Thursday, July 25, 2019

Mueller's Testimony Puts Democrats In A Very Dangerous Position

When Robert Mueller, former special counsel charged with investigating alleged Russian efforts to interfere with the 2016 election (and in reality charged with bringing down President Trump), testified before the House Judiciary and House Intelligence Committees, few expected there would be much drama or new revelations.

No one expected Mueller would completely discredit his own investigation, as well as the entire foundation for the allegations of Russian interference. Yet that is exactly what happened. Matt Drudge's headline on The Drudge Report was brutal, succinct, and accurate: "Dazed And Confused".

There was very little of Mueller's testimony that was anything short of shocking. He was completely confused by Congressman Matt Gaetz' blistering attack on his failure to investigate the Christopher Steele dossier that is at the foundation of the entire Russian Collusion narrative. He was unfamiliar with key sections of the report that bears his name. At one point he even contradicted his own report. In all, Mueller failed completely to either illuminate and amplify the report or to defend the integrity of his investigation.

I am no physician, and no competent diagnosis could be made merely from watching Mueller's testimony, so speculations as to why Mueller's performance on Capitol Hill was so bizarre are neither upright nor useful. But what is not speculation is recognizing that Mueller's odd turn at testifying does not simply end Democrats' hope of impeaching President Trump, it also creates a particularly thorny problem for the Democrats, and for the committee chairmen Jerry Nadler and Adam Schiff in particular.

The Democrats' difficulties begin with Mueller's complete failure to defend his own report. While it would be intuitively obvious that Mueller would not have compiled the very lengthy report all by himself, he presumably had a hand in its creation, oversaw its compilation, and therefore should have had at least a  working familiarity with its contents.  He did not, indicating that he did not have a hand in its creation and did not oversee its compilation.

The Mueller Report, it seems, was put together by someone not named Mueller.

Another major failure occurred when Mueller proved unable to defend the integrity of his staff, in particular the infamous Peter Strzok. It beggars belief that, during the process of hiring staff and selecting FBI agents to assist in the investigation, Mueller would not have interviewed people and made an effort to determine at least their perception of allegations that President Trump, while still just Candidate Trump, cozied up to Russia and helped to coordinate their disinformation campaigns. Yet Mueller's own testimony indicated he did not. Nor was he aware of several instances of potential conflict of interest, such as Jeannie Rhee having represented the Clintons during Hillary Clinton's email server scandal.

The Mueller Team, it seems, was put together by someone not named Mueller.

Mueller's unfamiliarity with the work of his own staff, and the details of his own investigation, puts one curious detail about the indictments he obtained against various Russian citizens for presumed interference in the 2016 election in a new light: At neither press conference did Mueller announce the indictments he himself presumably obtained. In both the February, 2018 and July, 2018 press conferences, the announcement of the indictments was made by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein. Robert Mueller was nowhere to be found. By comparison, when alleged serial sexual predator Jeffrey Epstein was indicted in New York earlier this month, the press conference was conducted by Geoffrey Berman, US Attorney for the Southern District of New York, the person in roughly a comparable position to that of Robert Mueller as special counsel. 

Why did Mueller not announce his own indictments? Why were none of his staff present during Rod Rosenstein's press briefings regarding indictments obtained by Mueller and his staff?

The Mueller Investigation, it seems, was conducted by someone not named Mueller.

This conclusion was shared by more than a few observers and commentators during the hearings. As radio talk show host Mark Levin tweeted:

While it is not unfathomable for Mueller to have been a "hands off" manager of his team who delegated most of the day-to-day operations of the probe, even "hands off" managers still receive at least periodic briefings from their staff, and are kept current on what people are doing. The clear implication from Mueller's testimony before Congress is that even that did not happen, and that Mueller was in fact merely a figurehead, a person with no real involvement or even say in how the Russian Collusion investigation proceeded. Indeed, as Mark Levin subsequently tweeted:

If Robert Mueller truly lacks the capacity to head up a major investigation, did he possess the capacity to authorize various actions made by his team during the investigation? Did Mueller sign his name to requests for subpoenas and search warrants at a time when he lacked the capacity to understand fully what he was signing? To be sure, this is pure speculation, and we should be very careful not to jump to any conclusions about when Mueller's incapacity presented itself, given Mueller's bizarre behavior during his testimony, but, given the rambling and unfocused reading of his May 29 statement announcing the formal closing of the Office of Special Counsel, given that Rod Rosenstein and not Mueller himself announced the Russian indictments in 2018, the question itself is not out of bounds.


Did Andrew Weissmann, Rod Rosenstein, and perhaps others perpetrate a fraud by keeping Mueller in place as a figurehead when he should have stepped down due to incapacity? Did they have an ethical obligation to bring Mueller's seeming difficulties to the attention of at a minimum the leadership of the Department of Justice? Did they, by not having done so, engage in prosecutorial misconduct?

These are not idle questions, and just the asking of them taints very part of the Mueller Report, and taints all of the evidences contained in the report. It takes no stretch of the imagination to believe that, were all this happening in a courtroom during a criminal proceeding instead, defense counsel would be arguing most strenuously for the exclusion of those evidences. If Weissmann and Rosenstein did perpetrate a fraud they surely have opened themselves up to ethical sanctions by their respective bar associations. Taken to the extreme, if Weissmann and Rosenstein did perpetrate a fraud by concealing Mueller's seeming incapacity, they themselves committed crimes. 

If Jerry Nadler, Andrew Schiff, as well as Democratic Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, knew of this fraud, and in fact sought to benefit from this fraud, arguably they are complicit in the fraud and guilty of conspiracy in facilitating and perpetuating the fraud.

If Democrats in Congress knew of Mueller's challenges and covered them up they may have committed crimes to do so.

This is where Mueller's disastrous testimony leads: the very real possibility that the Mueller probe was not merely a partisan witch hunt intended to build a case for impeaching Donald Trump and removing him from office, but was in fact an illegally conducted investigation, and one Democrats knew full well to be an illegally conducted investigation. Even if one concedes a legal basis for the investigation (which is already dubious, given Rosenstein's odd and some have said deficient construction of Mueller's appointment memorandum), no prosecutor has a legal basis for violating the law. No prosecutor has a legal basis for engaging in misconduct, and convictions obtained as a result of misconduct are open to reversal by an appeals court.

This is where Mueller's testimony leaves the Democrats. Far from having at least achieved the Democrat holy grail of a "Watergate 2.0", Mueller's testimony has created a potential "reverse Watergate", and now of leading Democrats we must now seriously question what did they know and when did they know it?

The Mueller Report itself was damning enough. As I pointed out when Mueller announced the end of the investigation, the investigation has produced zero evidence against Donald Trump. Even before Mueller's disastrous testimony, the conduct of the investigation was problematic, something I argued last year in regards to the shameful handling of the case against Lieutenant General Michael Flynn, a case that itself should result in criminal charges being laid against members of the Mueller team. Even before Mueller was appointed, I quite correctly called the Russia narrative a hoax, and the Mueller Report proved it.

Now Mueller has damned his own report. Any credible evidentiary claim that might have been made of the report has now been destroyed. Every assertion it makes must be questioned, and every claim of fact re-evaluated. Mueller damned the report simply by failing to be someone capable of either assembling the report or running the investigation which produced the report. Mueller was the appointed head of the investigation--if he was a mere figurehead the entire investigation was conducted under false pretenses, and so we are compelled to look askance at everything the investigation produced. Even if Mueller's testimony was contrived, and he is not so lacking in capacity, such deception on his part still leaves us with the same crisis of credibility, for if Mueller lacks confidence in his own investigation We The People can have no confidence in it at all.

Mueller turned the Mueller Report into the Mueller Lie, the Mueller Deception, the Mueller Ruse. He called into question every aspect of his investigation and the conduct of his investigators. He implicates Democrats in Congress as having facilitated and even participated in an outrageous deception, a fraud upon the United States without equal.

Before Robert Mueller appeared before Congress, cries of "investigate the investigators" had the disquieting appearance of political payback. Now those cries have the even more disturbing demeanor of legal necessity.

I doubt this was the outcome Jerry Nadler, Adam Schiff, and the "get Trump" Democrats anticipated Mueller would provide.

Thursday, July 18, 2019

We Have Freedom Of Speech. Why Aren't We Using It?

As of this writing, in the evening hours of July 19, 2019, we are now in the fifth day of pearl clutching by the legacy media, the alt-media, and people on the right and the left about...wait for it....a tweet.  Specifically, we are in the fifth day of pearl clutching about a Donald Trump tweet (cue the horror music):



So great a calamity this has been that it has dominated every legacy media outlet, a fair number of alt-media outlets, the House of Representatives, as well as people on both the political left and the political right. So severe a travesty upon this nation has this single Trumpian tweet been that at 7:20PM, Central Time, on July 18, 2019, Google's algorithms consider the two most important stories in the United States to be about the aftermath of this tweet.

Seriously.


So horrific was this tweet that Democrats in the House of Representatives were compelled to put forward a resolution condemning the tweet.

Seriously.

So shocking and grotesque was this tweet that Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, a veteran House member steeped in the rules and traditions of the House, could not contain herself and broke the centuries old protocol of attacking the character of the President from the floor, and the House Democrats had to set aside the chamber's parliamentary protocols to allow Speaker Pelosi to continue speaking in furtherance of the resolution.

Seriously.

Of such importance is this issue that all small matters have been disregarded.  Here is a short list of just some of these small matters:
  • On July 15, the Departments of Justice and Homeland Security jointly announced changes to the rules regarding asylum applications, requiring that future asylum seekers first do so in the first safe country in which they arrive.
  • Senator Josh Hawley (R-MO), introduced two pieces of legislation affecting higher education and student loans. The first bill would extend the availability of Pell Grants to vocational education programs, job training programs, and job certification programs.  The second bill would compel colleges and universities to refund 50% of defaulted student loans.
  • Tech and Social Media giant Google appeared before the Senate Judiciary Committee, and was confronted by Senator Ted Cruz over the company's internal documentation substantiating claims the company censors conservative and dissenting voices, and  other alt-media content creators.
My response to President Trump's tweet can be summarized by Rhett Butler's classic response to Scarlett O'Hara: "Frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn."

Seriously.

Regardless on which side of the political aisle you are, changes to how asylum applications are processed is a significant story. It impacts how people may lawfully enter this country. Oppose or approve, it is a story that should be reported, discussed, and debated. It is a story over which opinions should be formed. Alt Media journalist and commentator Tim Pool has made several video presentations regarding this matter, it being an issue he feels is especially important.

Regardless on which side of the political aisle you are, student loan debt and financing post-high school education matters. Education impacts the types of jobs people are able to get, and the amount of money they are able to earn. People's ability to service student loans impacts their ability to make other purchases, such as a car, or a house. This is an issue that should be deeply reported, and discussed, and debated.  Yet of the mainstream legacy media, a search on Duck Duck Go using the terms "josh hawley student loan bill" revealed a whopping two articles from the legacy media--Newsweek and Forbes.

Regardless on which side of the political aisle you are, tech censorship by Google, Facebook, and Twitter is a major issue. These companies are deciding who gets to have a voice online, who gets to be seen, who gets to be heard, and what opinions are permissible in the "digital commons" that is social media. This is an issue that should matter to everyone, as it impacts everyone. This is an issue that puts the private property rights of these companies against the free speech rights of citizens in a conflict where one side or the other must yield. Yet a Duck Duck Go search using the terms "Google ted cruz tech censorship" yields only one article from the Washington Times.

What does a Duck Duck Go search using the terms "trump tweet go back" yield? Articles from Bloomberg, the New York Post, USA Today, Politico, and the New York Times. While major stories unfolded in this country, the legacy media was focused on Trump's tweets.  The alternative media was not much better, with Breitbart, The Daily Caller, and Mediate all having a similar fixation on the tweets rather than actual stories.

Seriously.

What is one tweet, even a Donald Trump tweet, that it deserves the near constant focus of a full five days of news? Put simply--who cares? 

The people who support Donald Trump are going to continue to support Donald Trump. The people who oppose Donald Trump are going to continue to oppose Donald Trump. The people who greeted the occasion of his election by calling him "orange Hitler" are going to continue to call him "orange Hitler". The four Congresswomen about whom he tweeted--derisively and dismissively termed "The Squad"--were already calling him racist and corrupt, and using similarly charged language, and would continue to do so even if he had not sent out that incendiary tweet.

However incendiary and problematic one regards Trump's tweet, the simple truth is that the tweet itself was meaningless. It changed nothing. It altered no debate, it changed no minds, it moved no hearts. The legacy media, the Congress, people on the political right and the political left, have obsessed for five full days over something that shouldn't have mattered for five full seconds, and ignored vital and important stories to do so.

Regardless on which side of the political aisle you are, I submit we should be able to agree on  a few things:
  • We should agree that speech matters. We should agree that it is important we talk to each other and just at each other. 
  • We should agree that listening, with a critical and skeptical yet still open mind, is a supreme civic virtue.
  • We should agree there are some news stories are more significant than others, and all news stories are more important than tweets (unless they are tweets about said news stories).
  • We should agree that Trump is going to say inflammatory and incendiary things, and largely irrelevant things.
  • We should agree that people attending Trump rallies are going to engage in chants because it's fun to chant, and it's part of the group dynamic of such an event.
  • We should agree that Trump is not impulsive, but is calculating and even cynically and ruthlessly manipulative. Even Donald Trump has acknowledged that is tweets accomplished certain significant political goals for him--he tweeted out as much the very next day:
  • We should agree that different opinions are not a sign of evil, but a sign that we are, after all, individuals.
I've no doubt there are other things upon which we may agree. I hope and pray there are a great many things upon which we may agree. I hope and pray that we can stop fussing over tweets long enough to learn what those things may be, and what we can do to reconcile the things over which we can never agree.

We live in one of the most enlightened, freest societies the world has ever produced. We have protections for civil liberties unlike any other society in the world. No other government charter begins with the words "We The People...." No other nation explicitly decrees its government to be subordinate to the people at all times, as does the United States Constitution. We are all blessed with the right to speak our mind freely, to assemble peaceably, to be able to (mostly) trust what we read in the papers.

Despite this, we are not speaking our minds, but are consuming mindless drivel over tweets. We are not assembling peaceably, committed to learning from each other, and teaching to each other. We are not creating a more perfect union.

We have an unequivocal right to freedom of speech. Surely we can make better use of it than endless debates over tweets.

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Jeffrey Epstein Is Just An Ordinary Monster

In the case of Jeffrey Epstein, now formally charged in federal court with multiple counts of sex trafficking and conspiracy, we must hope that justice delayed is truly not justice denied. Jeffrey Epstein has been charged with crimes that occurred nearly twenty years ago, many of which could have and very likely should have been charged some twelve years ago, when he was first arrested for similar crimes (if not for the same crimes), only to wangle an amazingly lenient sentence. His victims, both alleged and admitted, have been denied justice from then until now.

Nobody knows, at this time, the precise number of young girls Epstein fondled, molested, and forcibly raped. Nobody knows, at this time, the extent to which Epstein furnished these girls to others to be fondled, molested, and forcibly raped. We know that he is alleged to be involved in sex trafficking of children, and we know from the bail memorandum that his New York home contained an appallingly large cache of child pornography. We may reasonably extrapolate from this that the potential pool of victims in this case might well be in the vicinity of 100, perhaps more.

That one man could prey on that many girls is nothing short of appalling. There are no words to adequately describe such evil, except one.

Ordinary.

The most appalling aspect of the Jeffrey Epstein case is how ordinary it truly is. The most appalling aspect of the allegations against Jeffrey Epstein is how mundane they truly are.

Let us consider some numbers that we do know:
In terms of the number of likely victims, the Jeffrey Epstein case is not even a percentage point of the total just in this country. In terms of the number of new victims each year from such crimes, Jeffrey Epstein's total victim count is likely less than any given year's increment. In terms of the raw quantity of his evil, Jeffery Epstein does not appear to be anywhere near the top rank of perpetrators.

He is, in a word, ordinary--an ordinary monster. There are others just like him facelessly prowling the United States, anonymously stalking across the world.

Even our outrage towards Jeffrey Epstein is ordinary. As appalling as the statistics I have cited are, they do not indicate a country or a culture that is at all tolerant of sexual assault. Quite the contrary, as I have observed before, these same damning data sets show a marked intolerance for such crimes:
  • According to RAINN, only 310 of every 1,000 rapes are reported. For comparison, 627 of every 1,000 assaults are reported, and 619 out of every 1,000 robberies are reported. 
  • Of 310 reported rapes, 57 (20%) result in an arrest, and 11 (3.5%) proceed to prosecution. For robberies, the percentages are 27% and 6%, respectively, and for assaults the percentages are 40.7% and 16.7%, respectively.
  • Of every 11 prosecutions for rape, 7, or 63.6%, result in conviction. The conviction rates for robberies and assaults are 59.4% and 39%, respectively.
  • The average sentence for sexual assault is between 8 and 9 years, nationwide (Note: this is a broad average and does not distinguish among categories of sexual assault).
  • The reasons given for not reporting rape and sexual assault generally are as follows:
    • 20% feared retaliation
    • 13% believed the police would not do anything to help
    • 13% believed it was a personal matter
    • 8% reported to a different official
    • 8% believed it was not important enough to report
    • 7% did not want to get the perpetrator in trouble
    • 2% believed the police could not do anything to help
    • 30% gave another reason, or did not cite one reason
When one fully unpacks these statistics, they indicate that prosecutions for sexual assault are more likely to result in conviction than for either robbery or assault, and result in longer periods of incarceration.  Unfortunately, victims of sexual assault are far less likely to report such crimes, even though the vast majority of victims acknowledge that law enforcement will assist and will prosecute the offender. Sexual assault and sex trafficking are particularly difficult to take on because the very nature of the crime often makes the necessary acts of reporting a bridge too far--when reported, the law usually takes sex crimes extremely seriously, but more often than not, victims are unwilling or unable to report, for whatever reason.

More than this, the Department of Justice has devoted major resources both to combating human trafficking and aiding its victims. There are numerous task forces and working groups within the DoJ specifically targeting human trafficking. There are treaties with Mexico and joint prosecution efforts designed to take on human trafficking. 

There is no part of the United States where sex crimes are "acceptable". There is no part of the United States where sexual assault and sexual trafficking are deemed "okay" by civilized society.

There is also no part of the United States where these crimes do not occur every day. There is also no part of the United States where more Jeffrey Epsteins lurk in the shadows, preying on women, preying on children, and, at least for today, evading capture and conviction.

People in this country do not want sex trafficking to continue. Yet it continues--it continues, and at times it even gets worse.

There is a Jeffrey Epstein in every neighborhood. There is a Jeffrey Epstein near every school. There is a Jeffrey Epstein in every workplace. The statistics tell us this. The numbers assure us of this. Whether we wish to admit this or not, we know this to be true.

We should be angry at Jeffrey Epstein.  We should be enraged at the arrogance of his crimes, and we should be outraged at the seeming complicity of law enforcement in facilitating them. We should seek swift and severe justice for Jeffrey Epstein and for anyone who has joined him in serial sexual predation on children.

But we should also remember all the Jeffrey Epsteins not yet caught. We should remember all the victims for whom justice is not merely delayed, but completely and permanently denied. As we rejoice that Jeffrey Epstein is finally being called to account for all his dear offenses, let us not fool ourselves into thinking that this is even a major victory.

Jeffrey Epstein is a small battle, representing a small victory, in what the numbers paint as a very big war. Jeffrey Epstein is a monster--but, alas, he is a depressingly ordinary monster. 

Thursday, July 4, 2019

All Men Are Created Equal: The Revolution That Mattered

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.
It has long been my contention that this sentence from the Declaration Of Independence is among the most radical, the most powerful, and the most consequential in the entirety of the English language.  With this one sentence, Thomas Jefferson swept away all traditional understandings of human worth and human dignity, setting in their stead a radical new standard of human value. Jefferson was not the first to argue human equality--John Locke was the source for much of his philosophical logic and even a fair bit of his rhetoric, having posited human equality within the state of nature in his Second Treatise on Government. Yet Jefferson was the first man to put these words to paper in a consequential context. This was no mere philosophical exploration, but a declaration of political action--an action that could have severe repercussions for all who signed it.

We should recall the history preceding the Declaration of Independence.  The previous year, on July 5, 1775, the Continental Congress approved the Olive Branch Petition, in an effort to peaceably resolve the disputes the colonists had with the Parliament in Westminster. This missive, addressed to King George III, hoped to obtain his intercession with Parliament and curtail what the Continental Congress described as "the delusive pretences, fruitless terrors, and unavailing severities" of the various ministers tasked with administering colonial relations on behalf of Parliament and the Crown. The petition began with a clear homily to the colonists' status as British subjects, and their desire to remain so:
The union between our Mother Country and these colonies, and the energy of mild and just government, produced benefits so remarkably important, and afforded such an assurance of their permanency and increase, that the wonder and envy of other Nations were excited, while they beheld Great Britain riseing to a power the most extraordinary the world had ever known.
Two days after the Olive Branch Petition was presented to King George, he issued the now-infamous Rebellion Proclamation, not only rejecting the Petition, but declaring its very existence to be a treason against the Crown, and charging the whole of the British Empire to bring the traitors to justice:
...that not only all our Officers, civil and military, are obliged to exert their utmost endeavors to suppress such rebellion, and to bring the traitors to justice, but that all our subjects of this Realm, and the dominions thereunto belonging, are bound by law to be aiding and assisting in the suppression of such rebellion, and to disclose and make known all traitorous conspiracies and attempts against us, our crown and dignity.
This is the backdrop against which Thomas Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence. The members of the Continental Congress, along with the nascent Continental Army then besieging the city of Boston, were already declared traitors. Continuing a quest either for independence or a fair redress of colonial grievance would be considered proof of treason--a crime punishable by death. The Declaration of Independence was his response to the Rebellion Proclamation.

It was a powerful response.  In simple and direct language, Thomas Jefferson laid out the colonial case for seeking independence. Yet Jefferson went farther than just rejecting the assertions of the Rebellion Proclamation. His solution to the problem of King George branding the colonial activists of the time traitors was to simply deny King George's authority to even propose such a thing. Where the Rebellion Proclamation was grounded in the premise that British subjects had an intrinsic duty of allegiance to the Crown and obedience to its edicts, Jefferson discarded that relationship altogether, arguing instead the Lockean principle of human equality within the state of nature, and declaring that human rights were an endowment from God, not from the King nor from Parliament. 

This is a remarkable political statement for the time, for the British Bill Of Rights,  passed by Parliament in 1689 in the aftermath of the "Glorious Revolution" that replaced James II with his daughter Mary and her husband William of Orange, phrased the source of such rights as the Parliament--a British subject's rights were determined by Parliament, not by God:
And thereupon the said Lords Spiritual and Temporal and Commons, pursuant to their respective letters and elections, being now assembled in a full and free representative of this nation, taking into their most serious consideration the best means for attaining the ends aforesaid, do in the first place (as their ancestors in like case have usually done) for the vindicating and asserting their ancient rights and liberties declare
Jefferson not only rejected this human derivation of human rights, he subordinated the entire edifice of government to their protection:
— That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.
Thus Thomas Jefferson expanded the list of unalienable rights to include the right to alter or abolish government that a people found to be hostile to the defense of Mankind's unalienable rights. Where King George proclaimed the activities of the Continental Congress a rebellion, Thomas Jefferson doubled down by proclaiming an unalienable right of the thirteen colonies to rebel. Simply and directly, Jefferson nullified not just King George's Rebellion Proclamation, but the very right of any King (or any Parliament) to even make such a proclamation. If people deem their government hostile to their fundamental liberty, rebellion is their right, and no power on earth may deny them that right.

The "American Revolution" was not a revolution of arms, nor of military muscle. It was and it remains a revolution of ideas. Thomas Jefferson's idea, of the equality and unalienable sovereignty of Man, gave the separatist ambitions of the Continental Congress a moral force and a moral relevance never before seen in history. From this single document flows a singular experiment in human governance, one that has not been attempted nor replicated since--a government subordinate to the will of the people. That sentiment was restated at the Constitutional Convention in 1787, with the equally eloquent Preamble to the United States Constitution:
We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.
Americans have debated and discussed the meanings and imports of Jefferson's words. At Gettysburg, Abraham Lincoln, wedded this ideal of citizen sovereignty to the struggle of the Civil War, beseeching the American people to continue that struggle so that "... government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth." In 1963, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., stood on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial and challenged America to measure up to Jefferson's words in his immortal "I Have A Dream" speech. Civil rights activists of every kind have invoked Jeffersonian themes of equality and fundamental human sovereignty in their various pursuits of societal justice and societal change.

What Americans have not done, what humanity as a whole has not done, is challenge Jefferson's words. While texts such as the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights seek to outdo Jefferson's comparatively compact argument, that Declaration's preamble begins with a pale paraphrasing of Jefferson:
Whereas recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world,
Unparalleled and unchallenged, the Declaration of Independence stands alone as the pre-eminent declaration of human right, human sovereignty, and human dignity. Its words were a challenge to the world in 1776, and they remain a challenge to the world today. Wherever people struggle either to define or achieve equality, or to right injustices and redress grievances, they are proving the enduring truth within its text. Wherever people seek freedom, they are continuing the revolution Thomas Jefferson started.

Thus the premise that all men are created equal was not merely a revolutionary thought for 1776. With its enduring strength and undeniable truth, it is the revolution that has informed all revolutions since. The premise that all men are created equal is the one revolution in human history that matters to us all.