Rights are attributes possessed by each individual human. When a report calls them “concepts” you know the writer has a different agenda than an exposition of rights.
But an alleged employee of Princeton University makes an even worse error. She claims that grammar “moves from the value of individual rights to the importance of government as a tool for protecting those rights.” That’s nonsense and the grammar of her sentence shows a defective thought process.
Her false claim is based on her idea that the period after the word “evident” was not in the original text therefore Jefferson wanted government to be as important as Rights.
Here’s a flash. Jefferson knew government needs to be controlled. Rights is the idea that’s supposed to do that but as we see from President Obama, Rights cannot stop a despot from ruling and ruining America.
The long march from the birth of the earth to Liberty hasn’t yet ended. The idea of Rights is so new that no culture has yet absorbed the full meaning of Rights and without an understanding of many ideas that underlie Rights, Liberty is in danger.
Some ideas are hierarchical. Liberty is one of them. It’s so complicated that even an august body like the U.S. Supreme Court doesn’t understand it but in their defense neither can any other group or culture. Thomas Jefferson came closer than most people when he wrote the Declaration of Independence which was then taken over by a bold and well-meaning group of revolutionaries who knew what they were doing was exposing them to possible death by the army of the King of England’s. Time can usually be depended upon to get ideas correct by the but the revolutionaries had their lives to protect and they needed to get on with the revolution.
Jefferson and the founders believed in a controlled government. Limited government requires a mechanism to limit it. Rights are one idea that can sometimes be used to reverse an expanding government where in the case of present day America President Barack Obama had proven more dangerous to each American that the King of 1776 England. His expansion of the unconstitutional welfare state where majority rule is the basis for more slavery of all to all has driven the idea of a controlled government out of Washington DC. Majority rule is an idea that supports collectivism and that’s one of the wrong ideas rolling around academia and that’s what is behind the Princeton employee’s false claim that government is equal to Rights in the Declaration of Independence.