The People’s Bicentennial Commission, a private group working outside of what it feels are federal efforts to commercialize the two hundredth anniversary of our republic, came up with some rather startling results in a survey taken last summer. The commission sent out ten pollsters who asked twenty-three hundred federal employees to endorse a paragraph that read: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. …”
It turned out that 68 per cent of those approached not only did not hold these truths to be self-evident but in fact found them decidedly subversive and refused to sign. Fortyseven per cent of those polled did not recognize the passage as part of the Declaration of Independence, but of those who refused to sign, 83 per cent did recognize it.
Here are some of the remarks made by those who would not sign: “Looks like trash. Commie stuff. So that’s what our Founding Fathers were up to. …” “I’ve read this many times and it doesn’t make sense. I’m a law student. …” “What’s this? An anti-ciA thing?” “Yes, I recognize it. It’s from the Communist Manifesto. I read it in a history book.”
Of the minority willing to sign, one said: “What, the Declaration? Why, hell, yes, I’ll sign anything written by a Democrat.”