Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
The 56 men who committed the treasonous act of penning their signatures to the document declaring those fundamental human rights set into motion the creation of the most successful society in human history.
That success would include being free to build a life of happiness based on our own decisions of how to do that.
Now there has arisen a political force in Texas with the mission of denying citizens the promise of that essential freedom.
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Demonstrating strong leadership from the position of Tarrant County’s most senior elected office, Judge Glen Whitley is sounding the alarm to rally citizens everywhere who want to maintain control of their hometown communities.
His message is resonating throughout the area as he fearlessly calls out Empower Texans and the wealthy West Texas oil barons who lavishly fund the organization and the candidates they choose to take control of the Legislature.
What is at stake should concern everyone who believes the best government is the one closest to the people.
To win the support and huge sums of money from the Empower Texans cartel, candidates must pledge themselves to the objective of transferring the power to control local communities from their citizens to state overlords.
Once those fundamental rights are taken from us, it will be very tough to ever get them back.
A great example of the methods being used is the guise of popular rhetoric leading voters to think these legislators are proposing measures to cut property taxes.
The truth is that none of the politicians funded by Empower Texans have created any legislation that would cut property tax bills for anyone.
In fact, as revealed by Judge Whitley, these same lawmakers adopted the last state budget that includes a reliance on a local tax increase.
Thankfully, Whitley says he will keep informing voters of the effort to deny the most fundamental of all conservative principles – keeping the government in the hands of the people and not the state.
He’s gaining traction with his determination to challenge the demagoguery and let the light of truth shine in for all to see.
Voters have all the control they need to manage the affairs of their communities. If they don’t like what their city council or school board or county commissioners are doing, they can replace them.
Citizens have led their cities for decades by building things they want to improve their quality of life and supporting economic development initiatives that drives job creation.
For anyone who doesn’t want that or finds anything else that displeases them, they won’t have any problem locating another city nearby better to their liking.
The bottom line is that we don’t want or need the state to decide for us. We’re doing just fine with the power firmly in our grasp.
There are lots of priorities that our representatives in the statehouse ought to be focused on. Recent polling found the most important problems facing the state were immigration, border security, political corruption, education and health care.
Spending time on initiatives to subdue our life, liberty and pursuit of happiness is not among them.
Richard Greene is a former Arlington mayor and served as an appointee of President George W. Bush as regional administrator for the Environmental Protection Agency.