Obama’s Bogus “Rights” Destroy Legitimate Rights

Wednesday, October 29th, 2008 11:36 am by Neal

Here’s a partial transcript:

If you look at the victories and failures of the civil rights movement and its litigation strategy in the court. I think where it succeeded was to invest formal rights in previously dispossessed people, so that now I would have the right to vote. I would now be able to sit at the lunch counter and order as long as I could pay for it I’d be o.k. But, the Supreme Court never ventured into the issues of redistribution of wealth, and of more basic issues such as political and economic justice in society. To that extent, as radical as I think people try to characterize the Warren Court, it wasn’t that radical. It didn’t break free from the essential constraints that were placed by the founding fathers in the Constitution, at least as its been interpreted and Warren Court interpreted in the same way, that generally the Constitution is a charter of negative liberties. Says what the states can’t do to you. Says what the Federal government can’t do to you, but doesn’t say what the Federal government or State government must do on your behalf, and that hasn’t shifted and one of the, I think, tragedies of the civil rights movement was, um, because the civil rights movement became so court focused I think there was a tendency to lose track of the political and community organizing and activities on the ground that are able to put together the actual coalition of powers through which you bring about redistributive change. In some ways we still suffer from that.

Obama gives away his true beliefs in that quote. The Constitution is a limit on government power, not an affirmation of government “rights”. Americans haven’t given enough thought to the nature of “rights” and what is and is not a right. Something cannot be a “right” if it imposes an obligation on somebody else other than of a negative kind, such as the obligation to respect someone’s right. If one person can claim something “by right” that imposes an obligation on another person, then one person is claiming, “as a right”, a portion of someone else’s life. There can be no such thing as “the right to enslave.”

If health care is a “right” then why isn’t food? Why isn’t a place to live? Why isn’t clothing a “right”? All of these things require someone else to produce them. Can there be a “right” to food if there is no one to produce it? What if every doctor and nurse quits. Is there still a “right” to health care, and if so, who is to supply it?

Contrast those examples with a true right such as the right to free speech. The only thing my right to free speech requires of any other person is to respect my right and not interfere with it. No other obligation or effort is required. That is the difference between a legitimate right and a non-legitimate “right”.

Unfortunately, the promulgation of so many “rights” (which really aren’t so) is diluting the notion and importance of true rights. As Ayn Rand said, rights are being devalued by a process of inflation.

Here’s an example from this week from Democrat U.S. Rep. Marcy Kaptur:

U.S. Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D. Toledo) whipped the crowd up before Mr. Obama took the stage yesterday telling them that America needed a Second Bill of Rights guaranteeing all Americans a job, health care, homes, an education, and a fair playing field for business and farmers.

Here we have a U.S. Representative who doesn’t have a clue as to the nature of rights. FDR was similarly clueless when he spoke of an “Economic Bill of Rights” in 1944:

In our day these economic truths have become accepted as self-evident. We have accepted, so to speak, a second Bill of Rights under which a new basis of security and prosperity can be established for all—regardless of station, race, or creed.

Among these are:

The right to a useful and remunerative job in the industries or shops or farms or mines of the nation;

The right to earn enough to provide adequate food and clothing and recreation;

The right of every farmer to raise and sell his products at a return which will give him and his family a decent living;

The right of every businessman, large and small, to trade in an atmosphere of freedom from unfair competition and domination by monopolies at home or abroad;

The right of every family to a decent home;

The right to adequate medical care and the opportunity to achieve and enjoy good health;

The right to adequate protection from the economic fears of old age, sickness, accident, and unemployment;

The right to a good education.

For each of these so-called “rights” ask yourself a question: at who’s expense? Who is to be sacrificed to supply you with these “rights”?

Read those passages very carefully. Obama wants a Supreme Court that will change the Constitution to dictate what the “Federal government or State government must do on your behalf.” He wants to empower the government to enact “Redistributive change.”

What form will that change take? FDR articulated it, and Democrat Marcy Kaptur reiterates his “Second Bill of Rights”. Where else have we seen this list of “bogus rights”?

Compare FDR’s and Marcy Kaptur’s lists of “rights” to the 1977 Constitution of the USSR:

Article 40. Citizens of the USSR have the right to work (that is, to guaranteed employment and pay in accordance wit the quantity and quality of their work, and not below the state-established minimum), including the right to choose their trade or profession, type of job and work in accordance with their inclinations, abilities, training and education, with due account of the needs of society.

Article 41. Citizens of the USSR have the right to rest and leisure.
The length of collective farmers’ working and leisure time is established by their collective farms.

Article 42. Citizens of the USSR have the right to health protection.

Article 44. Citizens of the USSR have the rights to housing.

Article 45. Citizens of the USSR have the right to education.

Article 46. Citizens of the USSR have the right to enjoy cultural benefits.

No wonder Obama is a Marxist! It’s change he’s always believed in!

Perhaps we’d be wise to consider how well this “change” worked in other times and places before we go down that road in America.

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