THE PRINCIPLES OF THE DECLARATION
What is an Unalienable Right?
And unalienable right is a right that cannot ever be taken away, transferred, or denied to any person. In the Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson stated that the three unalienable rights were "Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness".
Who's responsible for securing these rights?
The people responsible for securing unalienable rights are both the government in question, and the citizens. The men and women controlling the government must ensure they use the power of the state to protect these rights, and the citizens are required to take the burden of the state when it can no longer or is not able to guarantee these rights.
What is "Consent of the Governed"?
To simplify it, the idea of "Consent of the Governed" means that a government's power is only legitimate and moral when the power is in the hands of the people in which the government is ruling over.
Why do we need consent of the governed?
Consent of the governed is incredibly important for any stable, long lasting country to survive. Without it, the power is no longer in the hands of the people who the state rules over. Governments without consent of the governed usually lead to the citizens rising up against it, because of their lack of say in what goes on in the state. Famous examples of this are the U.S. Revolution and the French Revolution. Without consent of the governed, the citizens of the United States would have no power over and laws or bills that were passed, and the government could easily turn tyrannical.
Are These Principles Outdated?
The ideas of Consent of the Governed and inalienable rights are timeless, but are the ideas stated in the Constitution and Declaration outdated? Both of these, in the United States, are up for debate.
Consent of the Governed:
Many Americans feel as if they have no say in politics, and that the U.S. Government is one big, never ending oligarchy where the wealthy continually rise to the top and usually separate the voters into two parties. While both of these are partially true, in the most basic sense we are able to vote, and the power is in the people's hands, regardless of whether or not they use this power. Gerrymandering, lobbying and the incredibly high cost of running for positions all contribute to the feeling of helplessness to the voters, though.
All Americans are entitled to the rights stated in the Constitution, but some people argue that the idea of Inalienable Rights are only guaranteed to people with perfect records, and that any out of prison criminals are inhibited in their right to pursue happiness, especially dealing with the war on drugs. However, the definition in the Constitution still holds up today, and has no need to be updated.
Do These Principals Matter?
Inalienable rights and Consent of the Governed are essential for any stable country to continue running. They are important to me, you, and everyone else in the world because without these, people have no say in what goes on around them.