Unalienable Rights

by Robert Williams

The dictionary defines “inalienable (unalienable)” as not subject to transfer (cannot be taken away from those designated and then given to others),  inviolable (cannot be violated),  non-negotiable (cannot be misconstrued or changed) , and absolute (no hedging allowed).

The American Declaration of Independence avows that all men (persons) are created equal, which is a clear rejection of the inherited divine right of Kings or of some self-perpetuating elite group.  The Declaration also says that all persons are not only equal but also endowed with unalienable rights, “— among which are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness”.  It further declares just exactly what government should do.  “ — secure these rights”, by “— deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed”.  The Declaration also points out that “— whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive to these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or abolish it —”.

The American Constitution lists more unalienable rights including the right to free speech,  free assembly and redress of wrongs,  and the right of the people to bear arms against the possibility of a runaway government that suppresses any of the sacred rights reserved to the people.  The Constitution clearly defines a balanced three-branched government whose primary function is protection of the people’s rights — and while it may use democratic principles — it is more properly defined as a representative Republic than a grass-roots Democracy.  The Constitution provides a means to be amended by  majority approval of the public.  Those who see the Constitution as a “Living Document” which should keep up with modern times and modern culture changes,  should also make sure that proposed amendments do not violate any of the peoples’ non-negotiable rights already enshrined for the ages.

The American Revolution was sparked by over-taxation without representation and there was sound reason for this. Chief Justice John Marshall ruled in 1819 (McCullough v. Maryland) that, “— An unlimited power to tax involves, necessarily, a power to destroy;  because there is a limit beyond which no institution and no property can bear taxation”.  Thomas Jefferson acknowledged that, “ — To take from one, because it is thought his own industry and that of his fathers has acquired too much,  in order to spare others, who, or whose fathers have not exercised equal industry and skill,  is to violate arbitrarily the first principle of association, the guarantee to everyone the free exercise of his industry and the fruits acquired by it”.  Jefferson further declared that, “ — we must not let our rulers load us with perpetual debt ….. I place economy among the most important of republican virtues, and public debt as the greatest of the dangers to be feared”.

There is more and more reason to be alert to the current fiscal crisis in Washington.  What would Jefferson have thought of a 16 trillion dollar debt burden with no cap?  What would he have thought of killing job growth by over-taxing the very folks who have the money to create industry and jobs?  What would Jefferson have thought of misleading the public to think only of tax rates when it is the total quantity of taxes paid that would show the rich pay almost 70 percent of all revenue already?  What would all our founding fathers have thought of the steady erosion of citizen rights by an ever more bloated government which increasingly bypasses our Constitution by taking on arbitrary extra-constitutional powers?

I bet the same thing I am thinking now.  Time for a clean-out of a bloated and corrupt fiscally irresponsible government and a return to the basic virtuous principles of our original intent that served us so well during our first 170 years or so.  Of course for my expressed desire to restore our former wisdom and prosperity I will be viciously vilified by those misled to believe that they have a birthright to steal my hard-earned money and a birthright to rule unwisely.  I know that temporarily I may be of a minority opinion,  but I am not disturbed by that because I know I am in the right and they are in the wrong and will eventually suffer for their misconstruction of reality.


Posted February 10, 2013 by Candidus in Uncategorized

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