Guest Commentary / September 17, 2021

The Single Biggest Problem Facing America Today: Part II

The idea of equality morphed again so that now the common word is equity.

By Larry Craig

We said in Part I that the single biggest problem facing America today is knowing what America is — what the defining principles are that make it what it is. If we don’t know what they are, we will soon become a different country. And we won’t even know it. But that America which we used to call the greatest country in the history of the world will be no more.

We said that the United States is founded on five propositions, as given in the Declaration of Independence.

The first proposition is that all men are created equal.

Some people today, educated people even, assert that the Declaration is sexist, because it says that all MEN are created equal. What about women?

Throughout the history of the English language, the word “man” has always had two meanings: man as distinct from woman, and man as distinct from animals. Everybody spoke of mankind, and nobody thought it only spoke of men. But recently, people started complaining that this use of the word is sexist, because they felt women were intentionally excluded, or unintentionally because they were so demeaned in men’s eyes. I don’t think anybody who thinks this will accept any explanation I can offer to the contrary, so I won’t even make any more.

The Declaration talks about being CREATED equal. That means, in the sight of the law and God, we are all on an even plane. There is nothing inherently different between us such that one has more intrinsic worth or position than another. One man cannot rule over another without their consent.

We forget that at the time the Declaration was written, nations were ruled by kings. Kings weren’t elected. This rule was passed down through families, except for the occasional military coup. But it was accepted that some people had a divine or inherent right to rule over other people.

But, no, the Founders said, we are all created equal.

We will no longer have rulers but representatives.

But, people will say, didn’t we have slavery? Isn’t that one people ruling over another?

Indeed it is.

Prior to the American Revolution, slavery was legal in all the colonies. But that wasn’t the decision of the American people. They were colonies under British rule. When the colonies became independent states, some states soon became free, and some remained slave states. It took a Civil War and several constitutional amendments to finally get rid of it.

But the Declaration of Independence declared the ideal that the nation as a whole finally lived up to. But if the Declaration of Independence didn’t define our nation in this way, we might never have ended it. It was colonists living under kingly rule who rebelled against that rule who clearly described the true condition of men.

But we haven’t been teaching this to our children and all our new immigrants, because this equality is from God, and some people have been led to believe that it is unconstitutional to talk about God in the public square, our public schools, and the government in general.

But without a grounding in our founding principles, the understanding of them changes.

We can’t say that people are created equal, so what’s left is equal, the idea that everybody is equal, and if things don’t look equal, it is the responsibility of the government to make them equal.

So if any particular group of people — and race is now the most commonly used definer — has, say, less than the average rate of homeownership, then that group is deemed not equal, and it is now the role of government to find a way to increase homeownership in that demographic group to equal that of others (meaning: whites).

The idea of equality morphed again so that now the common word is equity. The difference is that equity focuses on the need for government to take stronger action to make sure that “less equal” groups become more equal to, well, white people.

Equity requires the government to help people it considers disadvantaged in some way so that they do better in life, however the government determines its criteria.

This is achieved in either of two ways:

One, the government funnels money either directly or indirectly to these selected people or groups. The other is to compel its citizens to favor these people or groups in certain ways over other people or groups.

The question for us now is whether this view of equality and equity is compatible with what America is. Is it consistent with the founding principle of all men being created equal?

The answer is no.

How can I be so sure?

Economics.

Our country has been in existence for almost 250 years. It was the early ‘60s when the Supreme Court ruled that we cannot favor one religion over another, including apparently even just believing in God as well. It was the mid-'60s when government began assuming the responsibility to take care of everybody. Before then, it was called charity, and it was all voluntary.

Since then, government spending has grown exponentially, and we have learned that there isn’t enough money in the world to do everything we now want government to do.

For all of our nation’s history prior to that time, our government was able to live within its means, and government debt was considered irresponsible and immoral.

But now, the list of peoples who need to be made more equal and all the ways that equality needs to be achieved have driven our nation into such debt that it has long given up the idea of paying that debt off. And that is un-American.

So, no, it is not the role of government to meet every need, solve every problem, and look over and check up on all its people (noncitizens as well as citizens) to see that they are all living the American Dream.

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