Saturday, March 17, 2007
Apparently the author of this article, Alan Keyes, tried to get the Republican nomination for President in 2000. I know nothing more about him than this but I think he would have been far better for the country than the present incumbent.
If anything can be certain in history, it is that without the civic creed summarized in the opening of the Declaration, the United States would not exist as a free country. The Declaration gives the reasons for which the War of Independence was fought and expresses the motivation that enabled that war to be won. Since that day, the Declaration has been an indispensable foundation for a series of important struggles for justice in America, including of course the abolition of slavery. Without the Declaration, I believe, these struggles would not have been won.
How can a single document be so decisive in the practical affairs of men? This really shouldn't surprise us. While crude wielders of power may think otherwise, ideas are far from impotent in the struggles of life. Ideas, and the words that express them, are actually the dominant force in shaping the destiny of human beings.
How were uncountable masses of people held enthralled by handfuls of people through most of history and in most places in the world? It was not, typically, by the use of overwhelming force. Small groups of people never have enough force to overwhelm the masses. Masters succeed only when they enchain the minds and spirits of those subject to them. Around the Jefferson Memorial is inscribed a famous quote of Jefferson's: "I swear eternal enmity against every form of tyranny over the mind of man." This recognizes the crucial insight into the real source of enslavement, that slavery is not a matter of physical shackles, but of spiritual, mental and psychological chains.