Liberals and civil rights
Good day all. With the recent calls by our Progressive Liberal friends to ban guns, (again), I thought I would look into their claims that they are the champions of civil rights.
To begin with, according to the Progressive Liberals, (Or PL’s), if the conservatives had their way, we would be living in the American equivalent of Nazi Germany. What? You think I’m exaggerating? Just take a look at any comments section of any blog, liberal or conservative and see how long it takes for the PL’s posting there to start referring to anyone who disagrees with them as “Wanting to roll back our rights!”
So, lets start with the basis of American rights, God. As anyone who studies the United States and our Constitution knows, the founders believed our rights were God given, not granted to us by a benevolent ruler. The United States Constitution1 is the document that describes how our government is set up, what the branches of government are and what their duties will be. No where does it give the government any rights. It does give them responsibilities and certain powers. (No I’m not going to get into an argument over semantics)
The fact is, the Constitution was written to restrict the powers of government to meddle in people’s lives. Section 8 of the Constitution pretty much lays out what powers the Federal government has. In fact, there was nothing mentioned at all about the rights of the citizens. Why? Simple really, the founders thought that they didn’t need to enumerate them. In their minds, unless it was specifically forbidden, it was allowed. They also intended that the States handle most of the issues of the citizens and the Federal government would handle things like defense, foreign affairs, foreign trade and taking care of anything that couldn’t be handled by the states.
There was a very spirited debate back then about just how powerful the Federal Government should be, and if I remember my history, someone figured out that unless they laid down specific rights, some idiots in the future might just decide that an American Citizen’s rights were granted by the government.
This led to the Bill of Rights. Ten Amendments the laid down the rights of the people and the states. There were 12 proposed amendments originally, however two didn’t pass, with one later becoming the 27th Amendment2.
There have been another 17 amendments passed since the Bill of Rights, some of which dealt with the Rights of the People and some that made adjustments to how the government does things. So, lets take a look at our “Constitutional Rights” and see what our friends, the PL’s, really think about them.
We start with the 1st Amendment.
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
Now in my mind, this means that the government can’t force you to join a religion, or prevent you from practicing your religion. Obviously, it doesn’t allow you to practice human sacrifice. That would be murder. Otherwise, you can worship a head of lettuce as far as the founders cared.
The next section basically told the government that you can say whatever you like. If you want to call President Obama a Stuttering Clusterf**k of a Miserable Failure, the government can’t do anything to stop you. The final part basically means you can call you congressman and tell him you don’t like something the Government is doing. Now lets see what the OK’s think of this.
Religion. The PL’s don’t really like religion. In their minds, if you just happen to be in a school or government building and want to put a crucifix, Start of David, etc on your office wall, then you are trying to impose a religion on people. Even if you want to rent some government office space for religious services/meetings, this means you are trying to violate the establishment clause. The PL’s have been very successful in creating a new meaning to this amendment, the Freedom From Religion.
Next we have Free Speech. The PL’s love to say they support free speech, but there is a caveat. It has to be speech they agree with. If you say something that they don’t agree with, then it must be banned. It was the PL’s that created the Fairness Doctrine3 back in the early days of radio and television. The theory was that it would allow both sides of an argument to be presented. In reality it was a form of censorship since it is impossible to present all sides of an argument equally. The Fairness Doctrine was revoked in 1985 under Ronald Reagan.
Since then, the PL’s have tried to reinstate it repeatedly, especially with the advent of Talk Radio and Cable Television. When the Fairness Doctrine went the way of the dinosaur, conservative commentators found a place where their views could be placed before the people. Radio personalities such as Michael Savage, Laura Ingraham, Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh took their ideas and won huge audiences. The PL’s attempted to counter them, but failed miserable4. Since the PL’s ideas were not welcomed, they decided to try and bring back the Fairness Doctrine. They made no bones that it was intended to censor the ideas of conservative commentates. These attempts came to be known as “Hush Rush5” after Rush Limbaugh.
The PL’s Have also tried to enforce speech codes and pass laws outlawing “Hate Speech.6” Collages and Universities have become notorious for suppressing the right of free speech on their campuses when people say thinks that goes against the beliefs of the Progressive Liberals. PL’s can generally say whatever they like, even to the point of making threats. However, when conservative speakers want to talk, they shut them down as fast as possible.
This brings us to the 2nd Amendment.
A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.
This is the amendment that states that people have the right to keep and bear arms. There has been a lot of debate about this over the decades, with the PL’s dead set against anyone owning a gun. In the past they have managed to push through laws banning the ownership of certain types of firearms and the ability to use them, or any other weapon for that matter, to defend you life, the lives of others and your property. The PL’s will say that it only applies to the military and the police, and have managed to get judges who should know better to agree with them. Recently, this outlook has changed and people are pushing back and trying to restore this right. Of course, when some lunatic uses a gun to commit mass murder, the PL’s promptly state that guns of a certain type, or all guns must be banned. They will say “You don’t need xyz type gun to hunt ducks” or that “You don’t need X bullets in the gun for target shooting.” They completely miss the point of the 2nd Amendment.
Recall when this amendment was written and passed. The United States had just revolted successfully against the lawful government of Great Britain. The founders of the Untied States knew that the government of the united States as well as the “Several States” could become tyrannical. They wrote the 2nd Amendment so that the people of the United States would, if necessary, have the means to remove that government by force. It was the final check in a long list of checks and balances7. This idea that “The People” should be able to remove a government by force causes their brains to basically lock up. The true Progressive Liberal firmly believes that the power of the Government trumps the rights of the people and anything that gives the people a way to stop Progressive Liberal Government is evil and has to be suppressed.
I’m skipping over the 3rd Amendment since we haven’t had to worry about quartering troops in private homes in a very long time. So on to the 4th Amendment.
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
Basically, this Amendment states that the government can’t search your home or property, read your papers, or stop and search you without a warrant. Now both the Progressive Liberals and the Conservatives have done a huge amount of damage to this amendment over time. For conservatives, they want to be able to catch real criminals and throw them in jail. They have also abused this amendment with regards to the usage of pharmaceutical products for recreational purposes. (Taking drugs to get high)
The Progressive Liberals have abused it with regards to things like the 2nd Amendment, in that they want to search the homes of gun owners to confiscate guns. As mentioned, both sides have abused this one shamelessly, and with technologies available or becoming available that the founders could not conceive of, both sides will continue to try and push the envelope for their own purposes.
Next, we come to the 5th Amendment.
No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.
Again, both sides have abused this, but the Progressive Liberals have really gone to town. The section they hate is “nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.” The PL’s love to force property owners to do things at their expense that make the Progressive Liberals feel good. They also like to keep property owners from developing their lands or utilize the resources on them for personal gain. The founders of this nation were all, to a man, men of property. They knew how the Crown would take a persons lands either for the king’s use or to give to others.
Their thinking was that at times a need would arise, such as building a road or a bridge, that would require taking someone’s property. Therefore, they provided a way to compensate the land owner and also give the landowner the means to stop the taking. Recently, the United States Supreme Court blew a huge hole in this amendment with the Kelo decision8. This decision generally made the PL’s happy and enraged just about everyone else. You can read all about it and the aftermath on your own time.
Next, we have the 6th Amendment.
In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defence.
This one is pretty straight forward and again, has been abused by both sides. One of the biggest problems is the speedy trial aspect. It can take years for a case, criminal or civil, to come to trial. Some of these trials can run for months. We have prosecutors who abuse the courts for their own gain. (Overcharging, hiding exculpatory evidence, etc) This is primarily due to judges letting the lawyers get away with it, and jurors who are, frankly, barely smart enough to breathe on their own. We also are seeing courts that deny the accused any information on the charges or the witnesses being brought against them.
Skipping down a few, we come to the 8th Amendment.
Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.
Again, both sides have abused this to some extent, but the PL’s have really gone to town on the punishments section. In the PL’s mind, any punishment is wrong. One of the big bugaboos for the PL’s is the death penalty. Now, the usual method of execution in the time of the Founders was hanging or firing squad. PL’s don’t want anyone executed for any reason. Under British Rule however, we would see summary confiscation of property, and punishments that were pretty barbaric even for those times. This is why the wrote this amendment. Today, in place of the lash, we have RICO9 and Asset Forfeiture10. Again, both sides favor parts of these acts and both would probably enrage the Founders.
This brings us to another amendment that our friends the Progressive Liberals absolutely despise. That would be the 10th Amendment.
The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.
Now this is a very easy one for the average person to understand. Basically, unless it’s in the constitution at the federal or state level, all powers belong to the individual. The one thing that the PL’s refuse to accept, is the way the founders visualized the powers of government. In their way of thinking, the ultimate power belonged to the person, then to the local government, then the state government and last, the federal government. Unless a power was specifically granted to Federal government, it belonged to the states. If the states weren’t authorized, then it belonged to the individual.
In the minds of the Progressive Liberal, all power should be and is vested in the federal government. This is dead opposite of what the founders intended or course. The PL’s, will disagree to the point of name calling and threats of violence against those who think otherwise.
Many PL’s believe that the 10th Amendment was rendered moot by the civil war. (Prior to the ACW, America was referred to as “These United States.” After the American Civil War, the name became “The United States”) Because the PL’s no longer consider the 10th Amendment valid, they have run roughshod over the rights of the States, and now the individual.
There will be disagreement over when this really started, but I would put it at the Wickard v. Filburn decision11. It was this case that unleashed the floods of the regulatory state we are now suffering under. The Progressive Liberals have used this and other like decisions to impose their view of the world on the people.
And this brings us to the world views of Progressive Liberals and Conservatives. First, we must define just what we mean by Progressive Liberal and Conservative. Today’s Progressive Liberal is a far cry of a PL of past centuries. In fact, you could say the founders of the United States were Progressive Liberals.
Today’s conservatives are also different from those of decades gone past. Back then, a conservative was basically someone who didn’t want any changes at all. Another name for them would be “Old Fossil.” Today, they tend to be more Constitutional and Fiscal types. They want to return to a government as laid down by the founders as amended over the years. Basically, if it isn’t listed in the Constitution as a power of the federal government, then the federal government can’t do it.
The conservatives also believe in living within our means. By that, you don’t spend money you don’t have and minimize borrowing. They also want to close most of the regulatory agencies and return that responsibility to the states. Conservatives also believe in personal responsibility. They believe that the individual is responsible for his or her actions, not the group.
The Progressive Liberals are just the opposite. The refuse to hold the individual responsible for his or her actions and instead blame the group or in a few cases, (Like guns), objects. We can debate why they think like this all day long. The short version is that PL’s are herd creatures, and demand absolute conformity. The Conservatives believe in the individual and prefer the community instead. (People coming together because they want to, not because they are forced to)
So, to summarize,
Progressive Liberals only pay lip service to:
Freedom OF religion
The rights of the individual and the states.
They are utterly opposed to the individual having the right to or the means of self defense, especially against the State.
The Progressive Liberals also can’t be bothered with the amending process as defined in the constitution. The last time the PL’s actually used the amending process was the passage of the 16th Amendment.
1. After one year from the ratification of this article the manufacture, sale, or transportation of intoxicating liquors within, the importation thereof into, or the exportation thereof from the United States and all territory subject to the jurisdiction thereof for beverage purposes is hereby prohibited.
2. The Congress and the several States shall have concurrent power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.
3. This article shall be inoperative unless it shall have been ratified as an amendment to the Constitution by the legislatures of the several States, as provided in the Constitution, within seven years from the date of the submission hereof to the States by the Congress.
This was their first attempt to impose their view on the people by using the amending process. How well did it work? Well, it lasted 13 years and was repealed with the ratification of the 21st Amendment.
The eighteenth article of amendment to the Constitution of the United States is hereby repealed.
Since then, the Progressive Liberals have basically ignored any aspect of the Constitution they didn’t like. The sad part is, we have way to many judges who agree with them and let blatantly unconstitutional laws stand. We have a justice of the Supreme Court who really doesn’t like the United States Constitution, a document she was sworn to uphold, defend and protect. Last February, Justice Ruth Bader-Ginsberg12 said:
“I would not look to the U.S. Constitution, if I were drafting a Constitution in the year 2012. I might look at the Constitution of South Africa13.”
I don’t know that constitution at all, but a quick glance makes me think that it’s the Progressive Liberals wet dream. Is it any wonder we get all these Statist14 decisions by the Judical branch of the United States?
So there you have it. My take on just how much the Progressive Liberals support real civil rights and the Constitution of the United States. This is, of course, my opinion, and you are entitled to it. I do apologize for the lenght of this post. Once I got started, I just couldn’t stop. Without a doubt I missed a few things. I also have no doubt that our Progressive Liberal friends will disagree with much that I have written. If they disagree in their usual way, I expect to see cursing, foul language, accusations and threats of violence rather then thoughtful and enlightening discussion and debate.
~The Angry Webmaster~
- The United States Constitution [↩]
- Twenty-seventh Amendment [↩]
- The Fairness Doctrine [↩]
- Air America [↩]
- The Hush Rush syndrome [↩]
- Hate Speech in the United States [↩]
- Defining American Authority [↩]
- Kelo v. City of New London [↩]
- Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act [↩]
- Asset forfeiture in the United States [↩]
- Wickard v. Filburn [↩]
- Ruth Joan Bader Ginsburg [↩]
- Constitution of South Africa [↩]
- Statism [↩]