Consent of the Governed

‘Consent of the Governed’ – What does it mean?

Original Source – Declaration of Independence, United States of America, 1776:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just Powers from the Consent of the Governed…

Consent of the governed is a phrase from the Declaration of Independence. It means that our government’s legitimacy and moral right to exercise power is only justified and legal when derived from the people over whom that political power is exercised. This theory of consent is to be contrasted to the divine right of kings, which is the fundamental principle from which our founders were seeking separation.

In this modern political climate, the consent of “the people” is being lost to the influence of bankers, lawyers, lobbyists, and corporations, who are running our country like an oligarchy. The will of the people should be the basis of all authority of government, and, fundamentally, this is the principle we have lost. I will work to give this principle meaning again.