Santelli says the Declaration of Independence said the pursuit of happiness, not the guarantee of happiness.
Santelli: "I know it's tomorrow, but I'm going to pretend it's today because you're not going to have this camera in front of me tomorrow. You know, 236 years ago today a document which most historians believe was drafted by Thomas Jefferson -- although we don't know if he wrote every single word, but we're going to assume he did -- was adopted by the second Continental Congress 236 years ago.
"But there's one phrase that I want to pull out in particular because that's what this Santelli Exchange is all about. So hopefully it will be on the screen. And here's the phrase that I'm talking about. It reads, "All men are created equal, they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness." And it's the word pursuit that I want to talk about specifically.
"You know, if you go on your computer and you look for antonyms and synonyms of the word pursuit -- and I've done this, and the best one I've found is pursuit, is when you chase after something. The antonym or the opposite of pursuit is surrender or retreat. Now, this is what I think Thomas Jefferson was getting at, that in this country, what makes us different is that we have the right to pursue whatever floats our boat, but we don't and shouldn't have any guarantees by anybody that you're going to catch it. It's the action of the chase. It's the ability to be in the game. It's the ability to do that that brought my grandparents here. Nobody said, listen, if you come here, you can pursue happiness, and we'll write you a guarantee that you're going to get it.
"You know, Ronald Reagan said that an issue we need to worry about is reinstitutionalizing our greatness, and you know what he meant by that? Education. We need to teach kids civic rituals. This is where our greatness is rooted, and I think that on the education front, we've failed a bit. I won't put them on camera, but I've asked a lot of young people the last couple of days just to recite the Pledge of Allegiance. You know what the results are. We need to get back to basics. Happy birthday America, and another 2,000 years to add onto it!"
HAPPY BIRTHDAY AMERICA - ROCK ON
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