I am sad to see so many editorials and statements in the Idaho Statesman that show a lack of understanding by our citizens as to what their rights are and they seem unaware which quote comes from which of the founding documents that this nation was built on. The latest coming from an elected official, who stated that health care is not a right, simply because it serves to advance his political agenda. Clearly, he has not read the Declaration of Independence or the preamble to the Constitution on which he swore an oath to uphold.
The Declaration of Independence states, ”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.” In this day and age, how can health care not be covered under Life and the pursuit of Happiness? I have friends and family who through early detection of their cancers and early treatments are now living long and happy lives. Without health care their lives would have ended all too early. If health care is only for the powerful, rich, the elitist of Congress, then we are not all equal. If the poor and the common man are to be denied health care, then they are denied their rights to Life and Happiness.
Further, the preamble of the Constitution states, “We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare and secure the Blessing of Liberty to ourselves and our posterity do ordain and establish this constitution for the United States of America.” The line that seems to be forgotten here is that it is the function of the Constitution and government to promote the general welfare. Webster’s dictionary defined general as being of the whole and in this case, “We the People” and welfare is defined as the state of being or doing well; condition of health and happiness. Clearly, Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness are rights under the Constitution and are the cornerstones on which the Founding Fathers intended this nation to be built on.
It is time that we the people remember that this is our nation, our government and it is not for just the few, the elite, the rich and powerful. Take some time to know whom and what they stand for before you vote in the next election, but you must vote. It cannot be a democracy if so many of our citizens choose not to vote.
To the Idaho Statesman, I say maybe you should give some thought to printing the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution for the United States of America and the Bill of Rights, as to educate our citizens, for it was Thomas Jefferson who said, “An Enlightened citizenry is indispensable for the proper functioning of a republic.”
Gregory Berg is a retired finance coordinator for the state of Idaho and lives in Boise.