The Patriot Post® · Leftist Violence to Crush Dissent Undermines Rights
One of the most dangerous realities of America today is that the American people — blessed with unimaginable freedom and prosperity thanks to the revolutionary idea of our Founding Fathers that rights are granted not by government but by God — are disastrously uninformed as to what natural rights are and are not.
Even as the world watches heartbreaking scenes from Venezuela and Hong Kong, where oppressive socialist/communist regimes beat, imprison, and kill their own citizens for peacefully protesting the already oppressive activities of those regimes, America is teeming with foolish progressives demanding we turn to socialism to solve our problems, real or perceived.
Our Constitution established a list of “negative” rights; things government is prohibited from depriving citizens of without due process. For example, the First Amendment protects the freedoms of religion, speech, the press, peaceable assembly, and petitioning government for a redress of grievances. The Second Amendment protects our right of self-defense, the Fourth our right to personal property. And so on.
In each case, the right is protected simply by having government leave us alone. In fact, of all the rights protected by the Constitution, the only one requiring a positive action by another citizen is the right to a trial by a jury, for which jurors are compensated.
To leftist Democrats, everything they want is a “right”.
Democrats have long claimed healthcare, primary education, and retirement security as human rights. Now, with calls for “free” college, they claim secondary education is a right as well. In fact, the list of “rights” declared by progressives is dizzying — paid vacation, paid maternity leave, contraception, high-speed internet, a “living” wage, affordable housing, and more.
Before dropping out, former Democrat presidential candidate Beto O'Rourke even declared that a short commute is a universal right, tweeting, “Living close to work shouldn’t be a luxury for the rich… It’s a right for everyone.”
Take note of the fact that every single one of the progressives’ “rights” requires the time, wealth, property, or intellect of another person, regardless of the recipients’ ability to pay.
The last we checked, compelling one person to work for the benefit of another, especially without compensation, is the definition of slavery.
In a speech last week to the Federalist Society’s 2019 National Lawyers Convention, Attorney General William Barr explained why this dichotomy puts conservatives at a distinct disadvantage when defending against the attacks of the political Left. He explained:
This highlights a basic disadvantage that conservatives have always had in contesting the political issues of the day. … In any age, the so-called progressives treat politics as their religion. Their holy mission is to use the coercive power of the State to remake man and society in their own image, according to an abstract ideal of perfection. Whatever means they use are therefore justified because, by definition, they are a virtuous people pursing a deific end. They are willing to use any means necessary to gain momentary advantage in achieving their end, regardless of collateral consequences and the systemic implications. They never ask whether the actions they take could be justified as a general rule of conduct, equally applicable to all sides.
Conservatives, on the other hand, do not seek an earthly paradise. We are interested in preserving over the long run the proper balance of freedom and order necessary for healthy development of natural civil society and individual human flourishing. … This means that we naturally test the propriety and wisdom of action under a Rule of Law standard. The essence of this standard is to ask what the overall impact on society over the long run if the action we are taking, or principle we are applying in a given circumstance, was universalized — that is, would it be good for society over the long haul if this was done in all like circumstances?
“Any means necessary” is an understatement.
Over the last three years, we’ve witnessed the attempted coup by progressive Democrats and deep-state operatives to remove Donald Trump, the duly elected president of the United States, using manufactured evidence to frame him for colluding with our Russian enemies. After that failed, they now seek to impeach him over disagreements in foreign policy regarding Ukraine.
Then there are the more militant, violent factions of the Left, like antifa and Black Lives Matter. These groups have taken to the streets, rioting, dragging people from their cars and beating them, assaulting elderly people, and viciously beating reporters who covered their criminal behavior.
It is a tragic irony that, even as leftists demand a cornucopia of new “rights” at taxpayer expense, they are actively and often violently suppressing actual, enumerated constitutional rights. Leftists are relentless in their efforts to repeal the Second Amendment through gun control. They suppress free speech through “speech codes” that constrain utterances to only those expressions approved by the politically correct mob.
Ironically, and completely lacking in self-awareness, American progressives demand more government even as they warn that the president is a despotic tyrant.
A stable, just society cannot long survive such lawlessness and violence. Americans must understand that if the rights of one are violated, the rights of all are violated.
No longer can Americans of good will stand idly by and allow the mob to crush those they oppose. We must defend our rights now or lose them forever.