was the antithesis to the universal truth that “all men are created equal.” That perversion would eventually have to be rectified. It may have taken the Civil War, but that deviation from the universal truth expressed in the Declaration was finally corrected by the 13th Amendment.
One of the best definitions of liberty can be found in the writings of Thomas Jefferson. He actually defined two types of liberty: “...liberty...is unobstructed action according to our will, but rightful liberty is unobstructed action according to our will within the limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others. I do not add within the limits of the law because law is often the tyrant's law and always so when it violates the rights of the individual.” Emphasis added. Taken from a letter written to Isaac H. Tiffany on April 4, 1819.
It is plain that Jefferson, and by extension, all of the Founders believed that Liberty was intended for individuals. Our “inalienable Rights,” therefore, belong to individuals. These Rights are inalienable because they came from the Creator. Compare that to the so-called rights that the far left wants to give, not to individuals, but to groups. They want to give groups of what used to be called perverts, the right to “self identify” as the opposite of their birth gender. In addition, they want to give this group the right to use bathrooms of the gender with which they identify. These rights, the left wants to give to this group. Although they are not the Creator, they consider themselves to be more intelligent than the rest of the people. They see themselves as elite, although they would deny it. Let's eschew political correctness and call this idea what it really is: absolute insanity. This is just one of many “rights” the left would like to give many groups they proclaim are oppressed. Example could go on ad naseum.
Victimization is the easiest way to separate people into competing groups. There can't be victims unless there are groups that are seen as oppressors or exploiters of the victims. Seeing oneself as a victim of racism, sexism, xenophobia, homophobia or another alleged wrongs, is bad for the individual.
It negates taking personal responsibility for one's mistakes, failures or inaction. When individuals in the so-called oppressor/exploiter group stand up with supportive evidence against those making these false accusations, the victim class will often switch to the claim that they are victims of “systemic” racism, sexism, etc. etc.
One of many bad results is that in states, like California, that buy into these spurious claims of alleged real or systemic racism, is that hardened, convicted criminals are being released early from their prison sentences. Many crimes that used to be felonies are being lowered to misdemeanors with corresponding lesser sentences. The progressives and left wing authors of these policies either fail to see the irony or just don't care that the real victims of the increased crime and violence these actions will cause will be the poor and minorities of the areas where these criminals return.
Responsibility, like liberty, belongs to the individual and any attempts to codify either results in class, race and economic animosity.
Editor's Note: Opinions expressed may not always reflect the views of those associated with this publication.