To which, 'Puter replies simply, "Nuts!"
Conservatism is the only political philosophy capable of getting America out of its current straits and moving forward again. To abandon conservatism now, in America's hour of need, would be unforgivable.
|Picture, Lt. Gen. Harry Kinnard who recommended|
replying to the Nazi's demand for the 101st Airborne's
unconditional surrender and abandonment of Bastogne
using commanding Gen. AnthonyMcAuliffe's
one word response, "Nuts!"
1. Conservatives don't dispute liberals have rights,** regardless of whether we agree with those rights or not. Conservatives do, however, dispute the liberal assumption that the existence of right creates a concomitant societal obligation to pay for the individual's exercise of such right.
Conservatives cannot dispute that Americans currently have a Constitutional right to procure abortions and birth control for themselves.*** Liberals so routinely caricature conservative resistance to abortion as taking away the rights of the millions of women raped each day, the billions of victims of incest occurring annually and the uncountable universe of pregnant women with terminal diseases requiring them to kill their babies, that it's become accepted wisdom. Liberals have succeeded in shifting the burden of proof to conservatives on abortion. That is, conservatives mus prove to Americans that they're not monsters who want to take away a woman's cherished and hard-won "right to choose (death on behalf of another human who cannot yet speak)."
Conservatives can and should shift the burden of proof back to liberals on abortion and other such issues. Fine, liberals. Women have a right to abortions. Not only that, but women have the right to an abortion up to and including the moment of birth. We conservatives know you liberals are just fine with delivering a full term child, but just before the child's head exits your vagina, slitting open the skull, scrambling the child's brains and then vacuuming your baby's brains out and discarding someone's grandchild's mortal remains like medical waste. Great. We conservatives get it. Abortion today, abortion tomorrow, abortion forever!
Americans have a Constitutional right to get an abortion. But all Americans have a right not to pay for your abortion. In words that liberals would understand: it's fair.
Here's a helpful example for the liberals. The Constitution guarantees Americans the right to possess firearms. Would liberals be happy if they had to pay to provide Americans who wanted guns guns of their choice? 'Puter thinks not.
This argument has the added advantage of being easily understood and consistent. Americans have the right to free speech, but taxpayers don't have to pay for Klan rallies. Americans have a right to be free from racial and gender discrimination in the hiring process (unless they are both white and male), but they don't have a right to require employers to hire them.
Interestingly, if liberals actually looked at the Constitution's text and spent some time considering it, they would find that all of the original Constitutional rights required no payment of any kind from the federal government, and therefore no financial burden on the taxpayers.
In shifting the focus of the debate, conservatives may find a couple of fortuitous results.
First, conservatives will appear reasonable, and liberals will appear unreasonable. Americans will ask themselves why, in fact, they have to pay for someone else to exercise his rights, particularly when he won't pay for me to exercise theirs.
Second, Americans would become more receptive to conservatives' arguments to place reasonable restrictions on rights conservatives don't like (abortion, etc.) if America perceives the rights themselves weren't (directly) under attack.
As my boss says, "It's more important to appear reasonable than to be reasonable."
2. Conservatives are only too happy to allow liberals to exercise their rights provided liberals are willing to permit conservatives the same freedom.
Liberals harp and harp and harp and harp on conservatives, alleging that conservatives don't want to allow liberals to exercise their Constitutional rights. There is some truth in this statement, based on conservative opposition to abortion, for example.
But liberals, despite their holier-than-thou posturing, have at least as much blood on their hands, if not more.
Take, for example, gun rights. Liberals have embarked on a jihad to disarm Americans in derogation of their Constitutional rights for decades. From Chicago, New York and Washington, D.C.'s ill-fated and arguably racist (based on disparate impact analysis) de facto bans on gun ownership, to the federal government's ban of scary-looking guns, conservatives see the hypocrisy in liberals' words versus liberals' actions.
Or how about the right to keep one's real property unless the government utilizes eminent domain, paying fair market value for the real property and using it for a public purpose? Democrats don't seem to care about that one too much, if we look at the impact of EPA's new coal regulations on privately owned mining and power production concerns, or recent interpretations of the Clean Water Act that declare every raindrop falling anywhere within the territorial extent of the United States to be a navigable waterway, and thus regulable without compensation.
Conservatives need to live, learn and love the following statement, repeating it to all who will listen, both in the studio and on the stump until they are left voiceless from its incessant incantation:
Conservatives believe that Americans have the right to exercise any Constitutional right in existence, provided (1) the right is in the Constitution and/or affirmed by the judiciary; (2) Americans pay any cost associated with the exercise of such right and (3) Americans afford others the same courtesy on Constitutional rights they wish to exercise.
'Puter's plan takes the divisive issues off the table so that the real battle for America's survival can be fought free from distraction, the battle to restore fiscal sanity to America's balance sheet.
*This quote from the United States Marine Corps' Lewis B. "Chesty" Puller, uttered when informed his First Marine Battalion was surrounded by ChiComs at the Chosin Reservoir is among 'Puter's favorites. It reminds us that when confronted with dire circumstances those who keep calm, size up the situation and exploit their advantages (and there are always advantages) succeed. Those who do not do so, fail, and at times fail at great cost to others.
**For the sake of argument, and to prevent a lengthy hermeneutical and ontological discourse on the concept of rights and resultant obligations, 'Puter will assume in this post that whatever liberals think constitutes a right is actually a right.
***Shut up, already. Didn't you read 'Puter's earlier asterisked entry. If not, read it. Then, shut up. In any event, the Supreme Court has held -- repeatedly -- that both abortion and birth control are Constitutional rights. And no amount of pissing and moaning, or reference to the Founders, changes reality.