The founding fathers…


The conservatives, tea party people and all the other right-wing wackos seem to be all about the founding fathers’ intentions for the country…

For them, it’s mostly the case that they want their guns and they don’t want women to have abortions — because those are the conditions that the Founding Fathers had for themselves…

Andy got me thinking (in a post he hasn’t published yet) about the phrase “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” — from the Declaration of Independence.  Some folks would argue the the Declaration isn’t the Constitution — but, I think it’s a good indication of what the founding fathers were thinking.

The context for the statement is important (yep, I’m a philosopher… get over it..)

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, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.

There’s a lot in this paragraph… for my purposes, the idea of unalienable rights stands out.  This means that simply by being a human being you have the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.  Just by being born human — to put it simply ALL human beings have a right to these things…in Venn diagram speak, this is an A claim… see below…

If every S (person) is P (a thing that has these rights) — then, there are no people who don’t have these rights…
The tricky part is that our system seems set up to be that only folks with cash have access to the means to continued life..
If you are in the lower-middle class economically, your healthcare is quite precarious.  You probably have a job that pays your small bills, but you have no savings.  You have no real safety net in case you miss a week or two of work for something like a mastectomy or chemo.  You’re faced with the prospect of being evicted because you can’t pay your rent, or death…
Not exactly a decent choice in a country with plenty of resources.
I’d also like to note that the Declaration indicates that the justification for government is to secure these rights for ALL persons… not just the wealthy.  If it’s the case that the government acts counter to this purpose, changing the government is justified.
hmmm…. revolution anybody?

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