The Harvey Girls

Published  Monday, May 17, 2010

Recently I was watching one of my favorite movies from my childhood, one that I hadn't seen in about ten years; The Harvey Girls. If you haven't seen it, I highly recommend it. It's the story of love and blooming civilization in the wild west set to the technicolor musical genius of Harry Warren (music), Johnny Mercer (lyrics), Lennie Hayton (score).

About ten minutes into the movie Judy Garland, playing the main character Susan Bradley, made a statement that I think all Americans today really need to hear. Her startling comment was simple, straightforward and honest. She said

"The Constitution guarantees the pursuit of happiness, but it's up to me to do the pursuing!"

What in the world happened to this mentality? I know that is what my parents taught me, and what their parents taught them, so is it just a breakdown in parenting or something more sinister?

Regardless, it's a mindset that we must reclaim. In fact, it is one that our founding fathers shared.

"The Constitution only guarantees the American people the right to pursue happiness. You have to catch it yourself."

- Benjamin Franklin

Thomas Jefferson also believed that it was not the place of the government to attempt to provide happiness or to take the people's earnings away from them.
"A wise and frugal government, which shall leave men free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned - this is the sum of good government."

- Thomas Jefferson

It's time to bring back common sense, in all areas of life but especially in this area. It is not within the government's job description, obligation, authority, or responsibility to provide us with happiness.

Let us remember this always; in our daily life, our teachings to others, and our votes at the ballot box. It is time to rid this country of its dependence on entitlement programs.

America, it's time to pursue happiness instead of handouts.