The Herald, Sharon, Pa.

Opinion

July 5, 2014

Our politicians, judges should reread Declaration

- — As I read the Declaration of Independence on the Opinion Page of The Herald on Friday, I couldn’t help but admire the writing of Thomas Jefferson on the document that led to what is today the United States of America.

Someone in my family once had a genealogy done and supposedly one of my forefathers was a minister in Philadelphia and in order to avoid the British, Jefferson allegedly penned the document in his kitchen. (Yikes. Just think what the early drafts that were discarded would have been worth today.)

Jefferson penned powerful words. None more important than:

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 ...

It’s interesting that while Jefferson wrote that all men are created equal, he still had slaves who worked his plantation. And the third president of the United States actually outdid Bill Clinton by having an affair with at least one of the slaves that produced offspring.

But what was so important at that period in history was that the entire government was unified with one purpose: to break away from the tyranny of a British king and run their own affairs.

Fast-forward a few hundred years and you have to wonder what happened to that unified government that held such promise back in 1776.

While we made great strides in electing the first black president, his effectiveness has been limited by a split Congress. And at no time in history has the ideology between Democrats and Republicans brought such viciousness.

Something is really messed up when the Speaker of the House takes a break from working on his tan to threaten to sue the president. Hey, can’t we all just get along?

Whatever happened to the old backroom get-togethers where our government leaders hashed out problems and came to a solution that best benefits all Americans.

Big Business has always run government. One of the best explanations of that came in the novel “Captains and Kings.” While it was supposed to be fiction, it pretty much described how the government really works.

But at one time, business leaders had more respect for the workers. Today we see the so-called “one percent” getting richer and the middle class disappearing.

And then there’s the Supreme Court. The court is supposed to be a group of judges who make rulings according to the edicts put forth in The Constitution of the United States.

But when their decisions often come out in a 5-4 vote, that shows that rather than following the letter of the law, they are making decisions according to their personal views.

It makes you wonder about our so-called “unalienable rights.”

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