What makes America so different from the rest of the world? Our country began with the declaration that all people have a right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. And that these rights cannot be taken away because they belong to us as a birthright not a privilege granted by government.
We’re understandably a bit perplexed by the dangers we face today. Some politicians are trotting out different schemes that in years past were shot down for good reason such as violating the Constitution. Some columnists have even proposed the use of torture against suspected terrorists.
For goodness’ sakes, that’s not exactly the American way! And President Bush now wants military tribunals for suspected terrorists, even those suspects residing in the U.S. Some of us may be tempted to think that we can both keep our freedoms and still get greater security by trampling on the freedoms of immigrants or non-citizens. But human rights belong to all human beings, not just Americans. Our recognition of that fact is this country’s reason for being. When we deny other human beings the freedoms that we ourselves claim by birthright, we necessarily undercut the basis for our own freedom. Furthermore, such moves undermine the battle to win the hearts and minds of good people throughout the world.
How we treat people really does matter. We’re the good guys. Remember? Oh, I know the pseudo-sophisticated armchair world leaders will tell us that we have to break some eggs to make omelets, but I don’t buy it. And good guys don’t finish last; we finish first.
This is Common Sense.Â I’m Paul Jacob.