Archive for July, 2003

Source of our liberty?

Friday, July 4th, 2003

It is Independence Day, 2003. As I listen to NPR, I hear a program discussing our liberties, a good topic for this time of year. They talk of the Bill of Rights, which is the “source of our most fundamental liberties.” Not a verbatim quote, but close enough. And a total crock. It is so sad to hear NPR spout that lie. Though not surprising.

Our nation was founded on a very basic premise. That being that governments exist with the consent of the governed, and only exercise those powers specifically assigned to the government via a constitution. More basic than that is the concept that we, the people, are the supreme sovereigns. Not the government. We hold all rights and all powers, by default. We don’t need a “Bill of Rights” to assign our rights to us, nor do we need a Supreme Court to devine which rights are socially acceptable for us to exercise today.

It seems to me that American “liberals” like the idea of a text which enumerates specific rights that we are allowed to have. Why? Because the alternative is anathema to their overall objective. These so-called liberals do not want a government of specific, limited powers. They are very attached to the notion of an all-powerful government, which by the very nature of being all-powerful, can trample our rights. To counter that, they want to enshrine particular rights, the “right” rights, in documents. Because to say that we hold all rights by default, and then to enumerate specifically when and whether the government may act to abridge those rights by granting only specific, limited powers to the government, would be to hobble the government in implementing programs and policies to “correctly” structure our societies.

Thus calling American liberals “liberals.” Were they true liberals, truly interested in the liberty of the people, they would not espouse such rubbish as finding the “right to privacy” in the shadows of other rights. They would embrace the Ninth and particularily the Tenth amendments to our constitution. But that would be inconvenient.