…ideas, just mere ideas:
America has great geography, great rivers, protective oceans and abundant natural resources, but that is not why she became the “greatest nation on earth.” Lest we forget, the American Revolution was a dual event – two simultaneously revolutions: one military and one intellectual.
An American believes in freedom (i.e. minimal laws, regulations and intrusions), opportunity and responsibility. He fears evil-doers and treasures his unalienable rights to equality (the basis of all justice), life, liberty, and property.
Americans partner with people who share their founding values and step back from those who do not. That is why America has become so divided – our rapidly diverging values. The less our shared values, the less our reason to band together as a nation. We start to believe we don’t need each other anymore.
And, to secure these rights, governments are created by We the People. They operate under the consent of the governed. The rule-of-law — not “might-makes-right” — and limited power (limited government) are the hallmarks of our republic.
These are ideas, just mere ideas. For them, we owe much to our Founding Fathers.
America is Corrupt:
The Founding Fathers were rich white slave owners…
Christopher Columbus committed genocide on the Native Americans…
America stole half of Mexico…
America stole the Native Americans’ land…
America was built on the backs of black slaves…
America is an imperialist nation…
The Constitution is obsolete…
America is a force for evil in the world…
Are we one nation under God,
united by our shared values?
Or, of late, are we two nations
divided by our polar values?
Why would we, how can we, unite
if we do not share common values?
Background on America’s Founding. We begin:
Our Declaration of Independence, without the grievance clauses, is only one page in length. Our Constitution is only nine pages. These are the exceedingly unlikely documents upon which was built the greatest nation on Earth.
Despite their undeniable simplicity, these documents (and especially their embedded ideas and truths) are both rich and complex, as they set forth the requirements for “the ideal society.”
This richness and complexity unfolds in the interplay of the goals, purposes, rights, obligations, principles and anti-principles as summarized in the sections below.
To aid the reader we have bolded the first instance of each of these ideas (70 in total) so that, even though they are subtle, these ideas will not be missed.
Government's Goal & Purpose
The Goal of Our Government is: perfect freedom constrained only by personal responsibility and the rule-of-law.
The Purpose of Our Government is to secure our unalienable rights (equality, life, liberty and property). This means military and police security and justice for all.
All else is secondary to security and justice (and added at great peril because power corrupts).
The Affairs of State, Money and Banking, Weights and Standards, Patents and the Common Good are truly secondary in nature.
Were security and justice not so, the government need not exist. America could be a flourishing nation without any government whatsoever. We can figure it out in our towns and villages with voluntary national associations.
All other contrivances of government are optional features that might better be accomplished via separate non-governmental organizations (i.e. agriculture, health care, education, highway design, air traffic control, urban planning, communications regulation, safety standards, etc).
Government, even in its best state, is but a necessary evil;
in its worst state, an intolerable one. Thomas Paine, 1776
Human Rights & Obligations
Universal Human Rights (natural, unalienable, from God)
- We are all created equal (The basis of all justice and fairness, but unequal in talents)
- Life (security, common defense, justice)
- Liberty, freedom and responsibility (free choice, own the consequences)
- Property (no theft, no confiscation)
- Pursuit of Happiness
- Freedom of Expression (Religious liberty, free press)
- Self-defense (to bear arms)
- Trust in government, truth
Alienable Rights are merely retractable, legislated rights (e.g. handicapped parking, Medicare, welfare, housing). These are perishable rights.
Universal Human Obligations/Responsibilities (i.e. good citizenship) to:
- Be self-reliant and, if able-bodied, provide for one’s family
- Care for the children, the elderly, and the impaired
- Be law-abiding, informed/educated, vote, pay taxes, do military duty
- Care for one’s community (ethnic, religious, fraternal, school, neighborhood, employer) as our extended family
- Repress one’s envy and greed
The Principles of Governance
- The legitimacy of government is affirmed by the citizens:
- Agreeing on a social contract/compact/constitution
- Shared values, E Pluribus Unum (e.g. Natural Law, Judeo-Christian values)
- Never relinquishing their unalienable rights (equality, life, liberty, and property)
- Consent to be governed (power derived from the people)
- The nation must remain united as mutual military security is its prime purpose. A house divided cannot stand.
- With the citizens retaining the right to secession/rebellion if the government becomes negligent, corrupt or untrustworthy.
- The recognition of certain universal timeless moral values, Natural Law, and man’s true human nature: truth, love, goodness, work and creativity.
- The family is the basic building block of the nation.
- The government that governs least, governs best.
- The Law is the king (Rule-of-Law).
- A republican form of government (not a democracy).
- The limitation of the powers of government:
- Separation of powers (three branches)
- Specific limitation of Federal powers
- All other powers are vested in the States (States’ Rights)
- Multiple layers of governance (federal, states, and local)
- Favoring proximity to the people
- Minimal regulation, as regulations destroy freedoms and raise prices
- Mixed modes of authority (such as fixed terms and life-terms)
- Taxation based on principles, not politics
- Fiscal responsibility (not immoral debt)
- The peaceful transition of power
- Rule of the majority (with respect for the minority)
- The process of amending
- No one is exempt from the law
The Principles of Economics
- Free Markets are natural, efficient and self-correcting
- Government is the overhead of society (a necessary evil)
- Open competition trumps government monopolies
- Jobs are the foundation of the economy
- The Environment is precious
- Fiscal responsibility is foundational
- Coddling of our Golden Geese (businesses/jobs) is essential
- Lunch is never free
- All Cronyism is evil
The Principles of Culture
A healthy culture is paramount.
- Marriage and the family are primarily responsible for passing on the values that preserve wisdom and civilization
- Education is important
- Personal responsibility is essential
- Community responsibility (caring for the elderly and impaired) is required
- Shared cultural values (Natural Law, E Pluribus Unum) is fundamental
- Head and Heart (reason trumps emotion)
- America must remain honorable
- God and His Providence are assumed
The Anti-Principles of Government
The Anti-Principles of Government are false ideas of government that we should never accept
- Might makes right (over the rule-of-law)
- Tyranny and dictatorship are acceptable
- Divine rights (not all equal)
- Nobility and aristocracy (birthrights, not all equal)
- State Religion (anti-religious tolerance)
- Birth rights (classes, castes, not all equal)
- Taxation without representation
- Socialism, Communism (class warfare, confiscation)
- Statism (We the Government)
- Multi-culturalism (anti-shared values)
The Great Contributors to America's Intellectual Foundation
Which America do you want for your children?