The Sidney Sun-Telegraph - Serving proudly since 1873 as the beautiful Nebraska Panhandle's first newspaper

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By Mike Sunderland
Thoughts from a Grey-haired Point of View 

Will I Fight for Equality? It Depends


In colonial America you were an Englishman, or you were not.

The common claim was that an Englishman was an Englishman no matter where he stood in the world. The colonists increasingly took this to mean that they were equal in status and rights to any other English subject. British people of the upper classes viewed that idea with some distaste and were often offended when approached with familiarity by a colonial American.

Most Americans thought that British attitudes about class and title were at best laughable, at worst a corruption of the foulest sort. On the frontier a man was valued for his deeds, not for any sort of social title or family inheritance. It was these attitudes that lead inevitably to the establishment of a new nation. Unfortunately we have seen the rise of this type of attitude and treatment from the ultra rich and powerful in this nation. They have the money and therefore desire to rule everyone else.

Beginning on July 4, 1776, 59 men representing the 13 English colonies in America signed a most extraordinary document: the Declaration of Independence. In it they made a claim that had hitherto not been asserted. They stated, “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.” From this declaration the rest of American history, the Constitution of the United States and our present government evolved.

These rights were “unalienable” because the Creator gave them, not man by an act of law. They could neither be granted nor taken away by man. With this said, it must be understood that there is a difference in meaning in the equality written of in the Declaration of Independence and that claimed by many in today’s society. The framers of the American system intended that all citizens be granted equal rights. That is, if one has a right then all have the same right. Out of this basic precept came the corollary of equal treatment under the law.

This tenet has been so construed and contorted by many to mean that if you have $10 then everyone must have $10, whether they earned it or not. If you have a better job, better house, better car, better anything than they, then they have a right to have the same. This is a basic plank in the socialist and communist belief system. Unfortunately, in order to make everyone equal to everyone else in all respects requires the moving of the vast majority down to the lowest common denominator.

Personal ability, skill, experience, dedication, and knowledge differ from person to person, thereby making the goal of absolute social and economic equality impossible. (Well, it can be achieved for the majority of citizens if the ruling class makes slaves of everyone else!)

I will fight for everyone’s rights as God’s creation, so you and everyone can strive to become the best you can. I enlisted in the Navy to fight for your right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, along with equal treatment under the law. I will fight against anyone who tries to impose any other form of false equality upon me. The A’s, B’s and C’s I earned in school are mine. The jobs I have had over the years and the money I earned from them are mine. If another wishes to have what I have they can work for it as hard as I did. Otherwise, keep your hands off, or be willing to fight me for them.

P.S. That attitude applies to government, as well. Hopefully, we the people can regain control of our state and national government by use of the ballot box.

And, just as important (or more so) you and I can maintain our rights and freedoms without recourse to riot and violence in the streets. But, and this is the real catch in this essay, you and you and you and all of us must stand together and vote out the bad guys and vote in the good ones.

If you do not vote, you really don’t have much call to complain.


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