For Americans, the Declaration of Independence codifies man's unalienable, individual rights.
These rights are life, liberty, property, and the pursuit of happiness. And that is the complete list of rights to which citizens are entitled.
There is no right to a Whopper with Cheese at the local Burger King; no right to a free month of rent at the Lakeview Luxury Apartments; or even free Chemotherapy treatments should you need them.
Why did the Declaration limit our rights to life, liberty, property, and the pursuit of happiness? Because legitimate rights provide freedom for citizens to act, not to receive free shelter, food, medical treatment or big-screen televisions.
The American system guarantees you the right to work for what you want -- not for goods or services to be 'given' to you, without effort on your part, by some mysterious "others".
Consider a system in which your neighbors are compelled to feed, clothe and house you. In other words, your neighbors are ordered, whether they like it or not, to give up their freedoms (their private property, their liberty) to pay for your existence.
In such a system, you would be granted the rights to the goods or services produced by others, whether they voluntarily agree to such a system or not.
In such a system, the right to the pursuit of happiness is misconstrued to mean something else entirely: the right for other people to please you, whether they want to do so or not. Your "right" to happiness comes at the expense of others. They lose their liberties because they have now become your slaves. They are compelled to try to make you happy at their own expense and have no choice in the matter.
But our system defines rights in the form of freedom to act, not guarantees that citizens will receive free goods or services. It was this freedom to act that was unique among nations and made the United States the envy of the world, the richest and most powerful country ever seen on the face of the Earth. It did so by defining individual rights only as freedom of action.
With the passage of Democrat health care, however, the individual rights articulated in the Declaration of Independence have been trampled upon. It is as if the Declaration had never been written as politicians invent new "rights" from whole cloth. These "rights" require only your mere existence: by existing, you will be granted gift-wrapped goods and services from "others" who somehow will provide them to you.
You are now entitled to something simply because it exists and you want or need it. You are entitled to receive it from the government, because the government will take as much labor, as much private property, as much as it needs from the citizenry to give it to you.
Of course, Democrat health care truly wipes away our rights. The people who manufacture the goods or provide the services are now beholden to the state. If you attempt to make the delivery of any good or service a right, you thereby enslave the providers.
But doctors, as Ayn Rand wrote, are not servants of their patients. They are "traders, like everyone else in a free society, and they should bear that title proudly, considering the crucial importance of the services they offer."
The Democrat Party's assertion that "health care for all" is a right is a notion at complete odds with the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. It is no more a right than the right to free bread, free orange juice at the grocery store, a free condo or free open bowling on Friday nights.
"Health care for all" translates to slavery, plain and simple, and marks the beginning of the end of the American experiment.
Inspired by: Dr. Leonard Peikoff and Dr. Mark Levin.