Prior to the establishment of the United States of America, all existing governments had superior rights to their citizens’ individual rights. The king or the state came first. A person existed to serve the king so that the king in his benevolence could provide support for his subjects. A person had to petition the throne for liberty and freedom, and it was only given by permission.
Let’s explore this idea further. As a parent, an aunt or uncle, or a guardian, what do you think about as necessary for your children, your nephew or niece, or your ward to obtain or develop to be successful in life? You may say an education. You may say a strong character of self-reliance. You may say a personal creed that includes honesty and respect for your fellow man. I would argue that you would not say a dominant government that provides you with every need, but restricts you in how you can use it. A famous Thomas Jefferson quote is, “A government big enough to give you everything you want, is big enough to take everything you have.” I am now beginning to understand what he meant and why he said it at the time in history that he did. Entitlements enslave a person to a life of servitude to the government, and further restricts life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
We should not oppose entitlements because we think they cost too much or people don’t deserve them. There are times when people do need help. We should seek to manage entitlements out of respect for individual rights so that an individual does not become dependent upon aid and therefore a slave to the state.
Being dependent on government for basic needs is demeaning to human dignity.
In the United States today, we debate the need, value, and ongoing worth of entitlements from a point of policy instead of principle. Today’s discussion is about those who have giving up more for those who have not, when the discussion should be about the principles of human dignity. It is critical, as a culture, that we redefine purpose in America today. Entitlements have moved beyond a right to a goal. We should oppose this concept as a society, just like we oppose illegal drug use or smoking as health issues for our citizens. Our children should know without exception that their goal in life is to be independent of any lordship, individual or state, and to achieve this goal, they must get an education, they must seek gainful employment, they must respect constitutional rights for all citizens, and become part of the matrix that produces a strong, healthy and prosperous society.
The discussion today should be about how to help all citizens become totally independent and self-reliant in an orderly society, not how do I get more from the government to maintain my status quo of dependency. The point is that we must reestablish the central platform of the debate for the foundation of human dignity.
I tie this conclusion to the overriding principle of freedom. In the spirit of the Founding Fathers whose motto was “Novus Ordo Seclorem” (a new order for the generations), what I want for the generations is freedom unrestricted so that they can enjoy their unalienable rights in their pursuit of happiness. This application of freedom is essential to human dignity.
My name is Marc Nuttle and this is what I believe.
What do you believe?