All men are created equal; or are they?
I have decided to take some time to cover the 28 principles outlined in W. Cleon Skousen’s book "The 5000 Year Leap" The founders believed these principles to be necessary to establish and maintain the form of government that has made this country the greatest bastion of freedom in the world. In each post we will dissect one of the principles and apply it to problems faced by our country. I hope you will take the time to read “The 5000 Year Leap” and accompany me on this journey of exploration.
The sixth principle: All men are created equal.
All men are most certainly not created equal. Some are athletic, some intelligent, some black, some white, some Asian. Some are born with physical or mental handicaps; some are fat some thin but certainly everyone is different with different advantages or hindrances. So what were the founding fathers talking about when they inserted this into the Declaration of Independence? Were they being idealistic, were they wrong or were they talking about another concept entirely.
What the founders were conveying was an equality more fundamental than physical or mental attributes. They were trying to codify the equality of man before God and the law. Men can never truly be equal; only treated as equals in the sight of God and the law.
It is that fundamental fact that has cemented the American experiment's place in history. In practice we know there are glaring examples where the ideal did not meet with realization. The treatment of slaves and minorities in the past shows that even the loftiest of goals are difficult to implement on such a grand scale but over time the ideal has grown into reality.
Where the problem arises is our current political system derives its power from division as opposed to unity. The division takes the form of class warfare and political correctness. The weapon is semantics and misinformation. The left has confused, intentionally I believe, the line between equal treatment and equal results. They promise to raise up the downtrodden by punishing the "rich". They promise equality for all. The founders never intended for equal treatment to be equivalent to equal results. We are all given the opportunity to succeed, to make of our lives what we will. The concept of taking from one and giving to another was an anathema and defied everything they believed in.
The results we achieve are the aggregate of our own decisions, good or bad, and only dependent upon these preconditions; government protecting our rights and remaining otherwise unobtrusive in our daily lives.
John Adams addressed this when he wrote: "That all men are born to equal rights is true. Every being has a right to his own, as clear, as moral, as sacred, as any other being has... But to teach that all men are born with equal powers and faculties, to equal influence in society, to equal property and advantages through life, is as gross a fraud , as glaring an imposition on the credulity of the people, as ever was practiced..."
Think on this; Are men more equal in this country or in Cuba, Iran, Russia, or any other country. Here we are free to succeed, to fail and to try it all over again. I would gladly trade equal results for equal opportunity every time. Equal results never means bringing the lowest up to the highest standard; it always means bringing the higher standard down to the level of the lowest.