THE GROWING SPECTER OF GOVERNMENT "RIGHTS"
By Christopher G. Adamo
All too often, any agreeable sounding platitude serves as a worthy substitute. Thus, Americans wander through life believing in “constitutional rights” to employment, housing, recreation, or any other amenity they crave. In this parallel universe, “rights” exist not as inherent components of the human condition, but as gifts handed down from a benevolent government.
But, perhaps too late, people may finally be realizing that whatever the three-headed hydra of government once arrogantly presumed to “give,” it now seeks, on an ever-expanding basis, to take away.
Consider the original nature of the Bill of Rights in contrast to the misconceptions of it now held by a dangerously large number of Americans. Even a cursory reading of the document quickly reveals that it does not enable the people, but, instead, uncategorically prohibits actions by the government -- and more specifically the Congress (the founders presumed laws could only originate there) -- that might infringe on universally understood rights of the people.
Thus, despite the seemingly misleading nature of its title, the document was never intended as a litany of “rights” granted by the nation’s beneficent leaders in Washington. Rather, it established ironclad limits on the ability of government to encroach on those inalienable rights of the citizenry.
The Founders well understood the dark and universal tendency of those holding political power to seek to expand it, and thus placed unassailable roadblocks in their path. For well over a century, this firewall worked. But eventually the power mongers became sufficiently creative to fabricate a loophole. And widespread public ignorance of the ensuing threat has allowed it to metastasize ever since.
Only now, as the scope of last Summer’s Kelo decision of the United States Supreme Court becomes apparent, are people recognizing their own peril in the face of a government whose reigns have been thus removed.
The blueprint for this ruse was simple, and, had the citizenry been less self-absorbed and more devoted to principle, the inevitable disaster could have been thwarted long ago. Now, an epic battle for the future of the American experiment looms. Its outcome is not at all certain.
In the 1947 Emerson v. Board of Education decision, the U.S. Supreme Court executed an amazing U-turn on the supposed meaning of the Bill of Rights. In order to circumvent the First Amendment protection of religious expression, the Supreme Court substituted “separation of Church and State” for the original text. By so doing, the Court transposed a time-honored restriction on the government, thereafter invoking it as a restriction on the people.
What had formerly been a “right” suddenly became a prohibition. Tragically, this blatant corruption of the Bill of Rights was subsequently imposed, ostensibly as the surest means of upholding the original right.
Having proven so successful, this judicial “sleight of hand” has been applied on an ever-expanding basis. The Second Amendment, again a restriction on the ability of government to disarm the citizens, has likewise been recast as a protection of the government’s ability to establish a militia. Advocates of gun ownership are increasingly compelled to clarify the Second Amendment as belonging to the people and not the state.
Now, with Kelo, the crucial right of the people to own property has metamorphosed into a “right” of the state to decisively arbitrate the ownership of all property in its own best interests. By transferring this “right” to the state, it has been stolen from the people, under the auspices of “constitutional law,” of course.
Interestingly, a consistent pattern exists among the regions in which private property is thus being systematically seized from common citizens. From New London, Connecticut (sight of the original Kelo decision) to New Jersey, Oakland, California, and, now, West Palm Beach, Florida, governing philosophies represent the bluest of America’s Liberal Leftist “blue” zones. Local demographics indisputably prove the controversy to be a statement on the moral and spiritual bankruptcy that defines the American Left.
Finally, the Liberal facade of supporting “the little guy” can be seen in its ugly reality. Liberalism seeks to maintain “the little guy” in his lowly place in perpetuity, for he is most useful to it in that condition. And, if it eventually benefits the state to trample him underfoot, his fate is sealed.
The Constitution of the United States of America
Civil Liberties -- Private Property Rights
Liberals, Statists, Socialists, & Other Leftists
Liberalism Versus Conservatism in American Politics
Traditional Conservatism: Questions & Answers
Conservatism: Attitudes, Types, & Present Status
Constitutional Conservatism: American & British
Classical Liberalism: Intellectual Foundations
Classical Liberalism: Conservative Liberalism
Manchester Liberalism & Social Darwinism
Modern Social "Liberalism": Statist "Liberalism"
Radical & Totalitarian Ideologies
Radicalism, Utopianism, & Totalitarianism
Christopher G. Adamo is a freelance writer who lives in southeastern Wyoming and works in the field of industrial instrumentation.
He is actively involved in Wyoming's political process, serving as a delegate to successive Wyoming State Republican Conventions
and as a member of the Wyoming State Republican Central Committee. He has assisted Republican candidates for local and state
legislatures and for the United States Congress. His articles, which appear regularly in The Progressive Conservative, U.S.A.,
and on a number of other websites, reflect a major concern with the damage being done to Conservatism and Conservative causes by
the Liberal Leftist faction in the Republican Party as well as by the much larger and more powerful Liberal Leftist faction in the
Democratic Party. During the early and middle 1990s, Adamo was Editor of the Wyoming Christian Coalition's official news organ,
The Wyoming Christian.
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