In response to my Facebook post in 2018 that “Conservatives do not care…” about something which has been lost in time, a Facebook reader left me this comment: “Conservatives do not care? I am a veteran – I stood up for OUR rights.” What follows is my 2018 (and nearly prophetic) rant in reply to the veteran’s rant:
First, thank you for your willingness to put your life on the line for your country.
Second, you stood up for your government, you stood up for your buddies, and you stood up for survival. How many times when an enemy was killed did you or one of your buddies shout something like, “That’s for ‘life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness?” I’m thinking standing up for “OUR rights” is way down the list of priorities when bullets start flying.
Third, there are no “OUR rights,” which are unique to conservatives. The Declaration proclaims that “ALL men are created equal” not just Americans. The innocents that our bombs and bullets have unintentionally killed had those same rights according to the Declaration, but OUR policies have denied “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness” to literally tens of thousands of non-combatants. (I know, such is war, and you would claim, “it can’t be helped,” but there goes the conservative, Pro-Life argument that life at all stages of development deserves our protection, especially a defenseless fetus. It appears conservatives worry more about a fetus than they do about a six-year-old Iraqi girl confronted with an errant 1000-pound bomb).
You write “those rights do NOT come from the government – they come from God. Read the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. This is the real divide between liberals and conservatives. Liberals think that our rights come from government. They are wrong.” You, my friend, need to keep reading further into the Declaration, which declares “That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.” Conservatives’ collective attitude is like that of a five-year-old on steroids who declares, “You can’t tell me what to do; I’m free!” Liberals understand that American Democracy is not the massive and layered bureaucracy of the Federal Government; the American Democracy is We the People …
The dramatic size of “We the People” on the Constitution reflects the Founders’ belief that all power lies with We the People, which has created a government that reflects what the majority of We the People ordain. For well over two centuries, We the People have been trying to find a balance between Equality and Liberty, which are conceptually, diametrically opposed. And in trying to find that difficult balance, the majority of We the People have decided that sometimes individual liberty must be curtailed in order to improve equality.
You are absolutely correct that “our government was designed a few centuries ago to safeguard these rights, not bestow them.” Liberals believe an essential purpose of government is, as the Declaration states, “to secure these rights.” This role is critical in many areas but it is especially essential to protect our inalienable rights from Americans who are driven by individual greed and religious zealotry.
Alan Greenspan in 2008 acknowledged the importance of We the People ensuring governmental limitations on individual liberty when he said before Congress, “I made a mistake in presuming that the self-interests of organizations, specifically banks and others, were such as that they were best capable of protecting their own shareholders and their equity in the firms.”
It was not liberal Democrats’ policies, but conservative Republicans’ policies that caused the Great Depression and the Great Recession; it was Democrats’ policies that eventually righted the Republic. It was not Democrats who favored the Billionaire Welfare program that consisted of massive tax cuts that dramatically increased Billionaires’ income, a program that also allowed corporations to buy back billions of dollars of stock and to reward corporate leadership with massive compensation increases—on the contrary, it was wealthy Republican leadership that was willing to eviscerate equality and increase the Wealth Gap, and Republicans who resurrected the failed economic policy of “trickle down economics.” That moniker dramatically contradicts your notion that “it really has nothing to do with rich v. poor.” What is going on in America today has EVERYTHING to do with rich v. poor.
Conservatives fight to be free of governmental interference in what they do with their wealth and in how they live their lives unless, of course, you’re a woman: conservatives want government to annihilate your personal liberty to decide what you can do with your body. Education, health care, and a living wage are earned privileges and not rights in conservatives’ Land of Liberty.
Conservative leaders truly do NOT believe the purpose of government is “to secure these rights” of “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness;” rather, conservative leaders’ actions indicate the purpose of government is to secure the lives, liberties and happiness of the wealthy and powerful while the rest of America, including economically-disadvantaged conservative Republicans, can wait for some wine spilled on a wealthy man’s table to trickle to the floor where we can lick it up.
Liberals fight to use taxes to redistribute wealth and laws to protect the economically and politically disadvantaged. Education, health care, and a living wage are rights and not privileges in liberals’ Land of Equality. By doing so, Liberals are attempting to use government “to secure these rights” of “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” for ALL Americans, not just the privileged.
I do not disagree with the reality that in 2016, the national Democratic Leadership was comprised of oblivious elites who managed to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory, and I deeply resent the fact that their arrogant ignorance opened the door to a corrupt and ignorant man who had no concept of American Democracy, and who is, as I write this (in 2018), a dictator who can and will do whatever he wants to do about anything from today until he is dragged kicking and screaming from the Oval Office on January 20, 2021.
He will not kowtow to the Law in any way. If the Supreme Court says he must honor subpoenas, he’ll say, “Make me.” He will not leave if impeached and convicted or even if he is defeated in 2020. Who is going to remove him? Is Nancy Pelosi going to grab him by the scruff of his neck and drag him out? Hell no. As of today, we are Venezuela North. The Rule of Law is totally dependent upon the Tinkerbell Effect—it only works if everyone believes in it.
Trump and his millions of followers do not believe in the Rule of Law (the vast majority of them have no clue what “the Rule of Law” even means), which means America is screwed, and all of the brave service men and women who have died since 9/11 did not die for “OUR rights.” They died so an evil ignoramus could trash the Constitution, ignore the founding principles in the Declaration, use his office to enhance his Brand with the ultimate goal of building the tallest phallic symbol in Europe with his name on it.
Nice sharing with you. I learned a lot. Seriously, I did. Thanks.
As of this posting in 2021, I am grateful that our American Democracy has responded in a dramatic way to the scenario I feared in 2018 — it is sobering for me to realize how closely reality approached my prediction and how the reality of insurrection still simmers among millions of Americans who are still blinded by ignorance and the protestations of the most dangerous and evil man to rise to power in the history of our American Democracy.
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