We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
About the Declaration there is a finality that is exceedingly restful. It is often asserted that the world has made a great deal of progress since 1776, that we have had new thoughts and new experiences which have given us a great advance over the people of that day, and that we may therefore very well discard their conclusions for something more modern.
But that reasoning can not be applied to this great charter. If all men are created equal, that is final. If they are endowed with inalienable rights, that is final. If governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed, that is final.
No advance, no progress can be made beyond these propositions. If anyone wishes to deny their truth or their soundness, the only direction in which he can proceed historically is not forward, but backward toward the time when there was no equality, no rights of the individual, no rule of the people. Those who wish to proceed in that direction can not lay claim to progress. They are reactionary. Their ideas are not more modern, but more ancient, than those of the Revolutionary fathers.
it goes without saying that the Declaration of Independence does not have the force of law and that state governments have general police powers unlimited in the way that the fed isn't and why isn't anyone ever worried about that?
if the Founders held any truths to be self evident why did the US need a 13th or 15th Amendment, or the 24th Amendment (ratified 1964, striking down poll taxes, still in Cal's future), or the voting rights acts?
not to be crude, how the fuck can someone own slaves or countenance slavery or embrace Jim Crow and claim that all men are created equal and entitled to liberty as a natural right? if someone said, "sure, but 'all" doesn't mean what you think it means" at least he's being an honest fraud.
if "[n]o advance, no progress can be made beyond these propositions", tell me what magical year was the law of the land at its moastest constitutionaltastic? 1790? 1850? 1980?
"If anyone wishes to deny their truth or their soundness, ..." holy shit, half days of this nation have been seen these truths denied.
Vic Morrow's tommy gun
"If anyone wishes to deny their truth or their soundness, the only direction in which he can proceed historically is not forward, but backward toward the time when there was no equality, no rights of the individual, no rule of the people. Those who wish to proceed in that direction can not lay claim to progress. They are reactionary. Their ideas are not more modern, but more ancient, than those of the Revolutionary fathers."
judges get to decide what's constitutional, Marbury v Madison. grow up and deal with it. the chief executive appoints judges. that's in the constitution. grow up and deal with that too.
what fantasy world do you think you're living in?
Vic Morrow's tommy gun
You answered yourself. The Declaration is not law. What it is however is the guiding principle towards which laws ought to aim.
Any laws, regulations, rulings which do not progress towards the principle of the Declaration are regressive.
I don't think anyone is fool enough to believe that we have ever, or will ever, actually live up to that principle. But we can aim for it.
Obviously, they are not quite self evident. To answer your questions, though:
You would think it goes without saying, but you said it anyway. Any conservative knows that the powers of the states and the people are broad and undefined. If you're worried about it, and you should be, then get involved. It's much easier to influence your state capitol than D.C.
To your second and third questions you may not be satisfied with your country's past, but the the Constitution is a legal document that provides a framework for a government of the people. If it's followed it will go a great way towards fending off chaos and tyranny. That simple paper, in addition to a lot of blood, is what eventually overturned the injustices you listed. That's impressive, in my opinion.
The Preamble answers your fourth question. The goal wasn't to form a perfect union, but a more perfect union. Within this very document is the means to adjust and alter it as time passes.
Finally, if I understand your last statement, perhaps half of Americans have seen these truths denied. It seems high too me. But if half in the U.S., it's easily 98% of all men throughout history. Take your pick, forward or backward?
Absolutely and as long as they do this honestly and correctly no problem. My point is that in spite of the constitution and it's clear language it can easily be usurped by placing biased and activist judges on the bench. This is exactly what the left does and it will inevitably lead to a revolt or uprising when they eventually go one step too far. "God made man, but Samuel Colt made them equal."