Brendan Doherty, the Republican candidate for U.S. House in the 1st District, issued a nice uplifting Labor Day statement but somebody on his communications staff ought to have done a better job vetting it. The former RI state police superintendent stated: “The United States Constitution asserts one of our guiding principles that still rings true. That is, that we as people, are endowed by our Creator with certain inalienable rights, namely life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.’’
It was great a sentiment for a Labor Day statement, but, of course, utterly wrong. It appears that Doherty got the Constitution mixed up with the Declaration of Independence. It is the declaration that speaks to a creator and inalienable rights, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. The declaration was a revolutionary document that established the rationale for breaking ties with Great Britain.
Nowhere in the constitution is there a list of rights derived from God; in fact the word “God” does not appear in the Constitution, which is a governing document that establishes the checks and balances of the three branches of government and sets the responsibilities and limits of American government.
This may be a small point, but it is significant, particularly for someone like Doherty, who has never been elected to any political office. If one is going to Congress, he or she ought to know the difference between the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution.