Remembering What the Declaration of Independence is Not – American Thinker
July 03, 2009
Remembering What the Declaration of Independence is Not
By Bruce Walker
When we celebrate the Fourth of July, we are celebrating one of the most important political documents in the history of the world. The Declaration is a statement to the world — the people of the world was the audience — about the very nature of government and its relationship to men. Sometimes we appreciate what this document was, but perhaps we need even more to appreciate what it was not.
It was not a poll-driven summation of current opinion. The men who gathered in Philadelphia did respect each other’s talents and knowledge, but the document they signed was driven by the latest Gallup or Zogby poll results. What was right and true was not dependent upon popular opinion.
The signers did not even seek a vote of the people. No referendum was necessary for the Declaration of Independence and it might well have failed in some of the colonies. The “will of the people,” so precious to demagogues, did not determine what was right and true. The people can fall for Hitler, adore Obama, and be enchanted by silly or wicked men. The purpose of government, as the Declaration clearly states, is to secure liberty and not to implement that dubious, inconstant sentiment “the will of the people.”