“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.” To me, this is the pivotal argument of the Declaration of Independence.
In the wake of our annual celebration of Independence, I wanted to take a moment to ask: are these truths still self-evident?
Do we treat all men equally in this country?
We have the highest murder/suicide/death rates of any first-world nation. Is this reflective of Right to Life?
No other great nation incarcerates more of its own people than the United States. Our per-capita prison population rates edge out even Communist rivals and dictatorships. Do we still have Right to Liberty?
And with such a complicated set of prohibitive laws, how free are we to pursue our sense of happiness?
Today, we face injustice within our own borders, by our own government, condoned by our own people. If we don’t like it, we are told we can just leave. But we can also stick around, and fight for change. As I’ve said many times before, we cannot be the Land of the Free, until we are the Home of the Brave. We must be brave if we are to be free. That is what this holiday reminds me.