By Keli’i Akina
July Fourth is simply across the nook, and as soon as once more I’m reminded of how fortunate we’re to dwell in a rustic whose rules are so clearly said in its founding doc.
I’m not speaking in regards to the U.S. Structure, which additionally is an excellent achievement, however relatively the Declaration of Independence, which set our nation on its course to turn out to be the main mild for freedom all through the world.
Written by Thomas Jefferson, who later would turn out to be America’s third president, it boldly states:
“We maintain these truths to be self-evident, that every one males are created equal, that they’re endowed by their Creator with sure unalienable Rights, that amongst these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. That to safe these rights, Governments are instituted amongst Males, deriving their simply powers from the consent of the ruled, –That each time any Type of Authorities turns into harmful of those ends, it’s the Proper of the Folks to change or to abolish it, and to institute new Authorities, laying its basis on such rules and organizing its powers in such type, as to them shall appear almost definitely to impact their Security and Happiness.”
It was a revolutionary doc, declaring that the 13 colonies not needed to be a part of Nice Britain. And the courageous males who signed it — America’s Founding Fathers — knew they have been placing their lives, fortunes and “sacred Honor” in danger for doing so.
Dick Rowland, founding father of the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii, liked the Declaration of Independence. He carried small copies of it and the U.S. Structure to distribute to individuals he would meet. He always referred to it in dialog and speeches. It was his means of claiming that America has been on the precise path since its starting, and he needed to maintain it that means.
However Dick additionally acknowledged that America will not be excellent, and by no means has been. Slavery, unequal remedy of girls, blue legal guidelines, censorship, cronyism, corruption, the army draft, extreme taxation, unlawful overseas wars — the listing goes on.
However due to the guiding rules of the Declaration of Independence, buttressed by the U.S. Structure, probably the most egregious of these violations have been struck down, and the remainder are at all times on their heels.
That’s why Dick based the Institute, to assist get rid of these remaining violations of our nation’s rules and maintain America on the trail to freedom for all.
His focus, in fact, was learn how to apply these rules to Hawaii, to assist decrease its value of residing, increase alternatives and make the islands a spot the place all of us can thrive and prosper.
To that time, a number of the grievances towards Britain’s King George sound like they could have been about trendy Hawaii. The one which stands out for me is: “He has erected a mess of New Places of work, and despatched hither swarms of Officers to harrass our individuals, and eat out their substance.”
Nevertheless, one other assertion that stands out for me is when Jefferson says, “Prudence, certainly, will dictate that Governments lengthy established shouldn’t be modified for mild and transient causes.”
And so it’s right now. Governments lengthy established shouldn’t be modified for mild and transient causes. However they do require our consideration when, as Jefferson additionally mentioned, “a protracted practice of abuses and usurpations … evinces a design to cut back them below absolute Despotism.
In different phrases, to proceed on our path to freedom, we have to at all times bear in mind the guiding rules of the Declaration of Independence — that all of us are “created equal” and endowed with “sure unalienable Rights,” amongst that are “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”
And we must be grateful that we dwell in a rustic the place such rules are there to information us within the first place.
Completely happy Fourth of July!
Keli‘i Akina is president and CEO of the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii.