4 votes

Was The Declaration of Independence purer in words than deeds?

''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.''

Today The Declaration of Independence is a beautifully written piece and a statement of intent that everyone should aspire to.
I have noticed a recent trend however to re-edit the piece inserting ''and women'' after the phrase ''that all men are created equal''

At the time of its writing, this wording, even if taken in a universal manner, was a complete contradiction, especially as women were not given the vote until 1920 so were obviously at the time of the founders not considered equal, neither were the slaves that Jefferson owned at the time.

An early example of the women's suffrage movement was Lydia Taft who was allowed to vote in three New England town meetings, beginning in 1756. So there was some kind of precedent.

In the Declaration Jefferson's words did not mean to him we are 'all' including women and slaves 'equal'.
We now of course love to infer this, as they were different times etc. Jefferson could certainly have chosen not to reflect the status quo of the times but unfortunately chose to go along with it, which is not judging him by today's standards but by anyone's standards.

My point is, it is a mistake to blindly hero worship Jefferson or anyone else for that matter. No one is perfect even if their words have purity and resonance.

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Patrick Henry warned about the dangers of a strong central...

government, and without a Bill of Rights, Samuel Adams would not have supported the Constitution. Of the founders, these two may have been the most principled.

"Hence, naturally enough, my symbol for Hell is something like the bureaucracy of a police state or the office of a thoroughly nasty business concern." ~~C.S. Lewis
Love won! Deliverance from Tyranny is on the way! Col. 2:13-15

I dont' think anyone can

I dont' think anyone can honestly argue against your point that the founding fathers didn't live up to the promise of the substance of the declaration.

Is Ron Paul guilty of the

Is Ron Paul guilty of the politics of his time as you suggest Jefferson was of his? The Declaration was sublime. However, we still to this day seem to struggle with simply fully implementing it. This is the fault of politicians and their masters (not always the people), not the fault of the message of liberty carried through the centuries or the wisdom within the document drafted in 1776.
We the people however are guilty through our own success and prosperity in recent generations of a failure to be vigilant for the liberty that has provided it for many, but not all of us...

“Any man who thinks he can be happy and prosperous by letting the government take care of him better take a closer look at the American Indian.” ― Henry Ford.

I agree with many of your

I agree with many of your comments fyi2day, but the problem is Jefferson wasn't somehow innocently guilty of the politics of his time. Unfortunately he didn't recognise basic human rights as an individual, but wrote beautifully about them all the same.

Jefferson's original draft ...

... included a strong anti-slavery clause. But that was omited by the committee.

Regarding "men," as used in that context it includes women. It means mankind. Too many people today get hung up on politically correct bulls-it.

Surely then Jefferson should

Surely then Jefferson should have led by example and not owned 500 or so slaves.

If women were not allowed to vote then your comment and premise

''Regarding "men," as used in that context it includes women.''

is clearly faulty or do you see women not having the vote as equal even in those times?

Even White men who were not

Even White men who were not property owners were exclude if you look at your history. In fact less than 15% of the population could vote.
Property owners i.e. tax payers wasn't that bad an idea. Just saying...

“Any man who thinks he can be happy and prosperous by letting the government take care of him better take a closer look at the American Indian.” ― Henry Ford.

I've voted your comment up fyi2day

I've voted your comment up as it kind of proves my original point i.e. from a very lofty and actually wonderful ideal and premise, the actual practicalities were abandoned. As I said in my post, this was beautiful, pure prose but backed up by empty deeds.