The Star-Herald

Individual rights revisited

Some may recall that civics, the rights, and duties of US citizenship, was a required course, usually at the eighth-grade Level. And one could not become a U.S. citizen without demonstrating a basic understanding of U.S. civics. What draws so many freedom-seeking people to the U.S. and perhaps what too few U.S. citizens understand these days is best expressed in the Declaration of Independence, penned by Thomas Jefferson, who along with the rest of us can be measured by the eternal truths he declared. Jefferson defines the standard of individual liberty for the benefit of all who seek freedom from tyranny. 

The Declaration reads, in part:  

We hold these truths to be self-evident” — These truths are universal, outside the mind of man; they need no explanation or defense.

“…that all men are created equal” — This is universal man and woman, created equal without political, economic or theological distinction; based on equality of opportunity, not outcome.

“…that they have been endowed by their Creator” — a higher power, one greater than the power of any individual or government.

“…with certain unalienable rights” — rights unable to be taken away or given away by an individual.  

“…that among these rights are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” — One cannot enjoy the unalienable right to liberty, the power to choose, without first enjoying the unalienable right to life; nor can one enjoy the unalienable right to the pursuit of happiness without the unalienable rights to life and liberty whereby one also has the unalienable power to choose where to live, who to live with, where to work,  what to buy in a (free) marketplace, where to worship (or not), etc.

“That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.” — The true purpose of government is to secure individual rights; there is no divine right of kings, presidents, or popes here in the U.S. Rule is by consent of the people, through their elected representatives. The United States is a republic, the representative form of government.

“That whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or abolish it, and to institute new government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its power in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness.” — The American representative form of government is in danger of fading away into an administrative form of government where the unalienable liberty of the individual citizen becomes an alienable, arbitrary, civil-based liberty via public policy edict by unelected, unaccountable administrators — aka the “deep state.”

The problem: Artificial distinctions of individual citizens into public policy groups or categories based on race, creed, color, sex, national origin, EDI quotas, CRT, etc., is a diversity delusion, denies the truth of individual creator-endowed unalienable rights, and seeks only to divide and conquer for the purpose of enhancing power of the state over the individual citizen. Administrative form is also known as collectivism, as well as various other “isms” which gradually, sometimes rapidly, expand into 100 percent totalitarian tyranny and 100 percent loss of individual liberty. 

The solution: Operate the representative form of government correctly, seeking and electing individual representatives at local, state and federal levels who understand that the true purpose of U.S. government is to secure individual liberty for U.S. citizens, certainly not for personal pork or world domination.

The state can be and has often been in the course of history the main source of mischief and disaster.,” said Ludwig Von Mises.

Hayes Gahagan is a former Maine state representative and senator and is a managing member of Loring Holdings, LLC, a bioenergy and real estate developer. He lives in Castle Hill with his wife Linda. They have five children and 12 grandchildren.

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