Kamala Harris’s totalitarian take on the Declaration of Independence
Thomas Jefferson’s Declaration of Independence is one of the towering documents in humankind’s development. Many of us, however, are so used to it as the backdrop of America’s creation that we forget to look at the meaning behind the words, and young people may not even know what it says. But you can be sure that political leftists are fully alive to its meaning. No wonder, then, that Kamala Harris omitted key concepts when she quoted it, allowing her to obscure the document’s profound and expansive view of human rights.
The greater part of the Declaration of Independence is a laundry list of King George III’s failure to observe the inherent rights that the colonists possessed, justifying their declaration of independence from the mother country. However, Jefferson was both a philosopher and a lawyer. He understood that there had to be a predicate explaining the moral and legal bases for leveling that charge against the King. In the first two paragraphs of the Declaration, Jefferson made his case.
Image: Kamala Harris. Rumble screen grab.
I’ll concern myself only with the first two sentences. Without them, the entire Declaration collapses, transforming from a profound statement about man’s optimal rights into a list of untethered demands that rest solely on whether the person making the demands can enforce them.
WHEN in the Course of human Events, it becomes necessary for one People to dissolve the Political Bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the Powers of the Earth, the separate and equal Station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent Respect to the Opinions of Mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the Separation.
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— (Emphasis mine.)
The Declaration identifies inherent—or, as Jefferson phrases it, “unalienable”—rights to which all men can lay claim. However, he understands that these rights cannot be summoned from nowhere. Instead, they must have an origin, and that origin is “God” or “their Creator.” Without that source, there’s no reason to say that men are endowed with or entitled to anything other than a fettered life under whatever totalitarianism happens to be in place at the moment.
(For those wondering how Jefferson and many of the other Founders could have this sophisticated understanding of liberty while at the same countenancing the continuance of slavery on American soil, I examined that issue at greater length here.)
God or a Creator is greater than any earthly ruler, whether king or parliament. Thus, no government can deprive people of the rights flowing from the Divine. And the first among those rights is the right to “life.” Frank Pavone, whom the Vatican defrocked, presumably for being too strident in his defense of life, has said that, without life, there are no other rights. It is the preeminent right on which all others are based. (I heard him say this on a Michael Knowles podcast which, unfortunately, I can’t locate right now.)
So, no God or Creator means no rights. Additionally, failing to recognize the primary, preeminent, foundational right to life also means no rights.
And that gets us to Kamala Harris’s take on the Declaration of Independence, which she offered in defense of abortion without limits:
We are here together because we collectively believe and know, America is a promise, America is a promise—it is a promise of freedom and liberty. Not for some, but for all. A promise that we made in the Declaration of Independence that we are each endowed with the right to liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
In the Democrats’ America, rights do not flow from a Creator. That means they come from the government and, as every victim of a tyrannical government knows, what the government gives, the government can take away, usually with brute force. And that seminal right to life? Nowhere to be found in Kamala’s world, either. It doesn’t exist for infants and, unspoken but true, it doesn’t have to exist for you either—something else victims of totalitarian governments have discovered at great costs in death camps and mass graves.