Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Redefining our Unalienable Rights

"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," and. . .?a regular paycheck.

Yesterday, Mother Jones magazine unveiled a recording of Mitt Romney's now infamous statement about the "the 47%" of us who pay no income taxes. In so doing, the magazine hath dragged into public scrutiny the bedrock issue of this presidential campaign, and indeed the fundamental issue of our time: the redefinition of our "unalienable rights."

In the November election, if you vote for Mr. Romney and the Republicans, you are supporting a choice to leave the paycheck (what Eugene McCarthy called in the late '60s "guaranteed income") within the realm of private responsibility. But if you vote for Mr. Obama and the Democrats, your ballot effectually adds electoral support to the idea (and governmental program) that those unalienable rights (set forth by Mr. Jefferson and the Continental Congress on July 4, 1776) should now be expanded include. . .a paycheck!

This controversy is nothing new. It has been eighty years in the making, ever since Mr. Roosevelt took office in 1933, and Lyndon Johnson later addended the Great Society to Roosevelt's old New Deal.

Now in 2012, in spite of Mr. Romney's alleged waffling on the issues, he does manage to, with a little help from the opposing lefties, actually identify the real question that defines our two opposing political eccentricities. He may turn out to be a good president for this reason. His centrism forces us to deal with the real issues of our age.

Thank you, Mr. Romney for raising this controversy, and thanks also to Mother Jones magazine for fulfilling their fourth estate responsibility to illuminate the issue by bringing it into the sunshine of public discourse.

As for me, I am a Republican, and will vote accordingly. I want to do everything possible to sustain personal responsibility among our citizenry, instead of government dependency.

But if this election does not turn out well for the GOP, I suppose I'll just have to get with the program, won't I?

Because I am a bleeding heart conservative; and that inclusion of the "Creator" word in Mr. Jefferson's definitive declaration means a lot to me. In my theological universe, our Creator is that One whose Son once told a young rich guy to go and sell everything he had and give to the poor.

A pretty convincing scriptural precedent.

Therefore it seems to me there is something favorable to be said for the powers that be entitling at least a minimum level of life support for all our people.

Life, liberty, the pursuit of happiness, and a regular paycheck. We'll see, come November 6, what the People's decision is on this question.

Glass half-Full


  1. Good post, Carey. It seems we have expanded unalienable rights to not only a paycheck, but a certain amount in the paycheck. And free birth control, and free abortions, and free housing, and free sex change operations for prisoners. All paid for by the much maligned 1%... And china.

  2. and I'm so happy to know that you and I are in the 1%. We finally made it!