For the first time in as long as I can remember, I have to take issue with Mike Adams. This is not the first time I’ve disagreed with him mind you…there have been many times that I haven’t agreed with his conclusions…even if I couldn’t argue with the underlying basis and reasoning for them…what makes this one different, however, is that I agree with his overall point, but think he’s wrong in how he got there.
In his column today on townhall.com he laments the fact that Obama supporters (and, in IMHO, liberals in general) tend to invent rights for things that they want to be rights without any basis for that assertion. They have the “right” to healthcare, the “right” to not be offended, the “right” to employment, the “right” to a living wage, etc.
I agree with the general principle, but the foundation for his belief is flawed:
First, I believe that I have a right to demand that you show me a copy of the U.S. Constitution every time you demand a new right. And if you cannot identify the constitutional basis of your proposed right, you forfeit that right as well as your right to vote in 2008.
You see…Mike seems to be confused about where rights come from. Rights are not defined in the Constitution and never have been. Please point out one place in the Constitution where it is written: “the people are hereby granted the right to…” or anything even vaguely similar.
The Constitution does not grant rights. The Constitution only protects SOME of our rights by spelling out specific restrictions on the government in an effort to prevent it from infringing upon our PRE-EXISTING rights.
The entire Bill of Rights could be repealed, but that would not render void a single one of our rights. Rights are not granted by the government and no government document or decree can repeal them.
With that in mind, The Bill of Rights was never intended to be an exhaustive list of rights. There are rights that exist that are not listed in the Constitution. How do I know this? The Constitution itself says so.
The enumeration in the Constitution of certain rights shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.
If your only argument is “that’s not a right because it’s not in the Constitution”, all I have to do is show you the 9th Amendment and your argument goes out the window.
So…what DOES constitute a right?
It’s very simple really. A right is something that you can do, obtain, produce or provide that does not infringe upon another’s rights and requires no outside intervention for you to do so.
I have the right to say what I want. You have the right not to listen, or to reply as you see fit. You do not have the right not to be offended by what I say because that would require me to be censored and, therefore, violates my right to speak freely.
You have the right to all the medical care that you can provide for yourself or that you can purchase from someone else under mutually agreed upon conditions. You do NOT have a “right” to medical care provided by others because that infringes upon their right to their own resources, labor and knowledge.
You have the right to your own skills, knowledge and labor and any income that it may produce for you. You do not have a right to employment because that implies that the employer has the responsibility to hire you regardless of whether you possess of any marketable skills valuable to his business. The employer, as an individual, has the right to hire whomever he pleases, at whatever pay and benefits are mutually agreed upon by both parties.
I could go on and on, but I’ll take pity on you, dear readers. The bottom line is that we have lost sight, as a nation, of what our rights really are and what the powers of the government should be limited to.
We absolutely should be decrying as ridiculous the claims that health care, “living wages”, higher education etc are “rights”, but when our only argument is “show me in the Constitution”, we are doing both ourselves, and our society, a disservice.
We have many rights that are not enumerated in the Constitution. If we limit ourselves to those few, can we truly be considered free?