Equality is a pesky concept.
In the American sense of “[A]ll men are created equal“, it is almost always misapplied in conversation and debate.
Clearly, all men are not equal in any physical, mental, moral, talent, social, or any other sense in nature.
What, then, did Jefferson (and those who wrote of it before him) mean when they used the word “equal?”
Simple: they rejected the legal inequality between the hereditary aristocracy and the commoners.
All men are subject to the same laws — they are born equal under the law.
Comment by DougM (jackassophobe) — April 30, 2012 @ 7:46 am
Dang, I thought the hole point was that *women* weren`t mentioned….?
Comment by Colonel Jerry USMC — April 30, 2012 @ 9:07 am
Here’s a short story by Kurt Vonnegut, from 1961, about this “equality” thing:
“THE YEAR WAS 2081, and everybody was finally equal. They weren’t only equal before God and the law. They were equal every which way. Nobody was smarter than anybody else. Nobody was better looking than anybody else. Nobody was stronger or quicker than anybody else. All this equality was due to the 211th, 212th, and 213th Amendments to the Constitution, and to the unceasing vigilance of agents of the United States Handicapper General.”