Saturday, February 11, 2012

Rights and Governments

It has long been said that the Constitution does not grant your rights; even the enumerated ones. It doesn’t even give us a guarantee that they will protect our rights from anybody else who might want to deprive us of them. It only says that the Federal government is not allowed to interfere with them themselves and defending our rights beyond that is pretty much up to us. In seeing this point I look at Jefferson, a man among many who distrusted government, stating in the Declaration of Independence that the purpose of government is to defend our most sacred rights. I suppose that while that's true I kind of have to wonder who is supposed to guard the government while they guard our rights?

In modern politics the mistake a lot of people make is the thought that if something, like food or healthcare or housing, is called a right, it obligates the government and taxpayers to pay for it. So you get these odd statements like "You have no right to food!" This is an actual quote of a politician. The apparent solution to this is to say a bunch of things are not rights, which are necessary components to life, without which you would die and your right to life would thus be denied. The proper statement to make would be; “Of course you have the right to food! You just don’t have the right to take money from other people using the force of law to pay for it.” So, if you continue to tell people what their rights are and are not, particularly those critical to the sustenance of their lives, you can expect to lose a lot of elections.

The other side of this coin is the more proper consideration that everything you can think to do under the sun that causes no harm to anybody else is a right. It’s called freedom. The big problem with this in the definitions used in modern politics is that by calling everything a right and making the government provide all of that to you, is catastrophically expensive to everyone paying the bill. Even worse than that though, the government is then free to regulate all of your human rights, which in turn makes them not your rights.

Life is a horrible prospect when you are totally dependent on others to sustain it because you become beholden to them to return the favor. This is the illusion of freedom but is really just another form of tyranny. They have made the assumption that just because you call it a right, the government and taxpayers are obligated to foot the bill, which is clearly no more true on the left than it was on the right. In other words, just because I have the right to listen to Led Zeppelin in my pursuit of happiness does not mean the government should be on the hook for a copy of Physical Graffiti and an MP3 player.

So it seems to me the flaw on both sides is the acceptance of the premise that the government is somehow fiscally responsible for our rights. Nowhere is it written in any of God or Man's laws that I've ever read or heard of, that the payment of all expenses incurred by the exercise of your rights has to be delivered by anybody but you! To believe so takes the concept of God given rights away from you and subjugates it to the almighty yet increasingly scarce taxpayer dollar distributed by the almighty government.

This misconception I think, traces back to the consideration espoused by Jefferson that governments are instituted among men to secure our rights. It is true, however I invite your to take a look around the modern world and you will see all the evidence of what clever propagandists can do with the wisdom of such a statement twisted out of context.

There is a quote that might be mistakenly attributed to George Washington in fairly broad circulation these days. Regardless of if Washington originally said it or not, it is still true that, "Government is not reason, nor eloquence; it is force. And like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearsome master." Yet to this day subsequent politicians absolutely insist this dangerous force be put in charge of providing our rights, with the taxpayers left to foot the bill for every single thing under the sun which you have a right to do under the pursuit of happiness and right to life. I can’t think of anything more shortsighted and outright stupid than to do such a thing. Nor can I think of a way to more quickly hand over your rights to a tyrant.

Even as postulated, under our Constitution we've had violations of human rights in this country up to and including genocide. This is not a, "blame America, bash America," argument in any way. Nor is it a statement that I could have done any better. Nor is it an endorsement of any other system. Nor is it a statement that Jefferson was in any way insincere. On the contrary he was a rather brilliant man. Giving him the further benefit of the doubt, with his education under consideration, he likely got the idea from another statesman from hundreds or even thousands of years before him. Still his sentence in the Declaration is where it begins to pertain to American politics.

His statement was not intended to be a declaration of rights. It was intended to lay the framework of a Declaration of Independence from a tyrant. The only people that it was legally binding on were the King and the colonists of 1776. However all too often people use it as a declaration of rights for the modern day American with the resulting placement of those rights in the hands of less than worthy men and women. The subsequent result is a twenty trillion dollar debt, Obamacare and the potential total loss of our rights to control the health of our very own bodies, through the force and fire of government intervening where it clearly doesn’t belong. Along with a government who couldn't recognize your rights if they were bitten in the ass by them; let alone respect or protect them.

That the government has the power to secure your rights, outside of the context within the Declaration of Independence casting off a tyrant, is a false and cleverly deceptive idea which makes good fodder for propaganda directed towards the eventual and subtle loss of your freedom. Your rights stand alone and exist only between you and your maker. Only you and that singular being in the universe whom you conceive to be your maker have any business in them. The government has no legitimate authority, force, function or business being involved with them. That is freedom.

Your rights exist with or without the government. They also exist with or without Mister Jefferson’s permission or support.

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