It’s coming up on nearly 250 years since we began this American experiment, an experiment with high ideals. Recent events and decades simply underscore that we have a long, long way to go to meeting them. So in this Newsletter, I thought I’d incorporate some of what we have learned from some of our podcast guests about the meaning of American ideals in the Declaration by restating those ideals in different language. The hope in doing so is to 1) provoke more thinking about what ought to be America’s new grand strategy to meet those ideals, and 2) inspire more actions to help accelerate the realization of those ideals as soon as possible.
Again here is a portion of the Declaration with key ideals in bold:
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, — that whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.
Here is a restatement of the basics of those ideals:
- All people are created equal and therefore are equally entitled to two kinds of freedom:
- “Freedom from” having individual liberties suppressed, e.g. freedom of speech, assembly, press, religion, etc.
- “Freedom to” have the basics in life necessary to realize a fulfilling life, e.g. basic health care, education, employment, housing, etc.
- It’s the job of government, chosen by the People, to secure both of the freedoms described above or change that government until it does
What do you think of this restatement of this portion of the Declaration? Does it ring true to you? How can it be improved?
Some of this restatement came from what I learned from Marshall Ganz in the second podcast about the two kinds of freedoms and are in the article I wrote on the topic, America Needs to Pivot Toward Positive Freedom.
Again, thanks for listening and providing your feedback and ideas. Let me know what you think about the format and content of the shows, who might be good guests for future shows and what you think America’s Purpose ought to be.
You can send me a message at firstname.lastname@example.org, where you sign up to GET THE NEWSLETTER or by contacting me on LinkedIn.