Our Founding Fathers, inspired by the writings of John Locke, founded our representative republic on the fundamental principle of self-determination. This principle, which necessitates individual rights and limited government, endows each individual with the fundamental right to fend for himself. The sole purpose of government, according to Locke, is to safeguard the right of individuals to fend for themselves. The only justifiable restriction to this fundamental right is the prohibiting of its use by one individual to infringe upon it in the life of another. As it is oftentimes illustrated, “Your right to swing your fist ends where my nose begins.”
Thomas Jefferson, who drafted our Declaration of Independence, the founding document of our republic, imbedded within it this fundamental right of self-determination. According to Jefferson, as well as to all of our Founding Fathers, our country was founded on certain “truths,” which to them were “self-evident.” These undeniable truths were spelled out by our Founders in these famous words: “All men are created equal [and] are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, among [which] are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” In addition to spelling out our God-given and unalienable rights, our Founders also spelled out the sole purpose of government. Proper government, which can only exist “by the consent of the governed,” exist for no other reason than to protect and preserve our right of self-determination.
According to our Founding Fathers, if our government ever ceases to protect and preserve our God-given and unalienable rights—our right to self-determination—we should rise up and “alter or abolish” our government and “institute [a] new government,” which will serve it’s God-ordained purpose. Are we now living in a time requiring such revolution? After all, our government has ceased to protect and preserve our right to self-determination. In fact, it has suspended our God-given and unalienable rights under the guise of saving our lives from a virus. While most Americans haven’t batted an eye at our government’s revoking of our fundamental right to self-determination, seeing our government as our benevolent deliverer from a virus, I can’t help but see Uncle Sam turning into a dictatorial Big Brother, under whose iron fist we’ll perpetually find ourselves every time he perceives a new peril, real or imagined, abreast in America.
I’m afraid it looks like there’s not a revolutionary among us. Instead of a land populated with Patrick Henrys, who declare, “Give me liberty or give me death,” we’ve become a nation populated by people willing to forfeit their valuable liberty for a little viable security from a viral microorganism. Do you suppose our Founding Fathers are turning over in their graves over our freedom-forfeiting fear of the grave?