Dear Libertarian friends and sympathizers,
“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.”
I want to point out that the phrasing “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” has certain logical implications. It does not say “liberty to live and pursue happiness,” but rather lists these three rights in an “and” clause. In other words, to secure liberty alone is not sufficient for this clause to obtain. A people’s possession of liberty does not satisfy its claim to those unalienable rights to which “governments are instituted among men” to secure.
Life and the pursuit of happiness, together with liberty, are to be secured by the people’s governmet. We should not ask for government to remove its hands from those institutions that are critical to securing life and the pursuit of happiness, which men have never shown themselves capable of securing independently. Public schools and public health are our birthrights as citizens of the United States of America.