Dr. Ruth S. Hertzberg: Don’t equate George III with EPA
Following the advice of Morgan Liddick in his article of Tuesday, June 29, I have spent a lot of time reading and rereading that hallowed document, the Declaration of Independence. The most important part of this document is its political philosophy and not the “injuries and usurpations” imputed to George III of England.
This famous political philosophy is etched in my brain. “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 rights 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 …”
I have always tried to be sure that my students understood the implications of this political philosophy, asking them, (1) What is meant by “All men are created equal?” (2) What are the rights of all men? (3) What is the purpose of government? (4) Where do governments get their power?
This same very famous passage has been quoted to me by students in China and in Bulgaria. It appears in Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address and was alluded to by Martin Luther King in his “I Have A Dream” speech. Surely it is the most famous part of the Declaration to be found in the annals of U.S. history. If we are going to talk about the Declaration of Independence, we must honor its most quoted parts.
But what really bothers me about Mr. Liddick’s flawed analysis of the Declaration of Independence is his attempt to identify the wrongs of George III and the British government with persecutions we are suffering today at the hands of our present government. I would remind Mr. Liddick that both President Barack Obama and Governor Ritter were elected by overwhelming numbers of our people (consent of the governed). The EPA and the IRS are are hardly harassing our people and eating out their substance, and Governor Ritter’s fees upheld by the Supreme Court of Colorado are not examples of excessive taxation.
I fear Mr. Liddick is identifying with the “tea-baggers” – nutcases, in my opinion – and moreover in support of a new revolution against our properly constituted, elected government.
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