“All men are created equal,” as advanced in the Declaration of Independence was NOT a grasp at asserting “equality of opportunity,” or “equality of outcome,” as those ideas are advanced today in the name of equality. To read “All men are created equal …” as such is to import our ideas of egalitarianism back upon the Founders. All men created equal merely meant then that all had ontological equality since all were CREATED. In our language today in the Church we might say that all men are equal because all men are the image of God. That the Founders did not believe that all men were equal in the sense of equality of identity is seen later in the Declaration when they can complain about “savages.”
“He (King George III) has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavored to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian savages, whose known rule of warfare, is undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.”
Certainly no one believes that our Founders believed those “savages” they reference were equal to themselves as Englishman in terms of “equality of identity.”
So, I do not agree with those that insist that the Founders had the type of equality in mind that moderns seem to think that they had. That kind of equality was foreign to them and was an import of Enlightenement Romanticism that came in during the Jacksonian rise of the common man and eventually flowered into Transcendentalism which set the Northern Yankee armies marching to pillage, rape and burn under the flag of “French Revolution equality.”
Being a “Founder American” I am against notions of “equality of opportunity” for the simple reason that it intrudes the State into areas it has no business in. How can the State make sure that a McAtee newborn can have the same opportunity that a newborn of Jesse Jackson, or Colin Powell can have? Can’t happen and so the myth of equality of identity as believed by the Enlightenment Americans (and nowhere enshrined in the Declaration of Independence) should be silenced.