Letter to the Editor: "Basics of Americanism"
Relatively few Americans have a good understanding about our rights. Yet, our founders clearly defined both the source of our rights and the proper role of government more than 200 years ago.
The founders studied thousands of years of history and were very familiar with different forms of government. They incorporated their knowledge into the Declaration of Independence and later into the U.S. Constitution.
On July 4, 1776, in the first 56 words of the second paragraph of the Declaration of Independence, the birth certificate of our nation, the 56 signers stated: 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.
Here, we have the basics of Americanism: Each person is born with the right to life, liberty and property. Each can do whatever he or she pleases except interfere with the equal rights of others. The only legitimate function of government is to help protect the rights of its citizens. To accomplish this, government needs to use only the minimum force necessary to keep people from harming each other, to compel them to keep their contractual agreements, and to protect them against possible aggression from a foreign power.
Founded on these principles, the United States became the greatest nation in history. However, when our government assumes other powers, as it has for many years, it threatens our lives and freedom, and eventually we will be living in a police state.