How can this be said gently, without cries of racism, sexism, Harris-ism? Vice President Harris gave a speech on January 22, presumably to honor Martin Luther King but “on the anniversary of Roe v. Wade.” In the speech, she disgraced America – then proudly walked off stage.
Just when you think it cannot get worse, a vice president – in an unintentional display of ignorance and audacity – decides to dishonor the text of the Declaration of Independence, America’s historic roots in faith, Dr. Martin Luther King, and the Supreme Court.
Said the esteemed second-in-command, vice president dubbed “president” by the President: “So we are here together because we collectively believe and know America is a promise…A promise we made in the Declaration of Independence that we are each endowed with the right to liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Be clear. These rights were not bestowed upon us. They belong to us as Americans.”
Now, whoa, wait a moment, hold those braying horses!
First, the Declaration of Independence is not just any document, but the nation’s founding declaration of intent – to become a nation. Being accurate about its contents seems mandatory for kids, parents, teachers and preachers, those patriotic and hesitant, especially – a vice president.
The text reads: “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.”
Let us start from the beginning as the song says, “a very good place to start…When you read, you begin with A, B, C…” That means, you do not start “…B, C.” Why did Harris omit “Life?”
Rather obviously, because she was speaking in favor of abortion, the decision to end a “life” – the opposite of Jefferson’s sentiment, which was all about protecting “life.” Speaking the word “life” in her pro-abortion venue was what her predecessor Al Gore might call “an inconvenient truth.”
Inconvenient indeed! The word “life” was the first of Jefferson’s high values for which independence itself was declared, not even the second or third, not the B or C – but the A.
Apparently the courageous vice president felt that causing people to think for a moment about when “life” begins by merely mentioning “life” was too inconvenient – so she omitted it. That was offense “Number One” to America’s intellectual honesty, integrity, and historic accuracy.
Next, the Vice President omitted from her quote the words “…that they are endowed by their Creator…” Was that phrase so hard to say out loud? Is the Vice President ashamed of her Creator? Our Creator? The Creator to whom Jefferson and all who signed the Declaration gave thanks?
Is she ashamed that our Founding Fathers – and Founding Mothers – all cared so deeply about giving thanks to our Creator, crediting our rights not to a King or Government but to God, that they put Him in the Declaration?
Does she think rights are created by government, so can be taken away by government? Was this another intentional fuzzing of truth? Denial of truth, attempt to re-write the Declaration, scrub God the way Marx and Lenin, atheists and secularists want to replace Him with government?
Was this a mere accident, or was this a two-for-two, second omission in one quote, neatly corroborating intent to omit the first key word, and vice versa? Just asking, not saying.
Then we get to offense “Number Three.” As Dr. Martin Luther King’s relatives have repeatedly discussed – especially in terms of opposing abortion – the civil rights leader was a pastor, a man of the cloth, who offered sermons on the meaning of faith, life, and love.
As his relatives have noted, he would never have supported abortion, did not support it, and also did not disavow white and black children living as equals, the American Dream, or “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” – words he actually used, quoted accurately from the Declaration, in his “I have a Dream Speech” on the Mall.
The dishonor is to MLK’s “I have a Dream Speech,” but also to him personally, to the day he is honored. To dishonor him by pushing the opposite of what he believed in the name of ending little lives, not defending them, is perhaps worse than a mix of ignorance and audacity. It is dishonesty.
To be clear, nothing – nothing – about MLK’s life, life mission, belief in life, sermons referencing children and how they should be honored in any way justifies using his name, words, and day to defend or promote abortion. To do so, frankly, is to disgrace his legacy of love – especially for the very young.
Finally, this former prosecutor – Vice President Harris – had the audacity to use this speech, this day, this twisted version of history to do what? To undermine respect for the Supreme Court.
Offense “Number Four” is her intentional disrespect for the US Supreme Court, for their 2022 Dobbs decision, which – if read closely – makes clear that Roe’s legal (not political) reasoning was fundamentally flawed, outcome-determinative, neither accurate nor intellectually sustainable.
So, we live in a time when a vice president can – in one fell swoop – dishonor the Nation’s founding document, identity as a People of Faith, Our Creator, Martin Luther King’s legacy of love for life, and rule of law as pronounced by the Supreme Court.
Bottom line: The bottom line is usually a “boom tick,” synthesis, meaning of the whole argument – and so, right here is where I should tell you what all this means. But you have life, liberty, and the ability to think – so I will not. I shall leave it to you. Some things just strike me as, well, disgraceful.
Robert Charles is a former Assistant Secretary of State under Colin Powell, former Reagan and Bush 41 White House staffer, attorney, and naval intelligence officer (USNR). He wrote “Narcotics and Terrorism” (2003), “Eagles and Evergreens” (2018), and is National Spokesman for AMAC.