America was founded on timeless principles

Posted on August 9, 2010


In the first 126 words of the Declaration of Independence we learn the five central principles of which our nation is built.  We learn that there is a Creator.  The Creator gives inalienable rights.  He has a moral law which governs men.  The government exists to protect the rights that He gives.  And below God given rights we are ruled by the consent of the governed.

Woodrow Wilson said forget the Declaration of Independence, it’s an old list of grievances.  There are 27 clauses in the Declaration that tell us why we separated from Great Britain.  Among those was the complaint that the King kept setting up new government offices among us and sending new employees from the government to feed off our taxes.  Sounds a bit like recent events.  We were tired of judicial activists and we wanted to set up a legal system where judges don’t make policy.  Sounds a bit like recent events.  One was a complaint about how Great Britain was dealing with immigration.  Sounds a bit like current events.  These and more are still relevant today because the Declaration of Independence was based on timeless principles.

Progressives like to think that we, as people, “progress”.  Which is right in a way.  But basic human nature such as greed, the desire to control, etc., all the bad traits in human behavior, doesn’t change; we don’t grow out of and progress from human nature.  Technology progresses, but human nature does not.  We have the same characteristics, the same desires, the same abuses, the same virtue and honor that our founders had, but it’s the technology that changes. 

So the original idea was smaller government.  The dangers of a large government are that you have a great many people under the control of a very few.  With a small federal government and many local governments there may be abuses here and there but the people can rise up against it and for the most part people are as free as they allow themselves to be based on their responsibility.

Larger governments tend to gravitate up rather than down so they get further away from the people.  They’re less accountable. 

We’re arguing for a set of principles that have proven to be successful across time.  That’s what’s so great about the Constitution; it doesn’t deal with specifics, it deals with principles and therefore it’s timeless.  It works as well today as it did a couple hundred years ago because it’s principle driven. 

America is a republic.  Along with that we are a federal constitutional republic which means the federal government shares power equally with the states.  And that’s what we don’t do anymore.