If I were to ask you what the purpose of the law should be, how would you respond? It is a valid question and one which I’d like to spend a little time discussing. I’m not there with you, so I can only guess as how you would answer my question; but I believe I can make some pretty accurate guesses knowing how most people think.
For instance, I’m guessing some of you might say that the law exists to keep you safe, while others might say the law exists to prevent others from doing harm to you; which are both variations of the same theme. While I’d have to give you an A for effort, you’re not quite at the truth yet.
The purpose for which laws should be written is so that man can enjoy the free exercise of their rights while at the same time prevent abuses of those rights to the extent that others are denied the same freedom to exercise theirs.
In a state of perfect freedom or, as Locke calls it, a state of nature, each man is free to do as they please, and punish those who threaten them or their rights to the extent they deem worthy of the offense.
But we do not live in a state of nature; we have established legislatures to write our laws for us. In 1772, four years before our Declaration of Independence was written and adopted, Samuel Adams issued a report to the Committee of Correspondence which, in part, said, “Among the Natural Rights of the Colonists are these First. a Right to Life; Secondly to Liberty; thirdly to Property; together with the Right to support and defend them in the best manner they can–Those are evident Branches of, rather than deductions from the Duty of Self Preservation, commonly called the first Law of Nature.”
Three quarters a century later, Frederic Bastiat would write, “If every person has the right to defend—even by force—his person, his liberty, and his property, then it follows that a group of men have the right to organize and support a common force to protect these rights constantly. Thus the principle of collective right—its reason for existing, its lawfulness—is based on individual right. And the common force that protects this collective right cannot logically have any other purpose or any other mission than that for which it acts as a substitute.” (Source: The Law, 1850)
Therefore, if our Natural Rights are the Rights to Life, Liberty and Property; together with the Right to support and defend them in the best manner we can, and if the collective right of our legislatures cannot have any other legitimate powers other than those which we have as individuals, how can anyone justify any law which violates the purpose for which all laws should be written?
The simple answer is that it can’t; not without becoming oppressive. As Bastiat says in the opening paragraph of his book The Law, “The law perverted! And the police powers of the state perverted along with it! The law, I say, not only turned from its proper purpose but made to follow an entirely contrary purpose! The law become the weapon of every kind of greed! Instead of checking crime, the law itself guilty of the evils it is supposed to punish!”
If our rights are inherent, unalienable, and derived as gifts from our Creator, (as our founders believed), then how can we say that the law serves its true purpose when we are required to obtain permission from bodies of men to exercise them? How can we say that the law serves its true function when it imposes restrictions on the free exercise of our minds and the full enjoyment of the fruits of our labors?
Do you understand the meaning of the word subjugate? Subjugate means to bring someone, or something under domination or control. Using that definition, how can anyone say that they have freedom when those whose job it is to preserve and protect our rights pass laws which restrict them? How, therefore, can anyone who claims to love liberty and freedom also claim to support a government which routinely seeks to restrict the liberty it was instituted to protect? The truth is if they say that, it is an oxymoron; a contradiction that cannot logically exist
Now I am about to say something that may offend some, but before I do I want to make sure you understand the context I will use these words in. I am about to discuss the ideologies of conservatism and liberalism in America today; but I am not talking about the two political parties which dominate American politics. Instead, I wish to discuss those among the teeming mass of society who believe they are conservatives or liberals; or progressives if you prefer that term instead.
Although I despise what they stand for, I can almost forgive liberals for their positions. For one thing, they are honest about who they are and what they stand for. Secondly, I believe a good many of them hold their beliefs due to this sense of good heartedness which leads them to want to ease the suffering of others who are less fortunate. Unfortunately, for their ideology to work, they must take from those who produce so that it can, in turn, be given to those in need.
Say I graduated from high school and went no further in my education; and due to that I was only able to get a job flipping burgers at McDonalds or Burger King. Then say another individual went on to college and got a medical degree and became a specialist in heart surgery. Do I have the right to knock on his door and demand that he give me a portion of his earnings because I chose not to learn a skill where I could live in the same level of comfort that he does? Do I have a right to demand that my employer raise my wages to a level that I can live comfortably on; just because I did not learn a skill that would pay more than a burger joint?
In a just society, wages should be based upon skill level and effort exerted on the job; not upon need. That is my biggest grief with labor unions; they stifle motivation and initiative. Why should anyone work harder than the next person when everyone doing the same job earns the same pay? It takes a person who has a large degree of ethics and integrity to go above and beyond what is expected in an environment where everyone else is performing at levels just enough to keep their jobs.
I work in a union plant, and I despise the atmosphere created when people are not forced to meet company standards. I despise the fact that no matter how hard I work, the laziest person in the plant is going to get the same pay raise as I am. I have been told that the company retains the right to recognize achievement and effort by giving increases in pay to those who exhibit the extra effort; but I’ve yet to see that happen–and I’ve been working there for 14 yrs now.
I do not ask that I be paid more than my efforts deserve, but I do not think it fair that I go in there day after day and bust my ass for this company, yet get the same pay that people who just stand there for 8 hours without ever breaking a sweat get. I do not wish to make this about me; I am only using my own circumstances as an example. You see, that is the core belief of liberals; this idea that everyone, no matter their skill level or performance, is entitled to equality with those who are of a higher skill level or work harder.
To take this a step further, liberals also believe that those who cannot, or choose not to seek to better their lives through their own efforts, deserve to have those who have provide, (through tax funded subsidies) programs which provide these people with an existence.
These were not the principles, or beliefs, this country was founded upon. Our Founders believed that each individual was responsible for themselves, and themselves only. They believed that each man had the right to pursue happiness; and that the level of happiness they achieved would be based upon their skill, motivation, and initiative. They never believed that society should be obligated to provide a living for those who did not achieve any level of success; and they certainly didn’t believe that government should use its coercive power to take from those who had achieved success and give it to those who hadn’t.
In 1816 Thomas Jefferson wrote, “To take from one, because it is thought his own industry and that of his fathers has acquired too much, in order to spare to others, who, or whose fathers, have not exercised equal industry and skill, is to violate arbitrarily the first principle of association, the guarantee to everyone the free exercise of his industry and the fruits acquired by it.” (Source: letter to Joseph Milligan)
In 1794 James Madison spoke the following words on the floor of the House of Representatives, “The government of the United States is a definite government, confined to specified objects. It is not like the state governments, whose powers are more general. Charity is no part of the legislative duty of the government.”
Our Founders believed that man should be self-reliant; that is they should rely upon their own wits and effort to provide for themselves the things they needed to survive. In 1792 Madison wrote, “The class of citizens who provide at once their own food and their own raiment, may be viewed as the most truly independent and happy. They are more: they are the best basis of public liberty, and the strongest bulwark of public safety. It follows, that the greater the proportion of this class to the whole society, the more free, the more independent, and the more happy must be the society itself.”
That is the flaw of liberalism; it is a complete and utter perversion of the beliefs held by those who established our system of government, and the purpose for which laws should be written. Liberalism requires that one segment of society be subjugated in order to provide an existence to others; and that deprives those thus subjugated of the full enjoyment of their rights and the fruits of their labors.
Now that I’ve spoken a bit about the liberal ideology, don’t think you conservatives are going to get a free pass. The word conservative is defined as one who adheres to traditional attitudes and values; especially in regards to religion and politics. Now, can you honestly say that your precious GOP adheres to traditional values; the values this country was founded upon?
A true conservative, as if there were any in existence in our government today, would never cast a vote in favor of a law which overstepped the boundaries the Constitution imposes upon the power given Congress, nor one which violates any of our rights. A true conservative would rather see the government grind to a screeching halt than violate their principles by voting for a measure that violated their conservative values…just so government could keep its doors open for business.
I’m sorry, but by claiming to be a conservative, while at the same time supporting candidates from the Republican Party, you are being hypocritical; because saying that Republicans are conservative is an oxymoron and a contradiction.
Now I’m sure that some of you are thinking, but if we don’t vote for Republicans, then the Democrats will win every time; and it’s better a Republican win than a Democrat. With that mindset we will never EVER return to true conservative values in this country! If you place being on a team that has a chance of winning over your values and principles, then you are being dishonest to yourself and being untrue to the values upon which this country was founded; and I find that truly more despicable than I do the liberals who are at least honest about what they stand for.
A true conservative would not support any measure that restricted their right to keep and bear arms. A true conservative would have applauded Edward Snowden for bringing to their attention the extent to which their government was violating the 4th Amendment; not called him a traitor. A true conservative would not call for their president to revise an unconstitutional health care law to leave his signature upon it; they would have called for it to be repealed. A true conservative would not support the occupation of other sovereign nations by our military just because the threat of terrorism has its roots in the religious ideologies and dogmas of those countries. After all, those same people we fear, hate and despise our freedoms, (or at least that’s what we’ve been told), and why should they not then have the right to send their military to the U.S. and force us to adhere to THEIR belief systems? Or has America become to policeman of the world, who sends its soldiers all over the globe to impose our beliefs upon others?
If you truly were conservative in your beliefs, you would adhere to the traditional beliefs as espoused by those who lived during the Founding of our young nation; men like John Quincy Adams, sixth president of the United States and son of the second president of the United States. On July 4, 1821, while serving as Secretary of State, young JQ Adams delivered an address to Congress in which he stated, “America, in the assembly of nations, since her admission among them, has invariably, though often fruitlessly, held forth to them the hand of honest friendship, of equal freedom, of generous reciprocity. She has uniformly spoken among them, though often to heedless and often to disdainful ears, the language of equal liberty, of equal justice, and of equal rights. She has, in the lapse of nearly half a century, without a single exception, respected the independence of other nations while asserting and maintaining her own. She has abstained from interference in the concerns of others, even when conflict has been for principles to which she clings, as to the last vital drop that visits the heart. … Wherever the standard of freedom and Independence has been or shall be unfurled, there will her heart, her benedictions and her prayers be. But she goes not abroad, in search of monsters to destroy. She is the well-wisher to the freedom and independence of all. She is the champion and vindicator only of her own.”
If those are true conservative values, why don’t you support them; and why doesn’t the party you support, support them either?
The truth is that both the Republicans and the Democrats believe that it is perfectly acceptable for them to violate the limits imposed upon government by the Constitution, and to violate your inherent and unalienable rights; they just do it for their own party ideologies. How anyone can support either party and then turn around and call themselves a patriot and a lover of liberty is beyond my ability to comprehend.
This last presidential election showed us that there is a great deal of mistrust in long standing political parties; hence the unexpected victory of Donald Trump, and the failed candidacy of Bernie Sanders; both outsiders who gained huge support from the liberal and conservative camps. Yet there was one thing both lacked; an understanding of and an allegiance to the principles America was founded upon.
This lack of understanding and allegiance to Constitutional principles is also shared by the general public as well; and until that changes nothing in government will. As long as the people in this country care more about party ideologies than they do Constitutional principles, then it will be business as usual in Washington D.C.
Our country was founded by men of great vision who had thorough understandings of both history and the various systems of government devised by men. They did not have the leisure time and numerous entertainment opportunities that avail us today; so they studied. If we wish to restore America to its founding principles then we too must take the time, or make the time, to become familiar with, at least, our own nation’s history, (and the true version of it), and the real reasons for which our system of government was established.
If we cannot do that, there is no hope for our immediate future. Maybe sometime in the future, after our failures have led to a complete and utterly tyrannical and oppressive government, then that sacred spark of liberty will find a spark within the hearts of our posterity and liberty may once again ring loud in this country; but until then I only see gloom in our future.
You can say that you love your country until you are blue in the face, but the best means of measuring how well you truly love your country is by how well you support and defend the principles it was established upon. Our Founders risked their lives, their fortunes and their sacred honor for what they believed in. Are you willing to risk all that for your beliefs?