Op-Ed: The Pursuit of Happiness Is Essential


Within the very document that sparked the creation of the United States of America lies one of the most important rights that we as Americans are entitled to: the right to pursue our own happiness.

The Declaration of Independence states that American citizens have “unalienable rights” to “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

But in the age of the coronavirus pandemic, the government has used our circumstances to slowly strip away these rights. Just look at all the ways in which the government has imposed its overarching power.

Activities like hiking, fishing, visiting the beach, supporting local businesses and other ventures that once brought many Americans happiness in many places have been criminalized. Even something as innocent as attending church is now an act that people have been fined for.

Without the freedom to access the outside world, the American people’s vision of reality has been consumed by the downcast tune that our media broadcasts.

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Heartbreaking stories about the increasing death tolls flood television and social media. The onslaught of depressing news and government regulations has proven to be an inescapable and harmful combination for many.

Recently, The Washington Post reported that amid the pandemic, one-third of Americans are expressing signs of clinical anxiety or depression.

The survey taken by the Census Bureau between late April and early May showed that the coronavirus pandemic had propelled a huge jump in those feeling depressed, in some instances doubling since 2014’s national survey.

These statistics are clear: Without the rights that the Founding Fathers assured us, Americans cannot function as Americans. Granting the American people the God-given right to pursue our own happiness is necessary to reverse the damages done by this big-government overreach.

Do you think the federal government has used the coronavirus crisis as an excuse to erode our fundamental rights?

At the beginning of May, the upstate of South Carolina, where I live, began to loosen the restrictions on outdoor seating at restaurants.

Just in time for my family to flock toward a good local restaurant for the celebration of Cinco de Mayo.

Let me be the first to say that the effects of just sitting outside and seeing family, friends, neighbors and others in the community was an instant morale boost. I took a second to glance at my surroundings and those throughout our regulated outdoor seating. It was as if positivity were erupting everywhere.

I saw families being able to sit together outside with food that they didn’t make for the first time in months. Waiters and waitresses were able to serve people and receive tips to help take care of their personal expenses. And there were young couples finally able to go out on dates and treat one another to dinner. These experiences are the little yet important moments in time that allow us to pursue our happiness.

The Declaration of Independence never ensures happiness. It does, however, ensure that you have the chance to pursue it.

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During a time as confusing as the one we live in right now, the government has inadvertently stomped on the rights that were guaranteed to us since the very beginning.

The American people must not allow the government to infringe on these rights that so many have sacrificed their lives for.

No matter the state we live in, the Founders specifically gave us the opportunity to pursue our own happiness. In times like these, the right to pursue happiness is essential.

The views expressed in this opinion article are those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by the owners of this website. If you are interested in contributing an Op-Ed to The Western Journal, you can learn about our submission guidelines and process here.

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Former army staff sergeant and Turning Point USA contributor Graham Allen is responsible for one of the fastest-growing social media platforms in the country.
Former army staff sergeant and Turning Point USA contributor Graham Allen is responsible for one of the fastest-growing social media platforms in the country.

Named in HuffPost’s “Veteran Entrepreneurs you should know in 2017,” Graham has since been responsible for over a billion video views, over five million followers, a hit TV Show (Rant Nation) and one of the hottest and fastest-rising podcasts in the nation (Dear America Podcast).

As a rising entrepreneur, Graham is the founder of Graham Allen Media LLC, and Pain is a Liar™ and is editor-in-chief at

A supporter of the veteran, law enforcement, firefighter and first responder community, Graham, along with his wife, started the 501(c)(3) charity The Dear America Foundation.

Graham served two tours in Operation Iraqi Freedom.