A recent posting to Facebook got me thinking about the language of rights that dominates our political discourse.
Responding to the over-the-top hysteria about 2d Amendment rights that greets even the most reasonable gun proposals–background checks, for example–the poster (a self-identified Republican) noted that the party’s concerns about constitutional rights have become very selective. Only when guns are involved does the party elevate a “constitutional right” over the right to life.
As he noted, Republican lawmakers defend government when it ignores basic human rights and the Geneva Convention, justifying such behaviors by saying the information so gathered may save lives.
The GOP is completely identified with the pro life movement, a crusade purporting to “save the lives of the unborn” by taking rights away from women. (A substantial number even wants to take away the right to birth control in order to “save lives” that have yet to even be conceived. )
In fact, he notes that the party is increasingly willing to ignore all manner of rights–except the right to own a weapon.
Citing the need to protect against a virtually non-existent in-person “voter fraud,” the GOP has spent the past several years trying to take away the right of poor and minority citizens to vote. The GOP “fought like hell” to keep homosexuals from having the right to marry, and it fights “against any form of right, or laws both human and environmental that will hurt the bottom line of our campaign contributors.” The party refuses even to consider that healthcare might be a right, insisting that it is a privilege.… “Yet this one. This one right above all others we hold sacred. We refuse to bend.”
It’s an interesting–and accurate–perspective.
It’s also profoundly depressing.