Many years ago, when there was less knowledge in the world, but people were generally smarter, a doctrine developed — an ideal — which was to form the very basis for a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.
Before going further, let’s dispose of two issues that are of no import to what I’m writing today. First, the use of the term “men” is because I am using the anachronistic quotes — “a government of laws, not of men” and “all men are created equal” — as they were used by the Founders of the United States of America. Second, unless you hold the same heinous position they held, which is that certain “men” were not really “men” — kind of treating entire groups of human beings as a distinct and separate species — then they didn’t really think that “all men are created equal.”
What they meant, though, is the same thing Aristotle said in his Politics, “Law should govern.” No government which was part of the United States of America would be run by despots, oligarchs, or anyone else who could arbitrarily decide when someone should be punished for some perceived slight, or “wrong.”
Today we have evolved as a nation. We recognize that all men, as well as women, have the same “unalienable”1 rights. Today, we would say, “Everyone must be treated the same when it comes to how our laws are applied.”2
But that was how America started. It is not how she is ending. [Read more...]