No matter what percent you’re in, you deserve unalienable rights. But where are those rights now?

Listening to: Hot Rod Circuit followed by Hot Water Music — both on shuffle

…was without a rudie-Tuesday, and will only be mildly rudie-Thursday. Apologies!

…will be short and simple.  Whether you’re part of the 99%, the 53%, the .001% or any other percent, if you’re an American you’re born with certain unalienable rights.  This is basic elementary school social studies/history, but for those who are a tad slower, here they are: life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. (Fun fact! The first draft of that statement before the version adopted in the Declaration of Independence also included the unalienable right to property. I guess, in the end, Ben Franklin and Tom Jefferson were minimalists!)

Those rights start to seem pretty alienable in a poor economy, though.  A horrifying mound of student loans, a sufloogled healthcare system and exceptionally partisan politics are making the situation seem that much worse, along with a mass of other problems.  In such bleak looking times where months go by and no jobs are being created, I don’t expect anyone to want to spend much money, especially those who are in the middle and lower classes but including the 1%.  When that’s the case and no one’s putting money back into the economy, it’s hard not to feel those rights getting further alienated.

For life, we need good health and the ability to find work that will allow us to pay for the care that’s sometimes necessary to maintain that good health.

For liberty, we need not to feel so polarized and quick to name-call.  It’s as though we’ve created a standard where we must identify as Republicans or Democrats and lean as far to the left or right as possible.  There’s an urge to categorize and label everyone with one political/social/fiscal association or the other.  It’s tough to feel free when open-mindedness doesn’t have room to breathe and every political issue is being labeled as “class warfare.”

We can always “pursue” happiness, so in a way that one still stands.  The Declaration doesn’t call happiness itself unalienable, just our ability to try and attain it.  That’s what the Occupiers are doing.  Call them the “Tea Party of the left” or the furthest thing from it — either way, they’re protesting because there’s change they want to see to make the world a more livable, fair place.

There’s a lack of some organization and protesters are for a number of different causes, but on the right the Tea Party had the same problems.  There’s extremists on both sides with Tea Parties getting labeled as racist and Occupiers labeled as anti-Semitic.  In both cases, they seem to be on the fringe and managing to give the movements bad names as a whole.  Whether the Occupy movement can be equated with Tea, an American Autumn to the Arab Spring or anything else, the goal is to make a difference.  To make something different happen.

It’s a pursuit and that’s all the US Declaration offers, but if we can take back life and liberty, maybe it can be more.

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