Ron Paul and Original Intent

This is not meant to be an attack on Ron Paul, his concerns over this countries military interventionism are valid. However, when he or any of politician cite “original intent” those listening should be critical of that citation. There is nothing more original than the Declaration of Independence.

1. “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.”

Question 1: Did the founders intend by this that “all men” only included American men?

Given the fact that at the time of the founders, only white land owning males were truly equal, this is a pertinent question.

2. “That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.”

Question 2: Does this authorize the United States to “alter or abolish” the governments of other nations?

3. “But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.”

It could be argued that citation #3 answers question #2 in the affirmative. But then again, citation #4 would seem to contradict that notion:

4. “— Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world. “

This would indicate that only the government that the people of this country can “alter or abolish” is it’s own.

The point of this is to say that the founder’s original intent may be more ambiguous that we’d like to think.


2 Responses to Ron Paul and Original Intent

  1. bumbledraven says:

    #1 Good question
    #2 No, it authorizes *the people* (i.e. the subjects of the government) to overthrow an oppressive regime
    #3 see #2
    #4 see #2

  2. Brent says:

    #1: Yes. Otherwise, they would have been warmongering against Spain, France, and England.
    #2: No. The constitution is written for America, not other countries.
    #3&#4: These just clear up #2. The founding fathers didn’t write the Declaration of Independence for any other country than the USA. So why would it impact anybody else?

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