“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.”
Today we continue a never-ending journey, to bridge the meaning of those words with the realities of our time. For history tells us that while these truths may be self-evident, they have never been self-executing; that while freedom is a gift from God, it must be secured by His people here on Earth.—to suggest that Obama's belief system is (ahem) less than fully American. "May be self-evident" suggests residual disbelief in the proposition. I suggest the fuller passage indicates the president's unmitigated acceptance of said proposition.
No sensible person disputes that we work out our ideas in space and time with great difficulty, but Obama’s use of “may” is extremely telling, like the academics I meet who unfailingly say “Lincoln was right—for his time.” What about our time, today? What about Lincoln’s view that the self-evident truths of the Declaration were true everywhere and always, as Jefferson put it? I’d bet a lot of money that Obama does not believe that. Does Joel really believe differently about Obama’s deepest philosophical views? Why would Obama believe differently?Since my original critique of Steve's post was founded on the idea that getting inside the president's head—any president—is a fool's errand, I'm going to try to decline speculation about "Obama's deepest philosophical views." I don't know what they are; I can only know what he says and what he does.