Equal Footings

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.”

Do you recognize where this quote comes from?  The Declaration of Independence, unanimously DECLARED by the thirteen United State of America.

It is important to restate the definition or origin of some words.  For example what is meant by the word “equal”?  In this case it is an adjective, a word that describes or qualifies a noun or pronoun.  The noun which is described or qualified is “men”.  Equal comes from the Latin word aequus meaning “level, even, just”.  Equal as an adjective is different from equal as a noun, or equal as an adverb.  Those two imply exactness, whereas, equal the adjective describe the status.  The difference is…well, in the difference.

Thus, without further ado, “men are created equal” does not imply exactness.  Rather “all men created equal” definitively means all men have an even or level right to opportunity to achieve.

To take advantage of that equal opportunity there are among unalienable rights those listed in the Declaration of Independence; life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

The Declaration of Independence stipulates a premise of separation.  The thirteen colonies declared they were to become separate and equal (the noun) to the other “powers of the earth” .  Further, they stated clearly why that separation was necessary.  Summarizing, they declared they were assuming the power to “have an even and level right to opportunity to achieve”, because they had been deprived of it and thus necessitated they “dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another”.

They reiterated the various specific reasons for that separation, which I shall call the “Leaning Tower of Pisa” causes of conflict.

The great bell tower of the cathedral of Pisa stands at offset angle of approximately four (4) degrees.  The cause of the 4 degree tilt is the foundation.  The footings on one side of the structure were too soft to keep the bell tower from listing to one side.  Otherwise the house for the clarion call was quite sound indeed.  The design was magnificent.  The materials for construction were of high quality.  If only, the footings had been able to evenly distribute the weight.  But, be that wishful think as it may, the tower continues to lilt.

It is a most worthy edifice.  Those privileged to observe it walk away astonished.  It is reported that some men, centuries ago, sat and stared at the tower for nearly an entire lifetime…awaiting to witness the collapse under its own weight.  In the 1990 through 2001 efforts were made to stabilize the tower to prevent it from collapse.  I presume there is no more entertainment value in sitting and watching.

So, coming to the heart of this pontification, allow me some allowances.

The colonies separated from Great Britain because Great Britain was doing what kept Great Britain from being great.  As soundly and articulately stated by Thomas Jefferson in the Declaration of Independence Great Britain had begun to build a structure of laws upon unequal footings.  The king and his fellow potentates heaped a tonnage of regulations and laws upon the backs of the colonies, while excluding the burden from those “back home”.  They divested the colonies of fair and just representation either in Parliament or in the colonies themselves.

What the people of the colonies recognized is that laws and regulations are not a sure foundation for equality of opportunity.  In fact they learned in a short space of years that laws were too frequently sandy soil.

History, a commodity well know among the great minds of America, had taught a lesson.  The tradition of power among elites was unequal to the task of “level, even and just” means of assuring rights. 

They recognized that the shift sands of laws were far inferior to the bedrock of principles bestowed as self-evident, “that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights”.  Laws and regulations may be manipulated to take on the appearance of soundness, but if built only upon their own reputation, they will inevitably lean at an angle contrary to the rights of mankind.

As we look around us today governments have ceased to lean on the principles of good for a foundation, but rather create laws and regulations that lean to one side or another with every puff of hot air blown against them.

The people of the colonies lived in relative contentment…until the government became clear it would trample upon them.  Then they rose to frustration, then to pleading, then to objection, and then to anger, and lastly to arms.  Today, we see a nation at anger because the national government has shifted principle to rest the sands of regulation.  There is no opportunity of our lives in which on any given day the national government does not have a regulation to impose upon us, undermining the principles of rights bestowed by our creator.

Thus, as the national government builds its bell tower of unequal footings on shifting sands we are faced with that advice  of 390 years ago.

Therefore, send not to know
For whom the bell tolls,
It tolls for thee.

That Is The Way I See It




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