LIFE, LIBERTY AND THE PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS
By Mr Cuddles, Washington Correspondent
Where did this text come from? Give up? Abraham Lincoln made it the centerpiece of his Gettysburg Address of 1863, and his policies. Since then, it has become a major statement on human rights, particularly this second sentence:
“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.”
This has been called "one of the best-known sentences in the English language", containing "the most potent and consequential words in American history". The passage came to represent a moral standard to which the United States should strive. This view was notably promoted by Abraham Lincoln, who considered the Declaration of Independence to be the foundation of his political philosophy, and argued that the Declaration is a statement of principles through which the United States Constitution should be interpreted. It also provided inspiration to other national declarations of independence - France (liberté, égalité, fraternité", or liberty, equality, fraternity), Germany (Einigkeit und Recht und Freiheit" - unity, justice and freedom), and Canada("life, liberty, security of the person" ), for example.
So, I wonder from my point of view as a Time Traveller...why do so many of your politicians negate this principle? It seems that many of your elected officials have not read this, or maybe not understood, these immortal words? I wonder why?
You as a nation are a nation of immigrants, except the North American Indians. When people came to your shores, Liberty's image is one of strength, majesty, and hope, visiblein her eternally raised right arm which carries the torch of freedom. Holding aloft a light that never fails, she represents hope to the hopeless, welcome to the poor, courage to the meek. Facing outward toward the ocean, her lamp is a beacon on stormy seas, drawing to her shores those from afar who seek a better life. For these, and for countless others who embrace her message, the Statue of Liberty represents the Golden Door.
So what is the Golden Door, you ask?
It's the entry to liberty and freedom from oppression that is the promise of America - a land, a people, a way of life.
It is also the freedom of spirit and of choice that was declared an inalienable right in the Declaration of Independence - a document whose date of execution, July 4th, 1776, is inscribed on the tablet that the Statue carries. The Statue welcomes all to this door - the lost, the needy, the rejected, the exiled. She invites them to step through it into freedom.
Immortalized in the poem of Emma Lazarus, the Statue speaks eternally the words of compassion: "Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free." These words from the "The New Colossus," written in 1883, appear on the Statue's pedestal.
"Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name,
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
"Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!" cries she
With silent lips. "Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"
And yet, I see certain factions who want to negate this. Suppressing voting rights (making it harder for minorities to vote in your country); gerrymandering districts in favor of their own political party; blocking Americans' right to access affordable health care; refusing a common-sense immigration law that would benefit the country; refusing a woman’s right to make choices beneficial to her own health. And all of these due to partisan politics,self advancement, and misguided ideology!
It's time you stood up for what's right! Make you voice heard!
As a Time Traveller, I can't interfere in your world, but I can give my observations.
The United States is a great country, don't let the self-centered few dictate what your heart knows to be wrong.
May all the people of planet Earth have a...
Happy and Prosperous New Year!