“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.” – The Declaration of Independence, 1776.
These words were some of the first words that the Founding Fathers used to govern and form the United States of America. These words created one of the fundamental, underlying principles of this country; that every man was created equal and every man had the same inalienable rights under God. Understanding this principle is understanding exactly what the Founding Fathers meant by equality. In these lines of the Declaration of Independence, the Founding Fathers laid out the idea that every man is created from the same nature. Being created from the same nature ensures that they are all equal in some respect. Because all men are created equal and are created in the same nature, the Founding Fathers created a single governing law for every individual. How the levels of equality play out under the laws created is dependent upon an individual’s development and persistence in society.
Liberals consistently shame conservatives and the Republican party for “not believing in equality.” The Democratic party frames their arguments as though conservatives don’t believe in fair treatment of individuals or that they don’t believe any sense of equality should exist in the United States of America. What so many fail to understand, though, is the difference between equal opportunity and equal outcome. The Founding Fathers created a nation in which every individual was guaranteed an equal opportunity. They did not create a country in which every individual would have the same level of talent, the same intelligence, or the same capacities for certain skills. Because of this, through the Declaration of Independence and the framing documents that followed, the Founding Fathers created a nation in which every individual who desired to achieve the American Dream would have the same opportunities to do so. This does not guarantee that individuals would achieve the same outcomes. That would also be dependent upon an individual’s innate and learned skills.
The government of the United States was not created to aid equality of outcome. It was not created to ensure that upon seeking the American Dream, every individual achieves the same goals. Essentially, that is the fundamental principle of a communist society. In a capitalist society as created by the framers, individuals must work to achieve their American dreams. The government’s job is to ensure that the equality of opportunity stays in place and that no individual or group obstructs that right.
Conservatives believe in the American Dream. Not only that. They believe that every individual should have the same opportunity to achieve their own version of the American Dream. This does not mean, though, that every individual will have the same outcome. Not everyone who tries will achieve the American dream and live in pure equality next to their neighbors. That’s where empowerment of the individual comes in. This nation was designed to provide the opportunity for success.