J. D. Tuccille, the Civil Liberties Examiner at Examiner.com, has posted an excellent article entitled, Forget right and left — it’s the control freaks against the rest of us.
It’s not that there aren’t real ideological differences along the political spectrum — there are. But left, right, up or down, there are activists who focus on ways of expanding freedom, and there are activists who focus on ways of extending government control over people’s lives. They may put the emphasis on different issues and strongly disagree on specific policies, but ultimately, righties and lefties who emphasize freedom have more in common with one another than they do with supposed comrades who are obsessed with control.
He makes many valid points in this article, and I encourage you to read the whole thing, but I think the underlying battleground can be traced back to the founding of our country, in the words of the Declaration of Independence:
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.
While there exist revolutionary scholars far more qualified than I am, among them my good friend Hercules Mulligan, nonetheless I am going to share my thoughts on this statement.
We hold these truths to be self-evident
Those who formed our country believed in the truth that Webster’s defines as “conformity with fact or reality; a transcendent fundamental or spiritual reality; a verified or indisputable fact, proposition, principle, or the like.”
Americans today have lost this belief. We have largely accepted the lies of relative moralism, which declare that no universal standard exists to judge right or wrong, that what is right today is wrong tomorrow, that what is wrong in China, is right in America. Every ethical position can change based on circumstance or personal preference. The belief in right and wrong, or good and evil, has been declared obsolete in our society.
These two positions cannot be reconciled. Either universal truth exists or it doesn’t. Either we support the propositions our country was formed on, or we don’t. I believe, along with our founders, that some truths are self-evident. If we look at some examples, I think we can all agree that at least some truth does not change.
- The TSA agent who interrogates and terrifies a three-year-old is wrong.
- Torturing prisoners at Gitmo in unspeakable ways is wrong.
- Fining homeowners who protect their property with a firebreak is wrong.
- A BART cop who shot an unarmed man in the back was wrong.
- Taking kids from their “old” grandparents and arbitrarily giving them to a gay couple is wrong.
- Covering up the brutal rape and murder of a 19-year-old Army private in Iraq is wrong.
The list is endless, and if you want to get really riled, read through my posts on abuse of power. It’s one of my favorite blogging topics.
The larger point I’m making is that we all recognize injustice and abuse of power when we see it, starting with the bully on the playground. It’s self-evident.
If injustice is self-evident, then, if some truths are not relative to circumstance or personal opinion, then perhaps our founders list of truths carry weight, after all. Perhaps we need to re-examine just what it is that we believe. Perhaps good and evil really do exist.
As this post is already longer than I had planned, I will end it by saying … to be continued.