If our founding fathers were here today, they would perhaps weep for the country they bled for. The history of the American people is a history of certain individuals giving up what they had for what they believed in – struggle for independence, justice, equality, freedom and personal responsibility. It is the tale of the common man’s determination to take charge of his life and to build a nation where their children will live in a free nation (Finkelman, 1996). It was to be a nation where justice prevails, where the everyman can live and move freely without being beleaguered or harassed by his fellow man.
Considering the principles on which this nation was founded and the current state of things, one cannot be blind to the disparity that exist. We the people of America have deviated from the principles that “ought” to govern this nation. We have lost sight of the important things that should guide our daily lives and have been carried away by the irrelevancies. The question here is how have we deviated from these principles? The draftsmen of the American constitution saw a nation where the principles of justice, domestic peace, individual liberty and freedom prevail (Bernstein, 1987).
This is expressly written in the preamble of the constitution and this constitution was written to guide the running of the nation. In this essay, I would be making a comparison of what ought to be the case in our country as against the present situation of things in America. As mentioned above, one of the major principles on which this country was founded upon is the principle of individual liberty. I will define liberty as the “state of affairs, within important limits, in which law-abiding citizens can live according to their own choices rather than those of someone else” (Yates, 2001).
Although this does not mean that people are free to do just anything which might result to anarchy but the state where people are free from external restrains to do what they want to do in as much as they are not tampering with the rights of their fellow man. However, the America we know today is a country where people are indirectly restrained to do certain things. Hiding under the guise of the greater good, some fundamental human rights are being infringed. I fail to see fairness in the fact that an individual can not choose to spend the money earned from his hard work without the government poking its nose into it.
This, to me, is a deviation from the principle of individual freedom. Furthermore, the people of America now sleep with an eye closed. It is not a new thing for people to be harassed or told wear national ID cards. Citizens of this nation are being subjected to massive searches of their private property by federal agents all in the name of feeling secure (Yates, 2001). This violates the principle of freedom which is core to the establishment of the nation called America.
In addition to this, all men and women alike should be treated alike if we are to fulfill the principle of equality. It is sorry to note that it was not until early this year that it was enforced that women can collect the same wage for doing the same job that a man does. Apart from this, the idea that some people are entitled to medical care than others is against the principle of equality. With these problems encroaching on us and aggravating every day, we the people must make a move to fulfill the hopes and aspirations of our founding fathers.
We must go back to the drawing board and seek to redress our priorities – creating a nation where justice prevails and where people are not afraid to move freely. A nation that is one and is indivisible under God. Reference: • Yates, S. (2001). Exploring America’s Founding Principles: The Need Has Never Been Greater. Retrieved from http://www. lewrockwell. com/yates/yates41. html on April 16, 2009 • Bernstein, B. (1987). Are We to Be a Nation? The Making of the Constitution. Harvard University Press. • Finkelman, P. (1996) Slavery and the Founders: Race and Slavery in the Age of Jefferson (M. E. Sharpe, 1996)