TWO VISIONS OF AMERICA
The United States is a truly unique country. We were founded on a unique concept. In the mid to late 18th century and before, governments were sovereign. The government, in the form of a ruler such as a King, Emperor, or Czar, claimed they were ruler by divine right. Because the ruler was ruling at the behest of God, what the ruler declared was the supreme law of the land and was never to be questioned. John Locke had written that people had certain rights that were Natural Rights and were given to the people directly from God without government as a middleman. Among these rights were the right to life, liberty, and property. It is on this theory that our nation was founded. Government would not be sovereign, but government would be protector of the people from foreign enemies and protector of the Natural Rights of the people. This was the vision under which the United States grew and prospered.
A different vision of the American Way and American Values believes that government is more than the protector of Natural Rights. This vision says government is the grantor and the controller of Natural Rights. This vision believes Natural Rights are like entitlements, which they say are human rights. This vision believes it is the role of government to allocate resources as they believe is proper for the good of the community under the guise of fairness and equality.