Original audience limited

“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.”

These words, taken from our Declaration of Independence, certainly sound like they were written for a large audience.

However, I believe the original audience for whom these words were intended was a fairly limited one.

Namely, adult white males who owned property.

After all, they were the only ones who were eligible to vote in our country’s early years. The intended audience becomes even more limited when we consider whom the Founding Fathers felt were best suited to run for office. That select group only included those property owners who were wealthy enough to hire others to manage their properties.

These restrictive practices of the past certainly stand in stark contrast to the words quoted above. In fact, it has only been with the passage of time, and significant civil unrest, that the original limited audience has gradually expanded to include almost all adult citizens of the US.

However, I find it encouraging that we are closer now, than in the past, to ensuring that all people enjoy “certain unalienable Rights”.

David Bross

Cogan Station

Submitted by Virtual Newsroom