Point of View: Of Primary Concern

She urged one and all to vote as if, in effect, their Life, Liberty, and pursuit of Happiness depended on it

It was asked last week of some people in the street how they were going to celebrate Independence Day. Most said they’d see the fireworks, which is evocative, but I’m wondering if we shouldn’t before night falls (this was written before night fell) take 10 minutes, at the most, to reread the Declaration of Independence, one of whose “self-evident truths” is, surprise, that “all men are created equal,” an assertion that seems to have been more honored in the breach than in the observance over the years, especially these days. 

The Declaration goes on to say that governments are instituted among Men . . . to secure their unalienable rights to Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness. And, further, that when a government “becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it. . . .”

And, of course, following the whys and wherefores, the Declaration severs ties with England, whose tyrannical king has, among other things, “endeavored to prevent the population of these States . . . refusing to encourage migrations hither.”

Written almost 250 years ago, it has a familiar ring now, now that our present president seems as if he would readily wrap himself in a tyrant’s mantle if he could, and, frankly, who will stand in his way — a tergiversating Congress, an apathetic electorate?

We should look to it, as did Mary, who with fidelity and passion knocked on doors for Perry Gershon, winner of the First Congressional District’s Democratic primary, as did legions of other volunteers here and abroad, i.e., Brookhaven.

Though she didn’t use Jefferson’s exact words, she urged one and all to vote as if, in effect, their Life, Liberty, and pursuit of Happiness depended on it. 

And, in keeping with the tenor of Gershon’s and the four other candidates’ campaigns, she urged all with whom she spoke to get behind the winner in the general election, as if — I’ll be so bold as to interpolate here — our lives, liberty, and pursuit of happiness depended on it.

The conventional wisdom has been that even a landslide in East Hampton is nugatory when votes come to be tallied in Brookhaven, which was probably why some voters here backed Kate Browning, a county legislator who lives in Shirley. 

Again, Mary, who worked hard for Tim Bishop when he first ran for Congress, backed a winner.

And it’s a truth self-evident to me that she’s a winner herself.