“We hold these truths to be self-evident.”
Those are the words memorably held by the Declaration of Independence. Within that document are ideas and concepts — truths — revolutionary at the time but believed to be self-evident: all men are created equated; we have certain unalienable Rights, including Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness; and we have the right to form our own government based on these truths. That is the basis of our social contract.
In its simplest form the U.S. Constitution itself is really a contract, with the two parties involved being the states and the citizens. This document ties the states and the people together, with the federal government being a byproduct of this union. Yet over time our focus — likely because of mass media and the mass production of ideas — has turned to federal issues.
Meanwhile, our social contract is under attack by those who declare that the very foundation of our union — self-evident truth — does not exist. Instead, they argue that everyone gets to live their own “truth.” And that shift in thinking is destroying the very fabric of our society.
Truth is not, and never has been, an individual idea. We don’t all get to live our own truth. There is just truth. And if we can’t agree on fundamental truths, we simply cannot have a civil society or maintain our social contract. That is why this assertion that there is no truth is so dangerous to our country and way of life. For example, believing biological men can be biological women doesn’t make it so. Ten years ago, that was universally accepted; now efforts are mounting to gaslight the American public into questioning this self-evident truth.
A similar pattern is happening across an array of nationwide issues: believing masks work doesn’t make it so; believing the air we exhale is poisonous to the planet doesn’t make it true; believing that our lives should be directed by government doesn’t make it legitimate. But this is the battleground for America’s soul, and it is being fought on the field of truth.
So, how do you fix your country when the very foundation on which it was built is being destroyed one distortion at a time? You have to remember that the contract is not between you and the federal government; the contract is between American citizens and the States. That is why, if you want to fix your country and restore our footing, you must focus on fixing your State. And as the States start pulling in the same direction, back towards our pursuits of Life, Liberty and Happiness, that will pull the country in that direction as well. If you pull your State towards Truth, the nation will follow.
That is why I encourage you to ask yourself: where do you see the country in 20 years? The answer is to determine where you want your State to be in that time. There is no better example of this theory in action than the COVID pandemic. When the federal government attempted to control State sovereignty and the sovereignty of the individual, the States that bucked those power grabs became safe havens for American citizens.
In Louisiana, as your Attorney General, I stood up for liberty when it wasn’t popular. I fought to open churches and salons, to allow our boys back onto the football fields, and to let each individual decide whether or not they would wear a mask or undergo a medical procedure. These fights were not politically convenient, but they were the right thing to do.
How do I know that? Because in this great American experiment, we have a clear roadmap for when we lose our way or times are dark, and that is the Constitution. And according to that contract, you do not live in a Brave New World in which you are meant to love your slavery and your prison. Instead, you are sovereign individual within a sovereign State in possession of inalienable Rights that must not be trampled upon.
To do this, we must turn our focus back to that contract, inspired by our Declaration against oppression, and once more feed our passion for our State to steer this nation back to truth. That is the path forward, and it’s one that anyone can take.