Everything is becoming a human right nowadays. Turn on the news and you will hear a politician proclaim that X should be a human right and that it is fundamentally unfair to deny someone to have X.
This is troubling on multiple levels, especially since if everything is a human right than the term becomes absolutely meaningless. Before the United States was formed, the concept of unalienable human rights was virtually nonexistent. Kings, emperors, lords and ladies ruled the serfs and the common man and woman had no rights other than those provided to them by their generous masters.
Yes, there were some philosophers and average citizens around the world that believed man had intrinsic human rights, but the concept had never been openly proclaimed or written down until the Declaration of Independence in 1776.
The Magna Carta, which preceded the Declaration of Independence by over 500 years, was the first blow to tyrannical government, but it was more of a constraint against the King himself as long as he left his Baron’s alone (again, Lord’s and Ladies). It did however, begin the process of religious freedom that would make its way to America 500+ years later. You could say the Magna Carta was the precursor to the Declaration of Independence.
What our friends on the progressive left try to do is make sure everyone has a government handout to keep them happy. That way, they won’t think for themselves or worry about the role of government in their lives. After all, if the government gives you everything, why would you want to change that?
The Declaration of Independence was the first document in human history that proclaimed that 1) Our rights come from God, not man; 2) The government is instituted for the sole purpose of protecting these rights; 3) The government should always fear the people (2nd Amendment); and 4) The government derives their power from the consent of the governed. The 18 enumerated powers were written to explicitly dictate what the government was allowed to do, everything else was left to the states.
This was a revolutionary act, both literally and figuratively. First, the men signing it were likely signing their death warrant. Second, though these ideas had been floating around by Locke, Montesquieu, Bastiat, and others, it had never been codified by a government or a people. It was, in fact, the first of its kind.
I always laugh when I hear the U.N and other countries talk about human rights and then proclaim how the United States violates X human right while looking the other way for countries like Iran, the Palestinians, etc. Lest we forget, the United States, through its example, created the human rights standards that are currently used today by most countries and governing bodies around the world.
We, the People, were the first to codify that “all men are created equal” because we are made in God’s image. We, the People, were the first to liberate other countries from their oppressive governments. We, the People, fought two world wars to liberate Europe from Nazism, Fascism, and Imperialism. We, the People, fought a costly civil war to free out country from the evils of slavery. We, the People, fought to remove the cancer that is Communism from Latin America, Russia, and other parts of the world. We, the People, have provided more aid to the world than the whole world combined by a factor of 10. It’s not even close. We, the People, through our capitalistic model have brought billions of people out of abject poverty. We, the People, have kept more peace in the last one hundred years than their has been in history. Our military presence has served as a deterrent around the world against hostile and evil actors. We, the People, have exported the concept of freedom and democracy to the whole world. Before us, the concepts such as freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom of association, and due process did not exist or if it did, was extremely limited. I could go on and on.
Note: No, Great Britain may have claimed to have these freedoms, but it did not. The Declaration of Independence was clear about this. Even today, Great Britain has some freedom, but much less than the United States. Canada, Great Britain, and many European countries do not have true freedom of speech and association. You are prosecuted and fined for so-called, “hate-speech,” are not allowed to protest, etc.
Have we been perfect? Absolutely not. We have failed miserably in many areas. Unfortunately, that’s the first argument liberals will use. However, here is where they are mistaken. Perfection is not needed to be great or amazing. No athlete is perfect, yet many are great. The constant battle to do good is what is required, even if you fail. Our ideals and standards were high, and we aimed to hit them every time, though we fail(ed) constantly.
Name me one country that has done more for freedom, economics, or the poor than the United States? You can’t. Name me one country that has no blood on its hands from an unjust war, conquering territories, or committed any atrocities? Unless they are new countries that broke out of old ones, you cannot.
Asia has had war for centuries. What about the Middle East? They still have war among themselves (Sunni’s, Shiites, etc.). Europe? England, France, Spain, and Portugal were at war for hundreds of years. The Native Americans? Have you ever heard of the atrocities committed by the Mayans, Aztecs, and Cheyenne tribes? This has been the way the world works. One country conquers another, than one falls, etc. It has been like that for all of history. No country has been exempt or innocent. So let’s not play this game that the United States is an evil, oppressive, and conquering regime. Compared to most of the countries in the world and their histories, we are benevolent, albeit seriously flawed.
Have we made mistakes? Yes. Have we gotten into wars we shouldn’t have? Absolutely. However, unlike other countries, we have always given those territories back to the people and tried to establish democracy (much to our mistake). Whatever our faults, we have tried to do the right thing. We, for better or for worse, believe freedom is innate and a human right so we try to give others the opportunity to experience it. Unfortunately, not all countries deserve freedom or even want it. The problem is that the United States, because of all the good (and some bad) it has done is held to a way higher standard than the rest of the world.
Note: Yes, I know we still have Texas, California, Nevada, and Arizona. I am not ignoring those territories or being purposefully ignorant of history. I will discuss those in another article and explain why I believe they are not at odds with the above paragraph.
For centuries, we were a beacon of hope to those living in oppressive regimes around the world. We were the birthplace of freedom and the cradle of liberty. Those that aspired to be free dreamed of coming to our shores for the sheer hope of having an opportunity to pursue their goals with little government involvement.
All of this was possible because of a few men who believed that God, not the King gave men rights. That those rights were not arbitrary; governments could not remove them on a whim. That God was and is the Supreme lawgiver who blesses nations that honor his commandments, even ungodly ones. That governments are subject to God’s law and will, clearly established in his Holy Scriptures. That is why the founders believed so much in allowing every citizen to worship God “according to the dictates of their consciences.”
In conclusion, America is not great because of our President, government, or even people. American is great because of the uniqueness of its founding, the acknowledgment of God-given rights, its belief in freedom, and its longing to do what is right despite of the corrupt people in power. Make no mistake, these attributes are quickly fading. We have abandoned God and his law. Therefore, we are reaping the consequences of our immorality, ignorance, and pride.
But the principles that made America the greatest country in the world were not capitalism or even freedom, though they are vitally important. The principles that made and make America great was the belief that God and only God gave rights, the government is made to protect those rights, the government is subject to the people, and we have the right to control our own destiny.
So, yes. Despite the many defects of America, we were and still are the greatest country this world has ever known.
God bless America!