“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal,”
-Thomas Jefferson, Declaration of Independence
“…our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.”
-Abraham Lincoln, Gettysburg Address
“I say to you today, my friends, so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.
I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident; that all men are created equal.'”
-Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., I Have a Dream
EQUALITY : the condition or state of being the same in number, amount, degree, rank, or quality (http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/equality)
No, I’m not perfect. Far from it. Plenty of people are smarter than I am. Tons are more attractive than I am, more fit, healthier, more athletic- God knows plenty of people are wealthier than I am, and much more talented. So what in the world did Jefferson mean?
Surely he didn’t mean women? He says all “men,” after all. Obviously he didn’t mean Black people, did he? After all, he himself OWNED slaves, right?
Perhaps that’s exactly why King said what he did 187 years later. Because America was claiming to believe something in 1776 but we never quite lived up to it.
Yet just 87 years after Jefferson wrote what he did, Lincoln essentially argued that America was founded on and for equality- “dedicated” to that very proposition.
You can argue for or against Conservatism, Progressive-ism, Liberalism, Libertarian-ism, Pluralism, Corporatism, Capitalism, Federalism or Socialism, Veganism, Vegetarianism, and Materialism- but if you claim to an American, you by definition have signed on to be an egalitarian. To believe otherwise is… well, un-American.
EGALITARIANISM 1: a belief in human equality especially with respect to social, political, and economic affairs 2: a social philosophy advocating the removal of inequalities among people (http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/equality)
No, we’re not all equal in height, weight, IQ, assets, skills, popularity, prominence, or even (unfortunately) opportunities. But according to the Constitution, we are all entitled to equal protection under the law and due process of law and we are all entitled to the equal protection of our rights and liberties laid out in the Bill of Rights.
Or is this not “self-evident?” How dedicated are you to this proposition? How ready and willing are you to step-up and live it out?