11.02.2015 1

The DNA of America

declaration flag

By Rick Manning

Adapted from a speech delivered to the Caffeinated Thoughts Briefing in Des Moines, Iowa on Oct. 31, 2015.

Each of us knows that we are living in the most perilous times for our nation in at least 150 years.  $19 Trillion national debt, a devastatingly shrinking Navy, open borders, financial crises, stagnant wages, a rising Russia, China’s challenge are all big, but we can overcome them.

The biggest threat is the incessant internal gnawing at everything American here at home that seems to appear wherever we turn.

The news is full of head scratching events where the government and some of our people seem to have completely lost their moorings.  And that is because they have.

America is the greatest nation to ever have existed in the history of the world.  When I was in junior high school in southern California, my social studies teacher told us that there is no American culture because we are a melting pot of people.  She was wrong.

There is an American culture, and a uniquely American DNA that makes us who we are, and it is that exceptionalism that is under daily attack.

The American DNA was identified by Thomas Jefferson and a band of brothers meeting in Philadelphia in 1776 when he wrote and they signed the Declaration of Independence which begins using the following:

“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.”

These fifty five words define the DNA of America.  The very essence of what has made our nation the greatest that the earth has ever seen.

And it is these fifty five words that have come under unrelenting attack as those who despise liberty seek to redefine America by changing our nation’s genetic code.  After all, you cannot fundamentally transform something without changing its DNA.

What do they find so offensive — how about everything.

“We hold these truths” — not opinions, loosely held beliefs or even facts, the Founders left no doubt that the definition of individual freedom is an absolute truth.

Truths that are self-evident.  Everyone knows this with no debate.

“that all men are created equal” — Created, not formed, not the result of random chemical reactions in some alleged primordial ooze.  But created.

“that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights”

Yes, our nation was founded with the recognition that God Himself is the font of our rights which cannot be stripped away.

“that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness”  No guarantees on the happiness part, but life and liberty are core to the American idea.

“That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.”

Never let anyone tell you that you should not fight for freedom and to defend your inalienable rights for any reason — the entire moral rationale for the United States government is to secure these rights, and the just powers are gained from your consent.

Why is this important?

It’s important, because when someone tries to exclude God from the public square, they are denying the only source of our individual liberties.  Neither People nor the government they institute can convey freedom to others, government by its very design is a limiter of freedom, and the uniquely American concept is that government is only constrained by the recognition that our rights are derived from God.

Our Founders lived at a time when the Divine right of Kings was a popular justification for Monarchy, the founders made every person, a king in their own right instead of mere chattel depending upon their government masters to tell them what they could do.

Without the essential element that American citizen’s rights come straight from the Almighty, there are no rights at all.

And we see this reality playing out more and more every day.  The Obama Administration has even gone so far in speeches to remove the words “by their Creator” from official readings of the Declaration of Independence, later claiming that it was a slip up.

And the results of this denial of what was “self-evident” is that we have seen the Obama Administration and incredibly the Democrats in the Senate engaging in wholesale war on the First Amendment and for those of you paying attention, most of them don’t seem to like the Second one very much either.

This is not hyperbole.

Last Congress, Harry Reid led a drive to repeal the First Amendment, replacing it with language that would allow the federal government control over political speech.  In fact, 49 Senate Democrats signed on to the repeal and replace of the First Amendment, look it up if you don’t believe me.  Senators Lee, Cruz and others fought them and won, but what was formerly thought to be crazy actually was tried and no one seemed to notice.

We have seen the Obama Administration use the IRS to go after political groups who he doesn’t agree with.

We have seen the Obama Justice Department go after reporters who they don’t agree with, including breaking into a Washington Times reporter’s home in an early morning raid to confiscate her notes so they could find the whistleblowers who were feeding her stories of internal corruption at the TSA.

We have seen the FCC attempt on multiple occasions to regulate the Internet so they can control this dangerous threat to government controlled information.

And the list goes on and on.

Religious liberties have never been more in peril.  When an Oregon baker may lose their property because they refused to participate in a celebration of sin, as defined by their religious beliefs, freedom of conscience is lost.

When the federal government actually sues the Little Sisters of the Poor to force them to provide abortions and birth control against their religious convictions, the assault on basic freedoms is a real and present danger.

But what is more distressing is that the nation as a whole is not rising up to decry and denounce these obvious breaches of our most basic liberties.

Because the nature of politicians is to seek to increase their power, and by extension that means the power of the government, and those power grabs always come at the extent of your rights.

Yet we hear the constant noise that God has no place in politics or government.  The disintegration of freedom in our nation is exactly why God has to be in the public square.  Because without God and the rights he conveys, we are sheep at the mercy of wolves.

America needs to be reminded where our liberties come from, and inspired to hold them dear.  If we fail to elect a leader who does that, then every other battle will be eventually lost.

The fundamental question facing the voters in the upcoming election is what is America going to be going forward?

Will we be a nation of laws where the consent of the governed reins, or a nation of men who dole out bite sized freedoms so long as they are allowed to rule?

The very DNA of our nation is at stake on virtually every front, and the decisions you make will determine which direction we go. Will our nation be fundamentally transformed, or will we maintain the character of individual liberty that has been the font of our nation’s greatness for over 200 years. That is what the 2016 election is all about.

Rick Manning is the President of Americans for Limited Government.

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