Friday, January 28, 2005
The election heard round the world
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. 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 to 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. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shown that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. 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. - Declaration of Independence of the United States. July 4, 1776
These words set in motion forces that would begin the American experiment - a test as to whether or not a people could freely govern themselves. The Originators of this experiment believed that a nation conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal could stand the test of time. We stand here upon the foundation they laid some 229 years ago still trying to prove their proposition is in fact correct.
This Sunday, on the other side of the globe, another nation will undertake this experiment. The people of Iraq will go to the polls - some braving harassment and others risking their very lives - to let their voice be heard in a region where the voice of the collective people has long been silent - or silenced.
In the early days of the American Experiment there were those who said it would be a colossal failure. People, they said, could not be trusted to govern themselves. Kings, Dictators, and Potentates were needed to enforce order and maintain society.
American history is not without its low points. It has been a struggle over the past 229 years. It has taken the courage and determination of the collective nation to survive famine, war, peace, strife and a host of other obstacles in order for this nation to have survived to this point. That said, the seed which was planted in the soil of America has spread.
It has spread because Freedom and Liberty are ingrained in the human soul. Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness are the Creator's gifts to man and the absence of those aforementioned self evident truths creates a longing that only true freedom can satisfy. The Iraqi people are about to partake in a small aspect of freedom.
Will the Iraqi elections immediately create an end to the dangerous situation in that country? No. But the election of George Washington did not solve the problems of the fledgling American republic either.
Last Thursday, W declared that America stands with those who seek to live in freedom and liberty. On Sunday America will stand with the Iraqi people as they take the first steps on the road to freedom, liberty, and prosperity for all Iraqis.
The rewards of this course are great, as are the risks. I pray that the Almighty may watch over those who seek to embrace freedom in a land where tyranny has ruled for far too long.
Fortune Favors The Brave/Bold.
Here endeth the lesson.