“Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” : the most famous phrase penned by Thomas Jefferson as the defining moment to his monumental Declaration of Independence.
And it’s a phrase that all American’s hold dear. It acts as a national credo or motto despite not actually being a part of our nation’s governing documents. And even those who have never read the entire document, have these words memorized.
Most of the states have some sort of lock down…a safer at home, a shelter in place, or such…and it is wreaking havoc on the American economy. We all know that. We are all suffering for it in one way or another. None of this is fair and none of us caused it and none of us should give up.
I don’t think any of you are unaware of the protests around the nation and even just recently in Brookfield, that demand that the governors prematurely reopen their states. They are saying that their liberty is being denied.
“Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness”
There is a reason that those three ideals appear in that order. Life is first. Defending life is more important than defending liberty. And right now we as a nation are struggling to protect the lives of, at this point, hundreds of thousands of Americans. Who knows if it could reach the millions. Real lives…our friends, our neighbors, our families. I am willing to stay home and miss my weekly dinner out with my wife if it means I don’t get sick. I don’t want to be the asymptomatic host and spread it around town and maybe cause the death of your father-in-law…or have your favorite aunt end up with a debilitating injury even though she recovered. I don’t want to waste a single life that could be protected just because I want to go to the neighborhood pub for a beer…or want to go to the movie theater…or go to watch the Brewers play at Miller Park.
Liberty hasn’t gone away. We still have it. It’s just in a reduced and prescribed form at the moment. It’s temporary, we all hope. This too shall pass. But Life comes first. And what liberty do you have if you take away someone else’s life…neither one of you will ever again experience pursuit of happiness.
But the protesters say, it’s my body (don’t get started on that…women have been saying that for quite some time to a tone deaf audience)…and it’s on them if they get infected. But it isn’t…if they get it…they will most likely spread it throughout their social contacts…people who don’t deserve it…don’t suspect it. That’s the rub.
And if they have a bone to pick, it isn’t with the various governors. It’s with the President of the United States. The governors are reacting to the world that’s been thrust upon them…by the inaction of the White House. And they are, for the most part, following the advice coming out of the White House Coronavirus Task Force. Now, I agree, the president couldn’t have prevented the virus from reaching the US, but he wasted three months before he reacted to it. There are a lot of American deaths that could have been prevented. And each and everyone of them should be laid on the threshold of the Oval Office. Want to be mad? Hold the president accountable for once.
“Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” Life comes first.