by their Creator with certain inalienable rights, among them life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”
Let us concede that these natural rights are a figment; that chance and circumstance, as much as deliberate foresight and design, have brought the United States
into their present condition; that, moreover, the British
rule which they threw off was not the rule of oppressors and tyrants which declaimers suppose, and that the merit of the Americans
was not that of oppressed men rising against tyrants, but rather of sensible young people getting rid of stupid and overweening guardians who misunderstood and mismanaged them.
All this let us concede, if we will; but in conceding it let us not lose sight of the really important point, which is this: that their institutions do in fact suit the people of the United States
so well, and that from this suitableness they do derive so much actual benefit.
As one watches the play of their institutions, the image suggests itself to one's mind of a man in a suit of clothes which fits him to perfection, leaving all his movements unimpeded and easy.
It is loose where it ought to be loose, and it sits close where its sitting close is an advantage.
The central government of the United States
keeps in its own hands the functions which, if