One sentence in the Declaration of Independence seems to sum up all that makes the United States what it is or what it is supposed to be. Not surprisingly, it's the most famous and repeated sentence:
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”
We hold these truths.
Not we hold these opinions. Not we hold this consensus. Not we hold these suggestions. Truths.
To be self-evident.
Truths so obvious that no matter where you come from, your background, your religion, you know (KNOW, not think or feel) that it is the truth.
That all men are created equal.
Not equal in height, strength, speed, wealth, or intelligence. But equal under a just set of laws. The laws of nature, for example.
That they are endowed by their creator.
Whether you refer to the creator as God, Allah, Jehovah, Yahweh, evolution, biology, or The Force, we are all born with certain birthrights. They are natural. They take effect the moment you do.
With certain unalienable rights.
Rights granted to you from a higher power and any effort by mere men to remove or repeal them is null and void. These rights are not granted by law, or governments. So governments and laws have no power over them.
That among these.
A short list. There is not enough parchment or ink to list them all, so just the basics.
Once born, you have the unalienable right to continue living. That may mean, there are times you will have to defend yourself.
Once living, you have the unalienable right to freedom of thought and action.
And the pursuit of happiness.
Another way of saying, liberty. This is usually associated with a vocation. You have an unalienable right to pursue the job, the way of life, that will create the most happiness for you.
It should be noted here, that “pursuit of happiness” was originally “property,” in the earliest drafts. But some of the northern delegates to the continental congress objected to the word property since the southern colonies insisted that one man could legally own another. But the ability to 1. acquire, 2. own, and 3. dispose of property is still considered your unalienable right.
Notice that none of these rights is something you can purchase. Not something that can be owned – bought or sold. If unalienable rights included things like a house, a car, or healthcare, then you would have been born with them.
The idea of unalienable rights carried over to the Bill of Rights (15 years later). The phrase, “the right of the people,” is used repeatedly. Also, the government is recurrently restricted by wording such as: not abridge, shall not be infringed, and shall not be violated.
Of course, if your actions violate the creator-endowed rights of other people, then you are in forfeit of those rights for yourself.