Third Party & Independents Archives

LP Platform: Freedom and Responsibility

In part two of my sixteen part series discussing the various sections of the national Libertarian Platform, we start getting into the meat of the issues. This time we look at Section 1.1, Freedom and Responsibility.

Going forward, the platform details not just the issue being discussed but also how this issue is viewed by Libertarian Principles to conclude with the solutions they have stated. In addition, they provide Transitional Actions that should be taken to move us from where we are now to where we should be when governing on these core principles.

From The Libertarian Party Platform:

Individual Rights and Civil Disorder

No conflict exists between civil order and individual rights. Both concepts are based on the same fundamental principle: that no individual, group, or government may initiate force against any other individual, group, or government.

I.1 Freedom and Responsibility

The Issue: Personal responsibility is discouraged by government denying individuals the opportunity to exercise it. In fact, the denial of freedom fosters irresponsibility.

The Principle: Individuals should be free to make choices for themselves and to accept responsibility for the consequences of the choices they make. We must accept the right of others to choose for themselves if we are to have the same right. Our support of an individual's right to make choices in life does not mean that we necessarily approve or disapprove of those choices. We believe people must accept personal responsibility for the consequences of their actions.

Solutions: Libertarian policies will promote a society where people are free to make and learn from their own decisions.

Transitional Action: Repeal all laws that presume government knows better than the individual how to run that person’s life. Encourage private sector dissemination of information to help consumers make informed decisions on products and services. Enforce laws against fraud and misrepresentation.

This issue is true of how our current government attempts to resolve issues. Instead of educating and ensuring that people who make bad decisions are held responsible for those decisions, we attempt to shield all users from the negative consequences of those decisions, at least those we feel are harmed too greatly. Unfortunately, by doing so, we ensure that these bad decisions continue being made. No one will learn what their true mistake was and will continue to make those same bad decisions.

Instead of making a law that says someone can’t play poker online, for example, it should be encouraged that advocacy groups ensure that information about the dangers of doing any kind of gambling with non-discretionary funds gets out to those who need it. Anti-gambling groups are already in place to help those who have a problem with controlling their own behavior, but preventing others who do not have this problem from enjoying this action, whether we agree it should be engaged in or not, only harms those who are not addicted and unable to make a wise choice in the matter. Those with addiction problems will still find a way to continue playing poker, for example. They will just do so in illegal ways that make the person a criminal, simply for making a choice that they should be allowed to make on their own.

But more importantly, the minute we start thinking, as a society, that we have a right to tell people what they can and can’t do, it won’t be long before something you want to do, as an individual, is seen as being the next behavior that must be outlawed. Soon, if we are not already there, just about everyone will have to make the choice of doing something that they want to do and should have a right to do if they choose or becoming a criminal facing jail time and loss of liberty simply by engaging in. People who have pet issues will continue to petition the government to stop OTHER people from doing what they don’t think anyone should be allowed to do, not just not engage in that activity.

While Republicans are the biggest offender, containing a large majority of the religious moral society seeking to have us live as god intended, both ‘major’ parties are guilty of this.

Republicans suggest we shouldn’t be allowed to gamble if we so choose, burn a flag, engage in any act that is seen as ‘homosexual’ in nature, etc. There have been efforts to prevent people from playing violent video games, playing role playing games (because it encourages people to engage in witchcraft?), or smoke pot in the privacy of their own homes. Some laws have been passed that actually fight to outlaw these things that we should be free to decide upon for ourselves.

Similarly, the Democrats have their own set of social morays that we shouldn’t be allowed to engage in. Owning a firearm, engage in smoking in businesses who wish to cater to those who choose to smoke, choose not to have health insurance, what thoughts are taboo and can get you punished for having, accepting a job that pays less than an arbitrary amount decided upon in Washington, DC, etc.

How long before we are unable to eat a steak if we want? Or write blogs detailing our displeasure with our government without being identified and watched? Or moving freely in our country without having proof of citizenship on our bodies at all times? Or simply living in our homes and watching the television shows, like Mad Men, that has people smoking in them?

It is a core Libertarian belief that making a law telling someone not to do something that should be their decision to make is morally wrong, and further they are unconstitutional. We should be seeking ways to educate people to make the best decisions for themselves, not criminalizing those people simply for exercising bad judgment. But further, it is even worse to make such a law because many Americans, and humans in general, have a rebellious streak in them and making a law not to do something may incite those people enough to actually make a bad decision simply in defiance of being told what to do. How many people do you think are refusing to wear their seatbelts or motorcycle helmets simply because our government thinks it has a right to take us to jail if we choose not to? If you say none, you fail to understand how some people think about the issue.

Government has enough to do. In fact, it has too much. By adding on the function of individual decision maker on top of it, it will be unable to do the things we need it to do effectively. Like support our interstate infrastructure, protect citizens from abuses of their individual rights by others and defending our country from outside harm. When we pull police from helping protect us from harm through murder, rape and theft to enforce seatbelt laws, raid home poker game and fantasy football drafts, or arrest someone for committing an intimate sexual act with another, how can we not be surprised to see criminals running around continuing to commit the crimes we all agree need to be enforced?

But further, if we allow politics to creep further and further into our personal lives we are allowing others to make our decisions for us. And no matter how much people may want someone else to make their decisions for them, we must resist the urge and require people to become responsible for their own decisions and activities. I love politics as much as just about anyone, but when it comes to my person or my home, I think that we should leave the sometimes nefarious, sometimes hate-filled and often hypocritical aspects of politics at the front door.

Posted by Rhinehold at September 20, 2007 4:23 PM
Comments
Comment #233628

Rinehold:

Do you believe human beings are animals? Do you believe there are dominates (leaders) and submissives (followers)? Also, Do you believe there is such a thing as prurient interest?

Posted by: alien from the planet zorg at September 20, 2007 4:42 PM
Comment #233632
what thoughts are taboo and can get you punished for having

What thoughts are illegal?

Posted by: womanmarine at September 20, 2007 4:59 PM
Comment #233633

EXCELLENT post Rhinehold.
And since the majority of Americans really don’t know what you are talking about, I would say it is a much needed one.

GREAT job!

Posted by: kctim at September 20, 2007 5:07 PM
Comment #233637

Womanmarine,

Things like “I really hate this guy because he’s black” come to mind. While I deplore the thought, I don’t think adding penalties to a crime because of what someone was thinking or why they committed the illegal action is appropriate. Once the precident is set…

Posted by: Rhinehold at September 20, 2007 5:31 PM
Comment #233638

Thank you KCTIM, I’m sure I’ll get ripped by the religious right and the nanny-staters for it though…

BTW, Have you seen this mess of a law coming down the pikes? http://nomorevictimsact.blogspot.com/

Posted by: Rhinehold at September 20, 2007 5:33 PM
Comment #233641

Womanmarine, that ‘no more victimes’ act kind of goes along with the thought police as well, doesn’t it? Like I said, once you set a precedent…

Posted by: Rhinehold at September 20, 2007 5:37 PM
Comment #233643

Rhinehold:

Not the same thing. You can think anything you want. When you act on it, it becomes something entirely different. Courts have always considered motive. Hate thoughts are just another motive.

Posted by: womanmarine at September 20, 2007 5:41 PM
Comment #233648

Womanmarine,

Giving someone a lighter sentance because of their motives is one thing, adding a tougher sentance because of their motives tells anyone who can’t prove motive that their victimization wasn’t as bad.

“Sorry you got beaten up, but your attacker didn’t hate you because of your skin color so he is going to get a lighter sentence.” Yeah, that makes sense…

Posted by: Rhinehold at September 20, 2007 5:52 PM
Comment #233651

And, as we can see from the new ‘NoMoreVictims’ Act, there is a desire to push this idea even further.

That’s part of why not using Princples in our political decisionmaking ends up eventually eroding our rights.

If I commit a crime against you, unless I can show that there were extenuating circumstances in why I did it (self-defense, insanity, etc) it shouldn’t matter why I did it, I should get the maximum penalty. Adding ‘another tier’ is just mindboggling IMO.

Posted by: Rhinehold at September 20, 2007 5:57 PM
Comment #233664

“no individual, group, or government may initiate force against any other individual, group, or government.”

Rhinehold,

That certainly sounds simplistic enough, but just imagine another “Waco”!

Perhaps I should give Waco a break and say the “Branch Davidian’s”.

There is no better example of where rights and responsibilities begin and end.

IMO the Branch Davidians exercised their “rights” while they denied others their rights and they tried to avoid the responsibilities associated with the rule of law.

How say you?

Posted by: KansasDem at September 20, 2007 8:04 PM
Comment #233677

I’m not sure where they denied others their rights? If you could be more clear I can make a better statement.

The Branch Davidians were found in volation of a gun law. I’m not sure I agreed with the law that they violated, but they did not have the right to fire a weapon on the officer delivering the warrant, if the official line is accurate. There is a dispute who fired first, however.

But you say it is a good example, but I don’t know exactly what rights they voilated before the warrant was served exactly? I’m not trying to sound ‘wishywashy’, but I just want to make sure I understand your point before I respond.

Posted by: Rhinehold at September 20, 2007 10:13 PM
Comment #233678

Rhinehold:

That’s bullshit. Motives have been used forever. What you are saying is that motive shouldn’t ever be considered. Otherwise it’s important to consider all motives.

You want somehow to equate acting on hate and thinking hateful thoughts. Not the same.

Posted by: womanmarine at September 20, 2007 10:15 PM
Comment #233679

Oh, and Rhinehold:

I read a few lines of that blog and got sick to my stomach. That’s going way too far.

Posted by: womanmarine at September 20, 2007 10:17 PM
Comment #233681

Womanmarine,

We can choose to disagree on the hate crimes legislation, I understand the precedents, I just don’t agree with it, but I am curious if that is the only problem you had with the article itself?

Even strong Libertarians disagree on some specific issues, but I would like to see all Americans coming to a consensus that this is the direction we should be moving towards and the few areas of disagreement we have would pale in comparison to what we are seeing our government do to us in the name of ‘protecting us’.

I am heartened to hear that you are not very happy with the “No More Victims Act 2007” and think that our agreement on that is more important than our disagreement on some small issues of semantics concerning sentencing legislation.

Posted by: Rhinehold at September 20, 2007 10:31 PM
Comment #233685

Rhinehold:

Since I don’t know much about your party I am reading your posts with great interest. I have a few other questions, some already asked by others. I think it will take me a while to process what you have written.

I have a friend in California who calls herself a “small L libertarian”. Your articles will surely give us more to discuss. We do discuss quite amicably, even though she knows I’m somewhat of a Democrat. I say that because I don’t agree with the complete Democratic agenda either.

Keep them coming!!

Posted by: womanmarine at September 20, 2007 10:43 PM
Comment #233691

ditto what kctim said… nicely done.

I am unsure if what the Branch Davidians have to do with this, though?

Posted by: Doug Langworthy at September 20, 2007 11:41 PM
Comment #233698

Rhinehold,
Does this section of the Libertarian platform apply to all people in this country irregardless of age, immigration status, and/or offender status?

Posted by: j2t2 at September 21, 2007 12:37 AM
Comment #233699

Rhinehold:

I guess you didn’t deem my questions worthy of answering…but they were intended to go to the root of this concept of rights/responsibilities. I’ll try another tack.

You said:

It is a core Libertarian belief that making a law telling someone not to do something that should be their decision to make is morally wrong, and further they are unconstitutional. We should be seeking ways to educate people to make the best decisions for themselves, not criminalizing those people simply for exercising bad judgment. But further, it is even worse to make such a law because many Americans, and humans in general, have a rebellious streak in them and making a law not to do something may incite those people enough to actually make a bad decision simply in defiance of being told what to do. How many people do you think are refusing to wear their seatbelts or motorcycle helmets simply because our government thinks it has a right to take us to jail if we choose not to? If you say none, you fail to understand how some people think about the issue.

I think this is an excellent exapmle.

I rarely wear a seatbelt..except when a cop approachs me.

I think you are appealing to the sometimes overly restrictive aspects of modern life.

Let’s look at liability insurance. Would libertarians say no one should be required to purchase automotive liability insurance?

Posted by: alien from the planet zorg at September 21, 2007 1:36 AM
Comment #233705

“Republicans suggest we shouldn’t be allowed to…smoke pot in the privacy of their own homes.”

Ha! Rhinehold you have got to be kidding me. Read up on the history of cannabis prohibition, sure Republicans are guilty but Democrats are as guilty. This should not have been attributed to just one of the duopolistic parties.

“Similarly, the Democrats have their own set of social morays that we shouldn’t be allowed to engage in….a job that pays less than an arbitrary amount decided upon in Washington, DC.”

HOORAY for poverty!!!!!!

I have some Libertarian tendencies but it is these kind of statements against a minimum wage and for abolishing social security, something many Libertarians support, which make me feel that Libertarians are for something almost like a feudal system.

Posted by: Richard Rhodes at September 21, 2007 4:16 AM
Comment #233715

I’ve pretty much lost interest in the Republican party platform because it is so internally inconsistent and self-contradictory. I give the Libertarian party credit for relative consistency in theory at least if not in practice.

I personally agree with this aspect of the platform on freedom issues.

The biggest issue I have resolving is when libertarians square off democracy versus individual rights and liberties. The idea that the individual shouldn’t be subjugated to the will of a majority. It just seems anti-democratic.

Anyway my big question to any Libertarian who believes that their political ideology is so successful is to ask them why no society past or present has ever successfully run on their principals.

I think the answer is ultimately any Libertarian society breaks down into one of the other forms of governments we see around us.

The feudal systems of the past were IMO the natural evolution of societies set up on Libertarian principals. Similarly the world economy is devolving into a feudal state with “pseudo-libertarian and libertarian principals leading the way.

Posted by: muirgeo at September 21, 2007 8:33 AM
Comment #233724

Uummm… could someone please explain to me how libertarianism equates to feudalism? There is more than one post above comparing the two, so there obviously is something that I am missing?

Posted by: Doug Langworthy at September 21, 2007 10:26 AM
Comment #233726

Murigeo-

Anyway my big question to any Libertarian who believes that their political ideology is so successful is to ask them why no society past or present has ever successfully run on their principals.

First of all I’d argue that the early history of this country includes many libertarian elements that were quite successful. But I think your real question is why is libertarianism or the Libertarian Party not successful in politics or political systems. To that I’d say because libertarians make lousy politicians.

If you believe that government can and does solve many of societies problems, then you are likely to believe that, as a politician, you can impact society. This is why the Democratic Party has always been the significant party in the U.S.; it’s full of people who believe that by enacting another government program they are doing what’s best for society. A libertarian in a political career, by contrast, can only hope to be the spoiler, the party pooper, the naysayer… Not a real fun proposition or a positive campaign to run on. It’s like a shot at the doctor’s office; while it may be good for you it’s hardly anything to get excited about.

Look how that translates into candidates (from their websites). Hillary’s platform is based on words like “strengthening, providing, promoting, and fulfilling.” Ron Paul’s site talks about “limiting, lowering, and returning” to the constitution. Not much to excitement there.

Rhinehold, would you ever consider running for office? I bet I know the answer….

Posted by: George in SC at September 21, 2007 10:48 AM
Comment #233737

Doug,

To me unrestrained Libertarianism will result in superconcentrated wealth, power and landownership. Roads and lands in the hands of an elite few will leave the rest simple to beg to work on their lands , their private property, under their conditions or to be evicted. It’s a grim scenario playing out the world over. The majority of the woorlds stock is owned by some 500 or less companies. The 5 top multinationals have GDP’s greater then half the countries of the world.

I don’t see how it wouldn’t lead to that and I’d like a Libertarian supporter to tell me how such great wealth accumulations are prevented.

Posted by: muirgeo at September 21, 2007 11:55 AM
Comment #233738

George,

I’m not talking about the lack of success of the Libertarian party in our country in the present day. I’m talking about it’s historical lack of success or it’s inability to be a stable form of government just as you argue with our own country it may have been Libertarian but it didn’t last. I’d argue that makes my point.

Posted by: muirgeo at September 21, 2007 12:01 PM
Comment #233745

Wealth accumulation, in and of itself, is not a bad thing. If person A gets wealthy, and person B does not… it does not necessarily mean person A is going to take advantage of person B… and any libertarian will tell you that we support laws and regulations to prevent that from happening anyway. We’re not anarchists… well… most of us.

“Work on their lands”? You mean, like with a sickle and hand plow? The list of the 400 richest Americans came out yesterday, and I do not see too many feudal lords on there… but you’re right, it must be terrible to beg for work at Microsoft, Google, or Enterprise Rent-a-Car.

Posted by: Doug Langworthy at September 21, 2007 12:54 PM
Comment #233755

Murigeo-

I stand corrected then; well sort of. I don’t think you could ever have a successful libertarian society. However, as I hinted at above, libertarianism is better suited for individuals and less suited for political parties or political systems. And I think you have to take that into account when you analyze the positions.

Libertarian minded individuals would want to drive whatever form of government towards a more local first/federal last approach and towards limited government intervention into free markets and private issues. What interventions the government would undertake would be based more on a cost/benefit to society analysis. But I don’t think many libertarians are promoting anarchy these days.

Posted by: George in SC at September 21, 2007 2:09 PM
Comment #233770
Would libertarians say no one should be required to purchase automotive liability insurance?

Yes, many Libertarians would say that no one should be required, by law, to have automotive liability insurance. They would also go on to say that if you do damage another person or their property by the actions you take while driving, you are alone responsible to make them whole if you do not have that insurance. They would further make sure that everyone is aware that in their own best interests they would make sure to have that insurance, as well as uninsured motorists insurance, to protect themselves fully instead of giving everyone the false sense of security that they don’t need uninsured motorists insurance as we do now. With the number of illegal aliens and other people ignoring the law, and us only finding out when we get into an accident, it seems to be to be prudent to protect ourselves from it and that the law is not having its desired effcts anyway, as is the trouble with most laws of this nature. It often only punishes after the fact.

However, there those that point out that since you are not requiring an individual to carry this insurance unless they CHOOSE to operate a motor vehicle, that this is a proper libertarian law designed to ensure one does not harm another, so it is not ‘anti-libertarian’ to support such liability laws and is a debate point among most libertarians who discuss it. The government should in no way force you to get comprehensive coverage, or coverage on yourself, only liability on your possible damage on others, an agreement that you enter into by making the choice to drive a motor vehicle.

So, to be honest, that one is not as clear cut as many would hope, because it doesn’t obviously fly in the face of libertarian principles to require having liability insurance as an agreed to stipulation for driving a motor vehicle.

Posted by: Rhinehold at September 21, 2007 3:03 PM
Comment #233771
Does this section of the Libertarian platform apply to all people in this country irregardless of age, immigration status, and/or offender status?

j2t2, this section deals with adult citizens of the US, but those laws that deal with natural rights would be by inferrence be expanded to all human beings. I hope that answers your question, if not please provide a more specific example and I can hopefully better answer it.

Posted by: Rhinehold at September 21, 2007 3:04 PM
Comment #233773
HOORAY for poverty!!!!!!

I have some Libertarian tendencies but it is these kind of statements against a minimum wage and for abolishing social security, something many Libertarians support, which make me feel that Libertarians are for something almost like a feudal system.

Richard,

Do you think in today’s society, when unemployment is so low and people can’t get qualified workers to work for them now, that if we were to eliminate minimum wage laws, when even fast food resturaunts are paying people well above minimum wage, that poverty would magically reappear and we would all revert back to the 1400s?

The problem, Richard, is that there are legitimate reasons why someone might be willing work for less than minimum wage. Proving yourself if you are having trouble getting hired, high school children looking for a few extra bucks for some not so hard work, internships, etc. We remove that ‘choice’ from the citizens by making that decision for them, an important one, how much is your time worth.

The worst part is that we apply this ‘minimum wage’ law at the federal level instead of the local level. So what is considered way below poverty in LA is living pretty good in Iowa, but we still apply this arbitrary number, not to all companies mind you, just the ‘big ones’, and provide no assistance to anyone in the wrong area while artificially raising the cost of labor in others.

Posted by: Rhinehold at September 21, 2007 3:19 PM
Comment #233778
The biggest issue I have resolving is when libertarians square off democracy versus individual rights and liberties. The idea that the individual shouldn’t be subjugated to the will of a majority. It just seems anti-democratic.

If you think democracy is about the majority of voters telling someone else how to live their lives, then yeah, it is. Very anti-democratic. Thankfully. Otherwise we might all have to attend a Christian church every Sunday. I’m afraid I like my football way too much for that…

Anyway my big question to any Libertarian who believes that their political ideology is so successful is to ask them why no society past or present has ever successfully run on their principals.

You realize that this country did until the Progressives interjected their views into our government less than 100 years ago, right? And those were very minor changes that we all could live with at the time, but unfortunately when you eliminate the principles, just a bit, for the good of others, you let that creeping effect come in. And as was once stated:

A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves largesse from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates promising the most benefits from the public treasury with the result that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy, always followed by a dictatorship. The average age of the world’s greatest civilizations has been 200 years.

Great nations rise and fall. The people go from bondage to spiritual truth, to great courage, from courage to liberty, from liberty to abundance, from abundance to selfishness, from selfishness to complacency, from complacency to apathy, from apathy to dependence, from dependence back again to bondage.

We are seeing this play out before us. The simple fact that a libertarian society has not succeeded is because we did not hold steadfast on the principles I’ve detailed and instead started trying to fix OTHER people’s lives at the expense of others through force, not compassion or responsibility, and allowed the inevitable spiral we are seeing to occur.

It’s not the Principles that failed us, it was the abandonment of them that has.

I think the answer is ultimately any Libertarian society breaks down into one of the other forms of governments we see around us.

Only if we allow it, as we have. Only if we reject what Jefferson, Franklin, Adams and Tyler told us. Only when we start thinking we know better for our neighbor than they do.

The feudal systems of the past were IMO the natural evolution of societies set up on Libertarian principals.

How exactly do you figure? Please explain this logic for me, it would be most enlightening indeed.

Posted by: Rhinehold at September 21, 2007 3:28 PM
Comment #233780
Rhinehold, would you ever consider running for office? I bet I know the answer…

Really? Is that answer ‘I already have run for office and will be doing so again’? What was the bet?

Posted by: Rhinehold at September 21, 2007 3:29 PM
Comment #233781

Erm, and that is “libertarian” policies unchecked then is it? We live in a ‘libertarian’ world you say? This is going to happen in ANY form of government, not just a Libertarian one. In fact, a true free market, one free from Monopoly and enforcing good anti-trust legislation, is the only hope of preventing that. And to my knowledge, neither the republicans or democrats are suggesting such a thing…

I don’t see how it wouldn’t lead to that and I’d like a Libertarian supporter to tell me how such great wealth accumulations are prevented.

First, you don’t provide a logical reason why this would occur, or why it is a bad thing, or how it would be different than what is happening now.

Second, you then ask us to explain how it wouldn’t happen, without giving a good explanation of how it would, so it makes it kind of hard to do, don’t you think?

But, I’ll try to explain that contrary to what people THINK are libertarian principles on this area, elimination and prevention of monopolies, strong anti-trust legislation and as was stated in the Transactional Actions of the platform, Enforce laws against fraud and misrepresentation, would go a large way to doing a better job, IMO, of this occuring than what we have now when we PROTECT large companies and rich people from competition.

There are three ways to deal with this if you see it as an issue. 1) True free-market (no monopolies, anti-trust, etc) 2) Government intervention into all aspects of the business world, interjecting force and politics into what would normally be a non-forced transactions between two individuals and 3) Government protection of the large business, giving tax breaks, sheilding from bad decision making, etc.

Now, which one of those three do you think has the best chance of actually ensuring that a company never gets too large?

Posted by: Rhinehold at September 21, 2007 3:37 PM
Comment #233782

Rhinehold said: “You realize that this country did until the Progressives interjected their views into our government less than 100 years ago, right?”

Thank you for that admission, which is true enough, and it brought America the stock market crash of 1929, and the Great Depression of the 1930’s and early ‘40’s. Yeah, those good old days of robber barons and child labor and 14 hour sweat shops in the garment and other industries called the Roaring ‘20’s was really what America should aspire to return to.

A nostalgic ‘good old times’ when industry without regulation, wealth accumulation without redistribution, and complete employer autonomy over employees needing to put human and personal dignity aside for enough wages to feed and roof their children. A Libertarian heyday, when individuals with money were free to exploit fellow citizens by mutual consent, no less, in the absence of unions or government intervening on behalf of those less gifted, less capable, less educated, less connected, and by far, less affluent. Where do you find the on average the largest concentrations of Libertarians? In right to work states like Texas, Alabama, Georgia, and South Carolina, which continue this exploitation to the extent current federal laws and regulation still permit.

Posted by: David R. Remer at September 21, 2007 3:42 PM
Comment #233786

Richard, quite right. See my reply to Rhinehold’s comment above.

Posted by: David R. Remer at September 21, 2007 3:58 PM
Comment #233787

Ah, again with the same old argument, David.

There were a myriad of reasons for the situations of the late 1800s and early 1900s. That you assume the only solution to them was progressive ideas (the invention of rights that do not exist superceding those that did) corrupting instead of getting the protections of large governments and lax enforcement of anti-trust laws speaks to your inability to see anything but your own view of our history.

Libertarian policies were the cause or Robber Barons? How would they exist in a society with strong anti-monopoly and anti-trust laws? They wouldn’t, which is what the real problem was at the time, a lax enforcement of sound policy.

The great depression was not brought about by libertarian policies, but a worldwide depression that was existing at the time and not isolated to the United States. The stock market crash was a result of lax enforcment of sound laws as well as the result of a worldwide depression that the US, at the time, had no way of controlling.

As for ‘where are the largest concentrations of Libertarians’? Have you looked to New Hampshire lately, David? Do you really have any real data to back up your claim? And are these real libertrains or anarchist capitalists that you speak of? Do you understand the difference? That is what these articles are suppose to be about, not just what the principles are but how they differ from those who want to call themselves libertarians but don’t really understand what the word means.

Where, anywhere, does any Libertarians call for the elimination of Unions? ‘Complete employer autonomy over employees’? How would that would be possible in such a market that I descrdibe?

Your myopic view of the early 1900s, bolstered by a government educational system that WANTS you to believe that way, should be re-examined David, it was not exactly as you describe at all.

Posted by: Rhinehold at September 21, 2007 3:59 PM
Comment #233791

BTW, David, two more things.

1) Do you really think that the world as it is now, with the amount of information that can be spread as quickly as it is now, that anything like the 1920s is remotely possible? Isn’t that like saying that since people use to stone each other long ago we should outlaw rocks?

2) The elimination of Libertarian principles did not START with the progressives. They were watered down by conservative views for decades while the Democrats were busy enforcing Jim Crow laws in the late 1800s and early 1900s. Monitary influence against strong anti-trust laws and enforcement of them as well as protections being provided to those businesses (tax breaks, corporate protection laws, etc) started the process. They did not ‘eliminate’ the libertarian princples, just bought lax enforcement and a ‘looking the other way’ mentatilty of the conservatives. It was in trying to FIX those issues that the progressives decided to abandon the principles altogether and put us on the course we have now where we are told what to do with our lives on an ever-increasing basis.

You apply your ‘government is our savior’ filters to ensure that sounds views that should be examined for what they are, not for what other people corrupt them into being, to dismiss them out of hand without a serious examination of what they really mean.

Meaning, you’ve made up your mind and refuse to listen to a viewpoint other than your own, and if you are happy with that, then so be it.

Posted by: Rhinehold at September 21, 2007 4:06 PM
Comment #233793

Btw, David, do you view this examination of the Great Depression as a fairy tale or based on a real examination of the true history of it?

Posted by: Rhinehold at September 21, 2007 4:14 PM
Comment #233795

Principles, inflexible applied, overtime, become dogma and ideology which fails to see reality and change which no longer fit the original principles.

American foreign policy is a perfect example. Our government was founded by people mostly subscribing to the unexcepted Christian teaching, “Thou Shallt Not Kill”. Yet, these same founders engaged in killing in order to free themselves from King George’s England.

America, these United States of, would not exist if the founders took Christ’s principle inflexibly and without adaptation to their reality 1700 years after the time of Christ. Beware the proselytizers of absolute principle.

Libertarians would eliminate democracy for authoritarianism based on their rigid principles, and yes, they would punish those who contested their order, as all ideologues do.

Principles are one of the greatest inventions of the human mind. But, they are useful only if guide people to peace, prosperity, and freedom which defers to the peace, prosperity, and freedom of others. Libertarians say this is what they stand for. Yet, they tout policies that would leave 10’s of millions unprotected and unaided from the consequences of government decisions, practices, and policies. Many if not most Libertarians would say the government has no business extending tax dollars to those million plus workers thrown out of their jobs by government’s NAFTA, CAFTA, and other trade agreements and policies making America dependent on other nations.

Principle without flexibility demanded by justice, and empathetic compassion for the consequences of applied principle, is authoritarianism by another name.

Posted by: David R. Remer at September 21, 2007 4:15 PM
Comment #233797

Rhinehold said: “Ah, again with the same old argument, David.”

You bet. If it works, use it. I am a pragmatist, not an ideologue.

Posted by: David R. Remer at September 21, 2007 4:16 PM
Comment #233799

Rhinehold said: “There were a myriad of reasons for the situations of the late 1800s and early 1900s. That you assume the only solution to them was progressive ideas (the invention of rights that do not exist superceding those that did) “

Now you are not just going to put words in my mouth, but assumptions in my brain which never existed there? Sorry, Rhinehold, your argument and debate is feeble and utterly fails at times, to conform to the rules of logical and rational discourse.

Again, I beseech you to debate what I say, not what you wish I had said as in your quote above.

Posted by: David R. Remer at September 21, 2007 4:19 PM
Comment #233801

Ah, so anti-authoritarianism is just another form of authoritarianism then?

By ensuring that one one force another to their will we are forcing people… ? I’m sorry I sort of lose that there.

You have seen that there is flexibility in my examinations of the applications of the principle, David, and have even applauded it. The problem is not that we have differences at the basics of the principles I detail but that we completely abandon them in order to attempt to force the majorities view on how the minority should live their own lives that we are arguing against. If we could get going down that track, to start having our issues being a good discussion about what the principles mean in some troublesome areas, then I don’t think we would see the type of government intrusion into our lives that we see now.

The problem is not that the principles I explain are too rigid, but that they have been abandoned. The issues with the post civil-war era leading up to the Great Depresssion could have been resolved without the abaondoment of the principles this country was founded upon, but those at the time decided to do so anyway. I am not happy about that I think that today we see the fruits of that applied in our lives, and accepted without question.

Posted by: Rhinehold at September 21, 2007 4:25 PM
Comment #233802
You bet. If it works, use it. I am a pragmatist, not an ideologue.

If those pragmatic views are based on flawed logic and incorrect understanding of history, then you are worse than an ideologue.

Posted by: Rhinehold at September 21, 2007 4:27 PM
Comment #233803
Now you are not just going to put words in my mouth, but assumptions in my brain which never existed there?

I am trying to undestand your arguement, if I’m wrong then correct me. Or I could just stop trying to understand and simply dismiss you out of hand as you do me with your ‘infallable logic’.

Posted by: Rhinehold at September 21, 2007 4:28 PM
Comment #233804

Rhinehold said: “The great depression was not brought about by libertarian policies, but a worldwide depression that was existing at the time and not isolated to the United States.”

Man, your comment is in dire need of a history book. First, America then was not dependent upon the world economy as it is today. A worldwide depression in the early 1900’s would and did not cause a depression here. Too little dollars in the hands of consumers and workers in America are what caused the recession to become a depression. Americans could not bail out the recession by consuming as they did in 2001 - 2003.

Where is Libertarian principle when you argue both for regulation of private industry and against regulation of private industry? Would Libertarians call for the break up of Microsoft today, which has a defacto monopoly on the PC and software markets around the globe?

Roderick T. Long says:

The status of intellectual property rights (copyrights, patents, and the like) is an issue that has long divided libertarians. Such libertarian luminaries as Herbert Spencer, Lysander Spooner, and Ayn Rand have been strong supporters of intellectual property rights. Thomas Jefferson, on the other hand, was ambivalent on the issue, while radical libertarians like Benjamin Tucker in the last century and Tom Palmer in the present one have rejected intellectual property rights altogether.

Do you side with the Tucker and Palmer Libertarians?

Posted by: David R. Remer at September 21, 2007 4:29 PM
Comment #233805

Rhinehold said: “If those pragmatic views are based on flawed logic and incorrect understanding of history, then you are worse than an ideologue.”

But, they aren’t. Which apparently is why you make comments like this, rather than do your homework and refute my logic or history with the rules of logic or historical references.

Refute my logic or history with logic or historical fact. Anyone can claim day is night while the sun is out. But the claim has no validity while the sun is out.

Posted by: David R. Remer at September 21, 2007 4:33 PM
Comment #233806

Rhinehold said: “Ah, so anti-authoritarianism is just another form of authoritarianism then?”

No, authoritarianism is making up the rules as one goes along, in the attempt to make one’s actions appear to conform to principle or convention the authoritarian lays claim to, when in fact those actions violate those principles or conventions.

Posted by: David R. Remer at September 21, 2007 4:36 PM
Comment #233807
Thomas Jefferson, on the other hand, was ambivalent on the issue

Actually, no he wasn’t. I’ve never read Ayn Rand so I can’t speak to what she said, but if she doesn’t call for strong anti-monopoly and anti-trust laws than she is not expousing libertarian principles IMO.

Monopolies make it impossible for a ‘free market’ to exist by inferrence. Businesses getting together to subvert the free market by building trusts is again against libertarian principles.

Microsoft’s actions were very much illegal and they should have to pay for violating those laws. A breakup should have occured.

Man, your comment is in dire need of a history book

Am I wrong that there was a worldwide depression during the late 1920s?

BTW, I admit that my own statement was a little too ‘simplistic’. But to say that the depression was brought about by libertarian policies is just an incorrect statement not backed up by the facts.

Posted by: Rhinehold at September 21, 2007 4:39 PM
Comment #233808

Rhinehold said: “The problem is not that we have differences at the basics of the principles I detail but that we completely abandon them in order to attempt to force the majorities view on how the minority should live their own lives that we are arguing against.”

How can a democratic nation FORCE a majority view. A democratic nation by definition is rule by the majority view. One of the venerable aspects of our American government is its Constitution which sets out certain and limited individual rights that cannot be lawfully violated by the majority.

You seem to me to be arguing against the democracy and for the Constitution, which is inherently illogical since, the Constitution itself sets out the democratic process as a cornerstone of our societies decision making process, with certain checks and balances.

Posted by: David R. Remer at September 21, 2007 4:42 PM
Comment #233809

David,

Then please explain to me how Libertarianism will result in authoritarianism as you suggest? Isn’t having these principles set out and well defined the best way to combat this, in opposition to what the Ds and Rs do, by governing without a clearly defined set of principles?

Posted by: Rhinehold at September 21, 2007 4:42 PM
Comment #233812

Rhinehold said: “I’ve never read Ayn Rand so I can’t speak to what she said, but if she doesn’t call for strong anti-monopoly and anti-trust laws than she is not expousing libertarian principles IMO.”

Hmm… one of the primary proponents and authors of libertarian philosophy, and in your opinion, Ayn Rand is not espousing libertarian philosophy?

Do you not understand the implication of copyright and patent protection on Libertarian principle regarding anti-trust theory?

Well, I will just say that the Libertarians have a long way to go before they get their political party act together, because such debates within their party only demonstrate that they are not a ‘ready for prime time’ political party, nor do they stand behind a political philosophy capable of defending integrity that has not yet been achieved.

When Libertarians make contradictory statements like “We believe in the original U.S. Constitution but, not majority rule” or, “We support anti-trust laws but, don’t believe in doing away with intellectual property rights which are the keys to monopolization”, it makes buying into the Libertarian Party difficult at best.

Posted by: David R. Remer at September 21, 2007 4:53 PM
Comment #233813

David,

I am not doing this, I am just pointing out, as I did in my previous article, that there are more rights afforded to us than are specifically enumerated in the Constitution, the libertarian principles I detailed explain how those rights can be interpreted to account for unforseen issues that the founders knew they couldn’t detail. That is why they incorporated the ninth amendment into the Bill of Rights and why it was a requirement for the inclusion of the Bill of Rights.

Majority rule, outside of the violation of the constitution and its limits on what government can do, including the ninth amendment, is something we should follow. Bypassing the constitution, as we do on many issues today, is something I do not support.

Jefferson himself said that the will of the majority should be accepted by the minority, however that only applies within the framework of the constitution and when those majority views do not infringe on the rights of individuals to live their own lives as they choose.

I am all for democracy, as long as the will of the majority does not violate the rights of the minorty. That we are not beholden to a national church, for example, and we have a right to privacy that is afforded to us in the ninth amendment for another. Unfortunately, too many people, including our sadly politicized supreme court, ignore the intentions of the authors of the constitution in order to provide expediency in the subjecation of the minority today. I do not advocate breaking these laws, other than to bring them to the Supreme Court (as sadly that is the only way to do so) but will work within the system to try to bring those decisions which violate those princples back in play.

A great example is the Eminent Domain decision of a couple of years ago. That was a BAD decision, but unfortunately we have to live with it and work within the system to bring the law of the land back into congruence with the intentions of the authors of the constitution and adherence of our natural rights. The same goes with other expansions of the powers of government that either have not been heard before the Supreme Court yet or were badly decided. The Libertarian Party would seek to work within the system to put the constitution back to the INTENT of the framers, not the desire of current power-hungry politicians, influenced by power and money, to expand their power.

Posted by: Rhinehold at September 21, 2007 4:53 PM
Comment #233814

Hmm… one of the primary proponents and authors of libertarian philosophy, and in your opinion, Ayn Rand is not espousing libertarian philosophy?

Self-proclaimed, perhaps. Jefferson is, IMO, the primary proponent of Libertarianism. If she suggests that there should be no anti-monopoly or anti-trust laws than I suggest she is more advocating an anarchist-capitalist view than what Jefferson set out.

Well, I will just say that the Libertarians have a long way to go before they get their political party act together, because such debates within their party only demonstrate that they are not a ‘ready for prime time’ political party, nor do they stand behind a political philosophy capable of defending integrity that has not yet been achieved.

Right, because the Democrats and Republicans are all in agreement with their party’s principles and stands? What are the ‘principles’ of these parties, btw? I’ve read both party platforms and they do NOT list out a set of principles that they govern by. The democratic platform simply says “Bush does this, we say we should do this…”

Not ready for prime time, laughable. Of course, that’s your opinion, but it falls flat when examined with the other parties that you may consider ‘ready for prime-time’. Why, we can just look at the hard conservatives vs the neo-cons and then look at the rabid progressives and the liberals and see what I’m talking about.

In fact, have you seen the Recreate 68 movement?

Posted by: Rhinehold at September 21, 2007 5:00 PM
Comment #233818

Btw, here is one of many quotes that Jefferson tells us how he feels not just about monoplies but copyright laws as well.

He argued that he wished this article had been included in the Bill of Rights:

Monopolies may be allowed to persons for their own productions in literature, and their own inventions in the arts, for a term not exceeding — years, but for no longer term, and no other purpose.

Posted by: Rhinehold at September 21, 2007 5:12 PM
Comment #233827

Rhinehold said: “Am I wrong that there was a worldwide depression during the late 1920s?”

Sort of. There was a near world wide recession underway in the last years of WWI and post WWI years, far worse in the defeated nations than in Britain or France. Though contraction of military production was central to the recession in the 1920’s in Europe, contributed immensely by both the absence of labor force died in the war, and the rapid onset of unemployed returning soldiers after the war, these effects were not felt in the U.S. much during the Roaring 20’s.

The U.S. recession immediately after WWI was steeper than the depression of the 1930’s but, it was very short lived and by 1922 America was up and growing again, while Europe’s recession continued throughout the 1920’s.

What is key, is that the world recession of the 1930’s was continued and made worse in large part by the actions of the United States. The U.S. refused to reduce or write off European debts to the U.S., Woodrow Wilson insisting instead on U.S. Banks making more loans to Europe to aid in post WWI reconstruction efforts. Loans on top of already defaulting European loans. When, in 1929, our own economy began to falter, our own stock market crashed, a depression was not immediately forthcoming, only a recession. The Smoot-Hartley act however effectively halted European exports in sufficient quantity to prevent European nations from making payments on their debt obligations to U.S. Banks. Many hundreds of economists at the time sent a letter to our government warning them of what Smoot-Hartley would cause in economic decline here, but, our free market believing government officials would not listen and signed it into law. European debtors defaulted on their loans to US Banks by 1932 and 33, and the Great Depression ensued.

But, key to this historical recount is the fact that the American consumer had no resources with which to support American companies from folding through increased or even maintained consumption. Their wages and savings were far too low to bail out our economy as was the case in 2001 - 2003, when the consumers made pretty short the recession, dipping into savings and taking out enormous credit for increased consumption via home equity loans.

So, in answer to your question, Europe, except Germany and Austria-Hungary, were on the rebound in the late 1920’s increasing industrial and agricultural productivity, which America’s imposition of high tariffs nipped in the bud preventing the European nation’s who owed us money from selling their exports, and repaying American loans with the proceeds. The Depression of the 1930’s in Europe was actually caused by the United States Smoot-Hartley Act, not the other way around. Which in turn, by European defaults on loan payments to U.S. Banks, caused our own banking system runs and failures, turning the recession of 1929 to 1932 into a Depression by 1933.

Posted by: David R. Remer at September 21, 2007 5:32 PM
Comment #233830

Rhinehold said: “Majority rule, outside of the violation of the constitution and its limits on what government can do, including the ninth amendment, is something we should follow.”

OK. Now we are getting a bit closer to common ground. Since, the 9th Amendment does not enumerate, and since, the Constitution does grant majority rule outside of Constitutionally protected individual rights, it is irrefutably that it was the Congress that would define, as needed, and as it deemed appropriate, what those unenumerated rights are.

The Constitution makes no OTHER provision for defining what those unenumerated rights are. It is up to the Congress, and judicial review of their definitions upon contest of course, to define what those rights are.

Hence, Libertarians cannot argue that Congress has violated unenumerated rights UNLESS the Supreme Court upholds such a Libertarian claim. Since, the Supreme Court has not upheld such claims in a whole host of cases from drug usage to abortion, Libertarian’s argument that such rule is unconstitutional is illogical by definition of the provisions for majority rule set out in the Constitution.

Posted by: David R. Remer at September 21, 2007 5:41 PM
Comment #233834

Rhinehold said: “Monopolies may be allowed to persons for their own productions in literature, and their own inventions in the arts, for a term not exceeding — years, but for no longer term, and no other purpose.”

Which proves Roderick Long’s statement true and valid. Jefferson both endorses monopoly and patents/copyright, but, within the context of an expiration date, which invalidates monopolies, copyright and patents. Ambivalent was precisely the right word chosen by Long. Jefferson was both for and against it.

Posted by: David R. Remer at September 21, 2007 5:48 PM
Comment #233838

“Libertarians would eliminate democracy for authoritarianism.”

That’s funny… yeah, Libertarians LOVE authoritarianism… that’s the funniest thing I’ve read on here in some time.

Posted by: Doug Langworthy at September 21, 2007 6:04 PM
Comment #233840

Rhinehold said: “Self-proclaimed, perhaps. Jefferson is, IMO, the primary proponent of Libertarianism. If she suggests that there should be no anti-monopoly or anti-trust laws than I suggest she is more advocating an anarchist-capitalist view than what Jefferson set out.”

No offense intended, Rhinehold, but it is of no political significance to me what you believe or suggest about the Libertarian Party’s cornerstone writers. What matters to me politically as a voter is what the Libertarian Party itself promotes as prescription for public policy, and that inextricably ties Ayn Rand philosophy to the Libertarian Party by way of its adoption of so many tenets of her philosophy.

We are not each islands unto ourselves, deserving of the rewards or punishments delivered by society at large, based on the merit of our character’s and industry. In a society as large as ours, and growing, any and ALL social, political, and economic policy is going to reward some and punish others in that society by criteria having NOTHING to do with the merits of their character or industry. And just as the individual has a responsibility for the consequences of his/her actions upon others, so too, does the society and government have a responsibility for the consequences of its actions upon individuals and groups affected through no fault of character or industry.

There is no rational, nor logical, nor empirical, explanation for the radical divergence in quality of life, wages, and education between Black Americans and all other races in America, than this government’s and society’s actions regarding both slavery and Jim Crow. Government and Society have an obligation to right those wrongs and remedy those consequences.

This is where Libertarians get all conflicted and confused and defensive and experience cognitive dissonance when their principles are rightly and logically applied to public policy. Suddenly, for most Libertarians, what is good for the goose is not good for the gander. Similar to Jefferson’s hypocrisy of being publicly anti-slavery while adamantly protecting his right to keep slaves until after the event of his death.

I know Jefferson’s slavery dilemma was more complicated and nuanced than this, but, Jefferson was just a bright and learned man, flawed as he was, nonetheless. Even his principles could not extricate him from harsh realities which conflicted between personal preferences and social justice.

Posted by: David R. Remer at September 21, 2007 6:08 PM
Comment #233842

Doug, yes, I find Libertarians hilarious myself, when they argue against majority rule as unconstitutional on issues like banning drug usage and abortion based on unenumerated rights which the Constitution leaves to the majority to define.

We can laugh together at this hypocrisy, or gross misunderstanding, which misleads Libertarians into the belief that they should AUTHOR (as in authoritarian) what those unenumerated rights should be, instead of, as the Constitution provides, the Congress and Courts to decide, which they have on these issues.

Posted by: David R. Remer at September 21, 2007 6:12 PM
Comment #233845

Rhinehold said: “Of course, that’s your opinion, but it falls flat when examined with the other parties that you may consider ‘ready for prime-time’. Why, we can just look at the hard conservatives vs the neo-cons and then look at the rabid progressives and the liberals and see what I’m talking about.”

This is an irrational argument, Rhinehold. Libertarians, for all the reasons I have discussed above, are not ready to sell their party to the majority of the American people. That is true prima facia. They haven’t for all their efforts, been able to grow to anything more than a splinter of the Republican Party with a several hundreds of local office holders in state and local jurisdictions.

That in no way implies that the DNC and RNC are deserving of the responsibility to lead this nation forward toward peace, prosperity, and freedom to the maximum extent allowable for a healthy, productive society. As you well know, I support neither the DNC or RNC as capable of moving this country in that direction.

So, your emotional retort is without merit or factual basis at all.

Posted by: David R. Remer at September 21, 2007 6:21 PM
Comment #233849

oh, the hilarity of it all!

Listen, David… I may not know dung (I’ll leave that for you to decide), but something tells me you do not actually advocate citizens sitting passively by while congress and the courts decide what we can and cannot do in our homes? I mean, if the democratic process were to decide that unwarranted wiretapping were illegal, would you be in favor? What if it passed 100-0 in the Senate and 434-1 in the House (Ron Paul would never vote for such a thing!)? And then the president signed it and the courts upheld it? By your flawed logic, you would be in favor of this? That would kind of negate all of the excellent articles you’ve written on the subject.

Posted by: Doug Langworthy at September 21, 2007 6:47 PM
Comment #233853

uh… I’m an idiot… i meant ‘legal’…

“if the democratic process were to decide that unwarranted wiretapping was legal, would you be in favor?

Posted by: Doug Langworthy at September 21, 2007 6:51 PM
Comment #233857

“They (libertarians) haven’t for all their efforts, been able to grow to anything more than a splinter of the Republican Party…”

David… that’s just mean… a low blow… do you kiss your mother with that mouth? Grody…

If by ‘Republican’ you mean that we allow for debate on the abortion issue… that we belive in the right of individuals to smoke a little weed… that we think unwarranted wiretapping should be illegal (I got it right this time!)… that we think the war in Iraq is a colossal waste of American lives and money… that we think marriage should be unlegislated… well, then yeah… I guess we are, AND I guess I have been following the wrong Republican party…

Can someone please provide me with the Republican Party that espouses all of these things? Anyone…? Anyone at all…?

Posted by: Doug Langworthy at September 21, 2007 6:59 PM
Comment #233868

David… Just to clarify… unwarranted wiretapping invades our right to privacy… one of your beloved “unenumerated” rights which you say congress and the courst have dominion over. If Congess says it is OK, and the courts agree… well? What say you?

Posted by: Doug Langworthy at September 21, 2007 8:51 PM
Comment #233884
OK. Now we are getting a bit closer to common ground. Since, the 9th Amendment does not enumerate, and since, the Constitution does grant majority rule outside of Constitutionally protected individual rights, it is irrefutably that it was the Congress that would define, as needed, and as it deemed appropriate, what those unenumerated rights are.

Oooh, so close. You are forgetting that the federal government is not allowed to do anything that is not specifically granted to them.

Yes, the people can vote on certain things that are not in the constitution, but those either have to be played out at the state level or there has to be a constitutional amendment for that, OR you are going entirely against the meaning and spirit of the constitution. And the 17th amendment does not override that specific tenet of the constitution, though you think it does.

Further, there are unenumerated rights that are still valid even though they are not listed, such as I have pointed out numerous times (and you choose to ignore every time) the right to privacy. You say that abortion has not held up libertarian views, but it is exactly what Roe V Wade was about, as well as other case law that I have provided, and you’ve chosen to ignore, that supports my views.

You say that this change in the constitution because of the 17th amendment exists, but where is the case law? The precedent? The 17th amendment does not allow the federal government to move outside of the bounds of the limits imposed upon it simply because we now vote for Senators as well as Congressmen as we always did. We will continue to disagree on this point.

For everything else, that does not dictate what people do with their personal lives as the framers stated in supporting the ninth amendment and natural rights, and everything within the constitutional bounds that are placed upon the federal branch, they should enact laws as a majority rule entity.


The Constitution makes no OTHER provision for defining what those unenumerated rights are.
They are defined, if you study what the framers meant and intended, something that the Supreme Court is SUPPOSE to take into consideration. Natural Rights, much as I have detailed and are stated in the Libertarian Principles, are those unenumerated rights that exist outside of government. They weren’t enumerated precisely because they knew that someone would make the very argument you are attempting to make.

Hence, Libertarians cannot argue that Congress has violated unenumerated rights UNLESS the Supreme Court upholds such a Libertarian claim. Since, the Supreme Court has not upheld such claims in a whole host of cases from drug usage to abortion, Libertarian’s argument that such rule is unconstitutional is illogical by definition of the provisions for majority rule set out in the Constitution.

And while I agree that the Supreme Court ‘pussied’ out when dealing with Roosevelt in the 1930s, that doesn’t make it right or prudent. Or even good decisions. We both agree that the Eminent Domain ruling was abysmil. We can either fight it, and risk things we don’t want to risk, or work within the governmental process to convince others the error of the ruling and bring to bear safeguards to prevent that bad ruling to be enacted, as many states are doing, but it doesn’t change my view that those things were unconstitutional, and I will fight to ensure that they are again someday.

In the meantime, I will continue to convince others just as you will try to convince them that I’m a ‘whacko’. It will be up to others to decide the result of that one though…

BTW, what is YOUR opinion of the NoMoreVictims Act of 2007? They say it is constitutional. IF the majority of people in the US vote for it, and it is upheld by the constitution, will you submit yourself to the testing and judgements that they proscribe? OR do you, as I suspect, agree that a right to privacy still exist, even though it is not enumerated, and cannot be taken away by majority rule?

Posted by: Rhinehold at September 21, 2007 10:37 PM
Comment #233907

Doug said: “but something tells me you do not actually advocate citizens sitting passively by while congress and the courts decide what we can and cannot do in our homes?”

Quite right. I advocate citizens taking Control of their Congress by removing incumbents who don’t - won’t act in their and the nation’s best interests. I also advocate citizen’s being vocal as hell with their representatives - exercise that 1st Amendment.

Doug said: “I mean, if the democratic process were to decide that unwarranted wiretapping were illegal, would you be in favor? “

First, unwarranted wiretapping IS illegal already, and, yes, I support it remaining illegal. Only warranted wiretapping under judicial authorization and oversight is justified under our Constitution.

The Doug asked: “if the democratic process were to decide that unwarranted wiretapping was legal, would you be in favor?”

Yes, I would be for the democratic process, and as a member of that democratic process I would fight to change unwarranted wiretapping as I have done already, with all my available resources. Democracy will wither if the people will not use the democratic process to right wrongs, and promote enlightened self-interest as defined by Adam Smith.

Doug said: “By your flawed logic, you would be in favor of this? That would kind of negate all of the excellent articles you’ve written on the subject.”

My logic is impeccable on this issue, Doug. I believe in our Constitutional democratic republic form of government, which means I abide its laws, even if I disagree with them, or, I assume the personal responsibility for my acts of civil disobedience in order to change unjust laws. That is the precedent established by our founding fathers and I believe what they established for Americans has the greatest potential for being the best government ever devised. Nothing illogical about my stance whatsoever.

Posted by: David R. Remer at September 22, 2007 10:29 AM
Comment #233908

Doug said: “Can someone please provide me with the Republican Party that espouses all of these things? Anyone…? Anyone at all…?”

I said splinter of the Republican Party, as in Ron Paul and his Republican supporters, and I refer to the excellent discussion of the once close, but, now strained to the breaking point, ties between the Republican Party and Libertarian voters by Glenn Greenwald, entitled: Unclaimed Territory.

As Libertarian Party spokesman George Getz said of Ron Paul, “He’s really a libertarian and he pays the price for that”. Libertarian voters vote Republican in the absence of a Libertarian candidate, which continues to retain this close tie between the Republican Party and Libertarian voters. It is a strained relationship, no question, but, a relationship that endures nonetheless, Doug.

It is curious that I, having never been a Republican or Libertarian, should have to be bring forth this information and resources to you, a person who claims to be a Libertarian. If you believe in the Libertarian movement, perhaps you should learn more of its history and current relationships within our political system, and stop denying realities about it, so that you may better advocate for its future.

The Libertarian Party has no purchase on the American electorate at large, with only a small percentage of local districts electing local office holders. If I were a Libertarian, I would be asking why my party has not been able to make more substantial inroads into the consciousness of the electorate at large, and why Libertarians have lost all control and influence over the Republican Party.

Libertarians are caught between adherence to their principles which don’t sell to the American electorate at large, and their desire to become an influential political power player in American politics. But, this is not a chicken and egg problem. The LP must alter their principles and platform IF they are going to appeal to enough voters to become a power broker. But, if they do that, will they still be Libertarians in principle?

Green Party has the same dilemma in the U.S., though they fare better overseas.

Posted by: David R. Remer at September 22, 2007 10:56 AM
Comment #233915

Rhinehold said: “You are forgetting that the federal government is not allowed to do anything that is not specifically granted to them.

Yes, the people can vote on certain things that are not in the constitution, but those either have to be played out at the state level or there has to be a constitutional amendment for that, OR you are going entirely against the meaning and spirit of the constitution. And the 17th amendment does not override that specific tenet of the constitution, though you think it does.”

Well, Rhinehold, if you are going to deny reality in favor of wishful thinking, there is nothing to debate. There are myriad precedents in both S.C. rulings, legislation, and Amendments which establish and expand federal authority. Wishing it were not so, will not change any of it.

What would change reality is a Libertarian Party that could capture the support of the majority of the American people in altering the system in place. But, that clearly is not happening.

Rhinehold said: “The 17th amendment does not allow the federal government to move outside of the bounds of the limits imposed upon it simply because we now vote for Senators as well as Congressmen as we always did. We will continue to disagree on this point.”

Who gives a shit what Libertarians think the 17th Amendment allows. The reality is: the people, the courts, and federal government ACT as if the 17th Amendment gave the Congress dominion over unenumerated rights definitions, and that reality rules, not Libertarians. Why do your comments insist on denying reality? One cannot change reality if one denies its existence. One cannot change reality by wishing it were not so.

This is one of the reasons I never worry about Libertarians ever becoming a major player in American politics. It is a fact that your view of what the 17th Amendment shouldn’t do is crushed by the reality of what the federal courts, US Congress and legal scholars think it does do.

10th Amendment grants to the people, power over unenumerated rights definition not allocated to by the Constitution to the federal government or the State governments.

The 13th Amendment grants the federal government the power to strip individuals of personal property which is human in nature. The individual no longer an unenumerated right to private property when such property is a human being. But, the key point here is: it was the people through their state legislators, who altered this right to personal property for all individuals.

The 16th Amendment grants the federal government taxation power over incomes, and through this power, the power over personal property necessary to fund the federal government’s expenses and policies, as assented to by the People referred to in the 10th Amendment through the electoral process. Again, the Constitution provided the people, through the amendment process, the authority and power to redefine this right to private property, protected except in the exercise of due process. Income taxation became due process power of the Congress, with the assent of the people by virtue of their vote on election day to retain politicians taxing them, or, replacing them with politicians who would not.

The 17th Amendment strips the power of State representation in the U.S. Senate from State Legislators, and gives that power directly to the People. The people shall determine their representatives, and thereby broaden the scope and responsibility of the people’s assent or dissent to the actions of Congress on Senatorial election day.

The courts have time and again upheld cases in which the people’s assent or dissent to Congressional power to define unenumerated rights like abortion and public safety issues.

You can wish it were not so. But, it does not change history or reality. Through our Constitutional system, the powers of the people through their Congress, and thus the powers of Congress, to define what unenumerated rights are and what limits shall adhere to them, have prevailed, all legal, all Constitutional, and all upheld by the vanguards of the Constitution, the U.S. Supreme Court.

Libertarians feel compelled to take an impotent short cut to changing this by denouncing the Constitutionality of our history that brought our system to where it is. I understand that compulsion, because to alter the system Constitutionally, would require the Libertarian Party become the dominant ruling party in American politics. And of course, that has proven to date, to be an impotent effort at best.

The Libertarian conundrum is they want to revoke the powers granted to the people by the people over the last 1.5 centuries. But, to do that, they must have the assent of the people. It is one helluva conundrum.

Posted by: David R. Remer at September 22, 2007 11:51 AM
Comment #233916

Rhinehold said of unenumerated rights: “They are defined,”

This is about as illogical a comment as one can possibly construct. The very definition of the word unenumerated eqauls ‘undefined’. You just seem incapable of getting past this fundamental contradiction in your arguments. Enumerated means defined. Unenumerated means undefined.

If you insist on creating your own language with your own meanings, debate and discussion will have to be between you and yourself, because no one else will know what the hell you are talking about.

Posted by: David R. Remer at September 22, 2007 11:55 AM
Comment #233920

Rhinehold, I do understand your interpretation that unenumerated rights should be as inviolate as the enumerated rights. But, the decision by our Constitution’s drafters to enumerate rights is a reality and cannot be undone without a Constitutional Convention. Madison’s efforts to make unenumerated rights inviolate in the 9th Amendment was an abject failure, precisely because he attempted what you attempt, to skip over the fact that enumerated means defined, and unenumerated means undefined, which will forever the beg the question as to who shall define unenumerated rights as the need arises.

History has spoken, the Congress through legislation, and the Supreme Court through legislative review, shall define unenumerated rights as the Congress sees the need to define them in legislation.

If I were a Libertarian, I would have to say our Founding Fathers screwed up, and Madison compounded the problem by failing to stipulate who shall define unenumerated rights as the need arises. Madison also screwed up big time by adding the phrase, “the People”, since the will of the people is expressed through the Congress.

But, regardless of whether you accept these stipulations as flaws, or not, undoing the consequences of those Constitutional constructs will take a revolution and overthrow of the Constitution, or a Constitutional Convention to redraft these passages. Frankly, if I were a betting person, I would bet on the current status quo, then a revolution, and the longest odds would be on a Constitutional Convention for the express purpose of revising the whole enumerated - unenumerated constructs.

Posted by: David R. Remer at September 22, 2007 12:14 PM
Comment #234002

Rhinehold,

I deliberately kept my comments about the Branch-Davidians at Waco quite nonspecific.

What I was addressing was the entire pretext of, “No conflict exists between civil order and individual rights. Both concepts are based on the same fundamental principle: that no individual, group, or government may initiate force against any other individual, group, or government.”

I was simply pointing to one of the most publicized cases of “conflict” between civil order and individual rights. It really doesn’t matter whether we look at Waco, or Ruby Ridge, or the Freemen of Montana, it all boils down to one thing: secession!

That principle says that if I don’t agree with any law then I can disregard that law without fear of reprisal, and no other party could enforce any law against anyone that disagrees with the law. It’s nonsense!

If cult #31 decides that girls should be eligible to marry at the age of 14 then that’s OK. No one can intervene, that’s cult #31’s belief, and it’s their right.

If cult #46 believes that a females genitals should be “cropped” to prevent promiscuity that’s OK. No one should be able to intervene. It’s their belief.

If cult #83 believes it’s best to let their elderly and infirm wander off into the wilderness, that should just be OK. It’s their belief and no one should interfere.

If cult #127 has an objection to paying taxes that go towards supporting the DOD that should be OK. maybe we should all be able to designate where our taxes are spent.

To me it all boils down to anarchy or at the very least minarchy.

Posted by: KansasDem at September 22, 2007 10:22 PM
Comment #234011

Rhinehold,

I just want to add one thing. You, David R. Remer, and others are undoubtedly better educated in constitutional law than I. Whether I agree or not makes little difference, but let us remember that even idiots like me get to vote!

The greatest reason to vote for anyone other than a Republican in ‘08 is the SCOTUS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Do any of us really want an unfettered conservative SCOTUS?

Posted by: KansasDem at September 22, 2007 10:49 PM
Comment #234028

KansasDem,

Where does it state that ‘if I don’t agree with any law then I can disregard that law without fear of reprisal’? The government has made it known that they will use their power of force against you if you violate their laws, thinking that they won’t will get you what you have now.

That is why there should be NO laws that we don’t want to end up in a violent end game. Because it will happen, just as it did with Waco and Ruby Ridge.

For example, let’s say that I don’t believe that the government should be able to tell me to wear a seat belt. I’m driving down the street and the police attempt to pull me over. I don’t recognize the right to do so and continue driving, the chase gets more and more heated and I either crash and possible hurt others and kill myself or get shot by the police while resisting arrest and attempting to run away.

Do we really want that to happen? Wouldn’t it make more sense to put out information to let others know that it is in their own best interests to wear a seat belt and not criminalize that person for exercising bad judgement on their own part?

There are anarchists that have attached themselves to the Libertarian Party, but it is not a party platform of the LP to ‘ignore laws that we disagree with’. Because by doing so, by violating an overreaching and in our opinion unconstitutional law put in place by a police state, you are putting yourself in harm’s way. You have to expect the police state we live in to exert their power over you whenever you step out of line, it’s part of their very nature.

Now, what we DO advocate, is getting involved in the system and trying to remove those police state laws from the books so that people no longer have to live in fear of criminalization simply because they are making their own choices about how to live their lives.

David recently attempted to go to great lengths to paint Libertarians as a bunch of law-voilating kooks who are delusional in thinking that they enjoy freedoms that they currently don’t. Even though, as anyone going back to read, I have stated several times in these comments that we have to work within the system to re-assert those rights that have been taken from us, rights we deserve to have, not simply assume we have them and that we aren’t going to get popped by the police for them…

But, David seems to ignore most of what I say and let’s his biases rule his responses. I state case law and US Supreme court decisions to back up my views, and he tells me they are invalidated by newer case law that never gets listed or detailed in any way. I’m just suppose to take his word for it and accept his argument because he has ‘irrefutable logic’ on his side apparently. Then he misses entire comments I’ve made AND the party platform that I’ve started commenting on, that says that we have to do certain things to put the government on the right track to protecting our natural rights as the constitution intended. Not that we should just ignore those laws we don’t like since they are, in our opinions, unconstitutional. No, that we should work towards convincing people that those laws need to be thrown out if we are to stop living in a Police State.

It’s unfortunate that, as I said in my first article, there are people who either through maliciousness or just not understanding what is being stated, continue to spread false information and in effect smear an entire political set of principles, one that is mosre often than not shared by most people when stated as we have. As you can see even on this blog that is dedicated to politics and communication between the parties there are those that are more interested in smearing than understanding and more people who are enjoying these articles because they are starting to understand that they don’t fully understand what the Libertarian Party is all about. And they may never agree with us, but what I’m looking for more than converting people is to counter the wild, ignorant and mean-spirited accusations and instead bring an understanding that libertarians are, more often than not, not pop-smoking nut-jobs. We actually are the only party running on actual principles and are closer to the views that are instilled in our Constitution than any other major party.

Posted by: Rhinehold at September 23, 2007 9:45 AM
Comment #234030
Do any of us really want an unfettered conservative SCOTUS?

No, but do we really want an unfettered progressive SCOTUS either? It’s unfortunate that those are our only two choices, and the one option of a SCOTUS that will protect individual rights as listed in the constitution over expanding governmental power isn’t a choice at all. :(

Posted by: Rhinehold at September 23, 2007 10:06 AM
Comment #234037

Rhinehold said: “David recently attempted to go to great lengths to paint Libertarians as a bunch of law-voilating kooks who are delusional in thinking that they enjoy freedoms that they currently don’t.”

Rhinehold, it is starting to appear as though you are deliberately lying and misrepresenting what others say. Is this your way of handling the frustration of the ineffectiveness of your own arguments to sway or convince others?

I defy you to quote where I ever said, or implied: “Libertarians are a bunch of law-voilating kooks who are delusional in thinking that they enjoy freedoms that they currently don’t.”

The only delusion I see here, is your assertion that I ever said such a thing. And in typical Rhinehold fashion you again demonstrate a basic incapacity to make words come together in a logical way, as you contradict yourself again with:

“[Libertarians] who are delusional in thinking that they enjoy freedoms that they currently don’t.”

“Enjoy freedoms that they currently don’t”? How can one enjoy freedoms that they currently don’t enjoy?

What is laughably apparent is that you fashion one of your utterly illogical comments like this, and then attribute it to me as if I said it, when clearly it is your sentence construction, not mine. Do you expect others to give credence to such remarks?

Posted by: David R. Remer at September 23, 2007 12:24 PM
Comment #234066

David,

Other people can read what you’ve written and come to their own conclusion. Again, I’ve given you my interpretation of what the sum of your arguments, which are constantly opposite to what I say and ignore every point I make while repeating the charges that I’ve clearly debunked. There are only a few resulting conclusions that one can make from that, and I think I’ve offered the kindest, IMO. It is either a clear attempt to paint Libertarianism in a very unfavorable light or you just can’t grasp that you are making arguments that aren’t backed by logic which you profess. Not over just this section of comments but in many others.

I mention libertarianism and you say ‘but the platform says this!’. So I go into detail on what the platform really says and why, and you slide back to ‘but Ayn Rand said this’. You want to continue deflecting salient points, not by arguing those points but by constantly changing the argument or requirements necessary to serve your logic.

For the 5th time, I’ve stated case law and Supreme Court decisions to back my arguments and you say I’m somehow ignoring case law and Supreme Court decisions. When I ask to point to one that backs your point, you say I’m living outside of reality. Here’s an example.

“You can wish it were not so. But, it does not change history or reality.”

Here you attempt to say I’m not accepting reality, what is that other than the definition of being delusional about this topic?

Let’s look up delusion in the dictionary:a fixed false belief that is resistant to reason or confrontation with actual fact.

Are you now saying that you are not saying that I am not stating ‘a false belief that is resistant to reason of confrontation with actual fact’? Either you are suggesting in your previous comments that I am being delusional or you have to accept the option that you are not presenting me with reason and actual fact. I’ll leave to you to decide on that one, either way your ‘rant’ about my laffable debating technique falls apart on close inspection.

Even your quote of mine is missing the point of the statement. If someone thinks that they enjoy freedoms that they don’t, wouldn’t that make them delusional? How is this statement illogical in any way, other than by view of your ‘irrefutable logic’?

Put up or shut up, David. Give me the backing behind one of your statements so that we can actually discuss ‘reality’ as you say we should. Give me the case law and Supreme Court decisions so that we can debate them, don’t just tell me that they exist and I should accept them.

I’m sorry that you feel that someone with a different point of view is ‘laughable’ and ‘illogical’ just because they don’t accept what you say at face value. But I’m not about to be swayed to a different view just because you say I should.

Posted by: Rhinehold at September 23, 2007 4:43 PM
Comment #234069

So David, one more time on this specific question (one of many) that you continue to ignore and refuse to answer, asked by me several times and also by Doug.

If, by your logic, we can give up an unenumerated right, specifically in this case the right to privacy, are you willing to accept that a law passed by a congress and signed by a president and then upheld by a conservative leaning Supreme Court that restricts that right to privacy is constitutional and should remain so?

Posted by: Rhinehold at September 23, 2007 4:55 PM
Comment #234092

Rhinehold said: “Again, I’ve given you my interpretation of what the sum of your arguments, which are constantly opposite to what I say and ignore every point I make while repeating the charges that I’ve clearly debunked.”

Now you are flat out lying, Rhinehold. Here is the proof: I said:

Rhinehold, I do understand your interpretation that unenumerated rights should be as inviolate as the enumerated rights.

I do not understand your propensity to make outlandish statements like this which are obviously untrue. You have clearly debunked nothing. You have not even addressed the points or arguments I have made except to dismiss them in generalized statements like the one above.

I suspect it is because this entire topic is beyond your ability to debate, resulting only in denials and frustrated comments containing no debate refutation, or logical; if premise 1 is true, and premise 2 is true, then the conclusion must be true, type arguments which are the construct for convincing debate.

This is a debate forum. Their are rules governing logical and persuasive debate, which your comments continue ignore in abundance.

Rhinehold said: “I mention libertarianism and you say ‘but the platform says this!’. So I go into detail on what the platform really says and why”

Bullcrap. I quote what the platform says, and I reject your comments attempting to rewrite what it says in your version of it. It says what it says. Arguing that it doesn’t say what it says, is a losing position right from the gitgo in a debate.

I challenged you with : “I defy you to quote where I ever said, or implied: “Libertarians are a bunch of law-voilating kooks who are delusional in thinking that they enjoy freedoms that they currently don’t.””

And you entirely dodge the challenge in your response. Quote me if what you say is true. Or just let it stand as the lie that it is. But, if you are going to lie as part of your debate technique, don’t expect to win any converts.

This assertion of yours that I said: “Libertarians are a bunch of law-voilating kooks who are delusional in thinking that they enjoy freedoms that they currently don’t.” appears to be nothing more than an emotional response to what I said, put forth as a false recitation of what I said.

Nobody cares about folks emotional interpretations of what was said in a debate. Debate what was ACTUALLY said, and keep the tantrum interpretations at least accredited to the person throwing the tantrum, and not deceptively attributed to others.

Posted by: David R. Remer at September 23, 2007 8:43 PM
Comment #234097

Rhinehold asked: “If, by your logic, we can give up an unenumerated right, specifically in this case the right to privacy, are you willing to accept that a law passed by a congress and signed by a president and then upheld by a conservative leaning Supreme Court that restricts that right to privacy is constitutional and should remain so?”

When did I ever say we can give up unenumerated rights? There you go again. What I said was the Congress and the courts decide what those unenumerated rights are. Not you, not the Libertarian Party, but the people’s Congress with the absence of being rejected by the Supreme Court.

And in answer to your question, YES. EMPHATICALLY YES. The Constitution provides the means by which laws shall be passed and approved by the representatives of the people elected by the people, and not rejected by the Supreme Court. That is our Constitutional system. Any law that passes through that process is by definition, constitutional. And there goes your argument that unenumerated rights are inviolate.

Even a Constitutional Amendment redacting one of the Bill of Rights Amendments would be Constitutional, by Constitutional definition. To argue otherwise is by definition illogical.

In fact, Rhinehold, the Constitution provides a mechanism in which the entire Constitution can be thrown out and it would be Constitutional. It is called an Article V Convention, meeting the criteria outlined in the Constitution, with ratification by the States, the entire Constitution including the Bill of Rights and unenumerated rights, could be legally and constitutionally invalidated and replace by something else. And there too goes your argument of the inviolate nature of unenumerated rights, for the Constitution itself provides the mechanism by which they may be redacted altogether, Constitutionally.

Posted by: David R. Remer at September 23, 2007 8:57 PM
Comment #234105

I’ll requote:

“You can wish it were not so. But, it does not change history or reality.”

Here you attempt to say I’m not accepting reality, what is that other than the definition of being delusional about this topic?

Let’s look up delusion in the dictionary:a fixed false belief that is resistant to reason or confrontation with actual fact.

Posted by: Rhinehold at September 23, 2007 10:04 PM
Comment #234106
Even a Constitutional Amendment redacting one of the Bill of Rights Amendments would be Constitutional, by Constitutional definition. To argue otherwise is by definition illogical.

*sigh*

I’m not sure why you have a hard time understanding that someone can say a law is, in their opinion, unconstitutional and still accept that it is the current law of the land, but still feel that the law is, by their interpretation of the constituion, the intent of the writers, and case law following against the appropriate interpretion.

Libertarians are not saying ‘don’t submit to roadside checkpoints, they’re unconstitutional.’ They are saying ‘we believe that the laws enabling roadside checkpoints are unconstitutional so we will work within the system to have those laws thrown out legislatively and put in provisions to protect those rights that we feel have been violated.’

Now, how is that, in any way, delusional? And yes, you did call that view just that, though you didn’t use the inflamatory words, you stated almost verbatim the dictionary definition of delusional.

And that is exactly why I am working through the platform, because that is what the platform says. It lists the issue, the principles involved, the end result we want to see and the tranactional actions that we feel need to take place to achieve that end. Again, where are we saying that the current ‘law of the land’ is not binding or valid, simply because we believe it to be unconstitutional.

BTW, I’ll ask another question again. If the NoMoreVictims were to pass the legislation, be signed into law and found by the conservative packed court to be ‘constitutional’, would you submit or would you consider it unconstitutional…?

Posted by: Rhinehold at September 23, 2007 10:17 PM
Comment #234107

BTW, another unanswered question in another comments section that I was hoping you’d answer fits in well with exactly the problem we are having it appears.

Rhinehold, the Constitution does not speak to obligatory taxation, mandated insurance coverage, mandatory right side of the road driving vs. left, except to defer to the people’s legislatures and the Court’s review on such matters.

A small matter there, David. The federal government is limited to what the constitution says it can do. Not allowed to do whatever they can get away with that doesn’t violate the Bill of Rights, of which this program of Hillary’s does, by requiring that all citizens must purchase healthcare.

No precedent set, that I’ve been able to deterime, can make that requirement and be constitutional. Even motor vehicle liability, which is not what you must get to protect yourself but what you must purchase to protect others if you choose to operate a motor vehicle, can not require a citizen to get coverage on their own persons AND it has to be implemented on a state level, not a national level, because it would be unconstitutional to do so. And it doesn’t apply simply by being an adult citizen, you have to choose to operate a motor vehicle and be bound by the results and taxation of that agreement.

So, can you provide me with the precedent, ruling or constitutional clause that allows for this requirement? If not, it is, patently, unconstitutional.

Posted by: Rhinehold at September 23, 2007 10:21 PM
Comment #234140

Rhinehold, you continue to do that Orwellian thing with words, which makes your arguments dangerous. A law, passed by the Congress, Signed into law by the President, contested and upheld by the Supreme Court either affirmatively or through dismissal of hearing the challenge, IS by prescription in the U.S. Constitution, a constitutional law.

Your arguments and that of the Libertarian Party continue to make this fundamental deceptive argument that following the Constitution in law making can and has yielded Unconstitutional laws. It is illogical, irrational, and false by the very words of the Constitution itself.

And here’s the thing. If you and the LP were to make a rational, logical argument against laws like abortion or seat mandatory seat belts, that argument would have to be, “We don’t agree with these laws, though they were Constitutionally arrived at”. But, that would rightly make your argument a matter of personal or party preference and not very convincing to potential converts.

So, you and your Party try the deceptive and false route to make your case, saying these laws are unConstitutional, which of course, they are not, by definition of how they were arrived at.

You and your Party could also rightly and logically make the argument that you don’t believe the founding fathers would have intended such laws to have been enacted. But, that runs into the counterargument that the drafters anticipated situations they could not conceive of in their day, and hence, provided multiple mechanisms for the people, the states, and the federal government to add or subtract laws as the future required, legislatively, through Court interpretation, and through amendment and Constitutional Convention.

Still, these are more honest and legitimate claims than the lie, or misunderstanding, that laws Constitutionally arrived at can somehow be Unconstitutional as defined by a minority not in agreement with such laws.

If you disagree with laws, make that case. But, you can’t sell the American public en masse with the argument that the Constitution itself was wrong in permitting these many ways for the majority of the nation to govern their future as the agreed necessary to their times.

One of the great strengths of our Constitution is that it does permit the majority to alter it, to suit their contemporary needs, thus, avoiding revolution and insurrection as our founding fathers felt compelled to by an intransigent King George who utterly disregarded the will, needs, and demands of the majority.

The great wisdom and enduring strength of the American Constitution is that it provides the very mechanisms needed to alter the Constitution and laws of the land, as the majority of the people require to meet the challenges of the future. At the same time, having a healthy respect for the fact that the majority can be wrong, especially in a wave of emotional passion which temporarily seizes the public discourse, the drafters deliberately implanted provisions to impede the pace of altering laws and the Constitution, hopefully long enough to allow cooler heads and rational discourse to prevail over the mood of the majority.

It was brilliant. It took into account both the passions and the intellectual requirements to condition those passions, in both providing the means of change, but, also denying such change be easily facilitated as passions would demand. But, underlying it all, is the belief and constructs centered on the majority of the people having the final say when it comes power and its implementations.

They knew a Constitution must serve the people, not the borders, not lofty legal intellectualism, not the land, streams, and mountains, not the power office holders, but, the voters themselves charged with the ultimate responsibility for defending and protecting themselves from each other and the power wielding of politicians in office. The Constitution was designed to serve the needs and will of the voters, knowing full well those in power (like King George) would try to force government to serve their own ends.

Hence, the foundation of power inherent in our Constitution rests on the majority of the voters, not on the shoulders of their representatives, who may individually or collectively seek to wrest power away from the voters, enslaving the people to the will of the office holders.

This is why voting out incumbents is precisely what the Founders had in mind in granting the vote to the people with a vested interest in what politicians may or may not attempt with their offices. The Founders knew too well, that office holders (like King George) would naturally use their offices to protect their holding their offices regardless of the will of the people. Hence there was no need of the vote to retain the powerful in office, the need of the vote was precisely to remove them from office.

And this is the conflict that is ruining this nation at this time. The Political Parties have enjoined in a scheme that insures the vast majority of incumbents from both duopoly parties will remain in office regardless of how poorly they may govern the affairs of the people or the future outcome of the nation.

The voters subscribed to this scheme in the 20th century in ever greater numbers and thus have in most ways, given up the power of the vote as intended by the drafters, replacing the vote with a rubber stamp for incumbents through party ticket voting. The power to remove incumbents when government fails the needs and will of the people is however experiencing a resurgence amongst Independent voters who are leaving the 2 party affiliation system in growing numbers. As long as the Independent voters numbers continue to grow, and the Democrat/Republican registrant numbers decline, there is hope that our Constitution can weather this greatest challenge to it since the Secession of the South from the Union.

Posted by: David R. Remer at September 24, 2007 11:55 AM
Comment #234145

Rhinehold, on health care, if the People’s Congress votes single payer universal health care for those who wish to participate, or any other health care system into law, and the President signs it into law, and Libertarians challenge it in the courts, and the Courts uphold the law, then, it is prima facia, a Constitutional law.

The Constitution provides for this process SPECIFICALLY, and nowhere in the Bill of Rights does the Constitution specifically prohibit such a health care system. The specific overrides the general in precedent law and western theory of law.

In general, the minority’s rights to personal property free of taxation, can only be superceded by a majority passed legislation, signed by the President, and upheld in the courts, and in accordance with the 16th Amendment which makes such taxation Constitutional. Legislation that requires taxation to serve the greater need and welfare of the union. If Hillary’s plan meets these tests in becoming law, it will be Constitutional.

Whether is solves the nation’s problems with health care is another topic entirely, and one I would argue against Hillary on .

Posted by: David R. Remer at September 24, 2007 12:08 PM
Comment #234147

Rhinehold,

I’m doing a “ham-handed” job of trying to explain myself. I’ll try again. I’m simply trying to point out how “wrong”, in my opinion, even the following simple statement is;
“No conflict exists between civil order and individual rights. Both concepts are based on the same fundamental principle: that no individual, group, or government may initiate force against any other individual, group, or government.”

I used the examples of Waco, the Freemen, etc. because they absolutely involved the use of “force” by both sides. As you correctly point out even a minor act of civil disobedience can easily escalate into a full blown armed confrontation.

I’m just having trouble getting past even the simple statement that, “no individual, group, or government may initiate force against any other individual, group, or government.” To me that is clearly just false. If it were true the USA would not exist since we clearly used force to free ourselves from British “oppression”.

There’s an endless number of conflicts throughout American history that resulted in the application of “force”. Perhaps a good example would be the many conflicts regarding water. A dam can be a blessing for one landowner, yet render another mans land virtually useless.

Luckily such conflicts are now largely resolved in the courts but I’ve heard many “constitutional” arguments regarding violation of individual property rights regarding the issue.

Posted by: KansasDem at September 24, 2007 12:09 PM
Comment #234151

Rhinehold said: “Again, where are we saying that the current ‘law of the land’ is not binding or valid, simply because we believe it to be unconstitutional.”

If it is unconstitutional, it is by definition not binding upon the people, nor valid, and it is up to the Courts to make that determination, not the LP. The Constitution does not grant the LP party the authority to decide what is Constitutional or not, it gives the Supreme Court that authority.

Slavery was wrong. But, it did not become Unconstitutional until the 13th Amendment was passed, which revised the Constitutional allowances FOR slavery.

Circumventing the FISA legislation was not unconstitutional. It was illegal, but, not unconstitutional, because the Constitution does not speak to directly to the issue of FISA judicial oversight in matters of electronic surveillance which did not exist in the time of the drafting of the Constitution. If and when the Supreme Court rules circumventing FISA oversight and due process is unconstitutional, then it becomes unconstitutional.

Declarations of constitutionality rests with the Supreme Court, not with political parties or their spokespersons. One can make the claim that a law or act violates the intent of the Constitution, but, in and of itself, that is little more than an unproven accusation, or defensible argument at best. The act or law does not become, in fact, unconstitutional until the Supreme Court rules it is. That too is in the Constitution, Article 3, Section 2.

Posted by: David R. Remer at September 24, 2007 12:24 PM
Comment #234155

Kansas Dem said: “I’m just having trouble getting past even the simple statement that, “no individual, group, or government may initiate force against any other individual, group, or government.”

The Constitution does indeed posit the power of force against others within its own definitions of powers in Amendments 3 thru 6, which establish due process provisions for the exercise of force by agents of the government against its citizen’s will.

The 2nd Amendment clearly provides that citizens may initiate force as a defense against others posing a threat, at the very least, through “a well regulated militia”.

And Article I, Section 8, which states: “To provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions;”

The right to self-defense using offensive behavior has been sustained by the U.S. Supreme Court in a number of cases, even to the extent that there was no real threat, only a perceived threat which after the fact, was established not to exist, as in the case of police officers or homeowners shooting a person in apparent self-defense, only to discover what was in the hand of the shot individual was a radio or cell phone, and not a weapon. The right to defend one’s property with force is also well established, though the taking of the property constitutes no imminent threat against the property owner.

Posted by: David R. Remer at September 24, 2007 12:50 PM
Comment #234165

Rhinehold, btw, I recommend your perusal of the Libertarian Reform Caucus. The link is in the sidebar of this page. Seems to me, they have the right critique and the right reform direction needed by the Libertarian Party and supporters such as yourself.

They recommend a move away from inflexible and illogical ideology, and toward pragmatic problem solving of the nation’s problems, maintaining Liberty as a high priority but, not the exclusive priority, which marginalizes the LP to a small minority party.

The common sense of the American people is that to live in a society interdependent upon each other, some liberties are worth sacrificing in part in order to achieve balance, peace, and prosperity for the greatest number of all Americans. The LRC appears to recognize this and are recommend making room for in the Party for that American common sense. Sounds politically very astute to me.

Posted by: David R. Remer at September 24, 2007 3:11 PM
Comment #234180

In response to a question posed to him regarding what he would do if Congress and the courts made unwarranted wiretapping legal, David said: “Yes, I would be for the democratic process, and as a member of that democratic process I would fight to change unwarranted wiretapping as I have done already, with all my available resources.”

Yet… when any libertarian on this site discusses using the same democratic process to attemt to bring about any change inline with libertarian philosophy, he decries it as authoritarianism.

David… please don’t deny it… on one hand you say that anything unenumeratred in the Constitution is up for government to decide and if you disagree then you are an authoritarian… and yet, in the case of your pet issue, you would “fight to change”…

Please explain your conflicting viewpoints here… you’ve yet to do so.

Posted by: Doug Langworthy at September 24, 2007 7:00 PM
Comment #234191

Doug said: “Yet… when any libertarian on this site discusses using the same democratic process to attemt to bring about any change inline with libertarian philosophy, he decries it as authoritarianism.”

Man, what a dense comment that was. My argument has always been against you and Rhinehold declaring laws unconstitutional. I fight laws which I believe are unjust or fail to achieve their stated ends. I don’t run around like a Libertarian with his head cut off crying Unconstitutional, Unconstitutional.

I have always advocated for voters speaking up in their own interests to the political powers that be and laws they don’t approve of. At the same time, I have always held that they must abide the laws they disagree with or accept the consequences of not doing so as their own fault, not the government’s. It is authoritarian to author one’s own laws in disregard of the Constitutional process, to include falsely making the claim that any law one disagrees with is Unconstitutional. That is an authoritarian’s argument. This is what Bush attempted with the circumvention of the FISA courts claiming unitary executive theory as a replacement for the Constitution checks and balances, arguing that any limits on him as CIC by the Congress or Courts are unconstitutional. He authored his own version of the Constitution, and that is authoritarian.

Just as Libertarians attempt to author their own version of the Constitution by laying claim to unenumerated rights they define as being outside the reach of the majority will of the Congress, President, and Courts. That is authoring one’s own Constitution and disregarding the one that is in place.

You fail to understand my distinction between unfair or inadequate laws which are Constitutional by virtue of having passed the tests of the Congress, President, and Courts. A law can both be Constitutional and unjust or inadequate. Slavery at one time was Constitutional, but, it didn’t mean the Constitutional provision was either right or just on ethical or social grounds.

When the amendment passed abolishing slavery, many slave owners claimed it was unconstitutional. But, they were absolutely wrong. It was constitutional, arrived at through constitutional means. Just as the levying of income taxes to fund all government programs and policies is Constitutional. As Roe V. Wade is Constitutional. The law was passed, signed into law by the President, and upheld by the Courts. It is constitutional because it was arrived at by constitutional means and procedures. Doesn’t make the law right or fair or just for many people, but, it is nonetheless constitutional.

Posted by: David R. Remer at September 24, 2007 8:54 PM
Comment #234193
The Constitution provides for this process SPECIFICALLY, and nowhere in the Bill of Rights does the Constitution specifically prohibit such a health care system. The specific overrides the general in precedent law and western theory of law.

That’s not the requirement, David. Unless the power is given to the federal government to regulate healthcare then it can not wedge itself into the issue. Some argue that it can under the (very) broad interpretations of interstate commerce, but the healthcare industry, specifically because they cannot cross state boundries at the moment, is not interstate commerce and do not fall under the federal perview.

Further, there is no provision in the constitution to require any citizen to purchase something simply in order to exist as a citizen. There is no precedent that I’ve been able to determine and you have not provided one either. So (and I guess I have to say this since you simply refuse to accept that it is ‘acceptable’) *IMO* this requirement under Hillary’s plan is unconstitutional.

The real problem, David, is that you simply disallow a person to state their belief that something is unconstitutional without a signed decree from the Supreme Court agreeing with them, even if it has not been decided yet. I makes it hard to discuss the topic with you. It is an OBVIOUS fact that if the court rules something constitutional it is, under the legal system, until it is reversed either through another interpretation by that court or an amendment. Which is what the Libertarians are looking to do.

In fact, going through the entire platform, which I haven’t posted all yet but have provided links, there is *one* use of the word unconstitutional. IT is a very specific use of the word dealing with the use of power and influence in our government. I even think you might agree with the stance in that case.

Contrary to your multiple assertions, the Libertarian Party is not attempting to say that a law is, in fact, not the law of the land, if and when they say something is constitutional when it has been decided at the present to be so. There are many ‘bad decisions’ of the Supreme Court that we both agree have been made, but only *you* have suggested going against the will of the people on that one. I can’t link to the comment directly, it was made before that was added, but I’ll post the quote from you from my article Freedome: Begone! that dealt with the Supreme Court decision in 2005 concerning Eminent Domain.

These are the kinds of laws and decisions that our Founding Fathers went to Revolution over. Let the Revolution begin. I have never owned semi-automatic weapons, but, the time has come. I have spent the last 6 years of my life developing 5 acres of raw land into a homestead, and built a two story home with my own two hands and assistance from my wife and daughter. I pay my taxes and give government everything it legally asks of me regarding my home. But, I will defend against anyone who tries to take it away from me, my wife and daughter for ANY price.

I built this property to pass something of real value to my daughter, and the value built into it is far, far greater than a sum of money. Let the Revolution begin. Anyone else served with imminent domain papers by state or local authorities, email me at editor@poliwatch.org, I will do what I can to assist you.

It is time for patriotic Americans to bind together to halt this runaway government which has no respect for individuals or rights. It is time for Americans to take the power away from those who would use power to profit themselves at high costs to others. It is time to defend ourselves against those would subvert our Constitution and spirit of the Founding Father’s intent to protect the public against the evils of power in government.

How do you resolve your previous assertions about how libertarians view our constituion and your own view of this decision, other than the fact that this is a topic you feel strongly about and the others are not? The libertarians understand the sentiment you expressed here, but apply it equally across all of the rights, not just those that are important to us individually. We are attempting to regain those encroachments, working within the system, not by hording weapons and telling the government to ‘bring it on’ (well, most of us). We don’t want it to go that far, we want to bring us back around to a greater respect for our individual freedoms. But we feel to do so we have to defend them all, not just the ones that we care about individually…

As for the Libertarian Reform Caucus, they are definately moving in the right direction. But allowing small advances against the principles I am speaking about, you allow further errosions until we get back to the same place we are now. I prefer to defend even those rights I might not like but must be in place for those I care about to be defended…

But that’s my personal decision. If people do have a problem with those principles and prefer to go down a more watered down view, at least they are working in the right direction in opposition to the Democratic, Republican and Green parties.

Posted by: Rhinehold at September 24, 2007 9:04 PM
Comment #234194

KansasDem,

Initiated force is difference than self defense from those that choose to violate this tennet. The government is the only body we legally entrust the use of force with, and if held to protecting the rights of citizens from using force on their fellow citizens instead of trying to push one man’s views on how to live onto others, then they would be using that force for self-defense as well.

It is when we allow the government to use that force for non-self defense measures that we stop being a free people and start living in a police state. Which I contend we are doing now.

Posted by: Rhinehold at September 24, 2007 9:08 PM
Comment #234196

Rhinehold said: “The real problem, David, is that you simply disallow a person to state their belief that something is unconstitutional without a signed decree from the Supreme Court agreeing with them,”

Yes, that is YOUR real problem as you see it. I have no objection to your believing anything you want. You can believe in Nazism, racism, or nihlism for all I care. But, when you enter a public forum and attempt to put forth an ideological argument that is based on false premises like declaring something is unconstitutional because you believe it is, I am going to bring up the debate that your belief does not make fact or reality.

Abridging enumerated rights without Constitutionally provided due process, is an Unconstitutional act. The word Constitutional has a very specific meaning: “In accordance with the Constitution, its amendments, and all laws arising subsequently from its prescriptions for lawmaking.”

Defining unenumerated rights is left by the Constitution to the Courts and Congress and President to define and enumerate as future needs require. The Constitution merely makes note that there are other rights, but, by not enumerating them, the Constitution leaves their definition to the future legislative, and judicial processes as the times, and the people of those times deem necessary.


Posted by: David R. Remer at September 24, 2007 9:19 PM
Comment #234197

Rhinehold, nowhere in my quoted passage do I declare eminent domain Unconstitutional. I declared that use of such law to take my home or any person’s property without just and fair compensation, or for reasons other than the greater public good or welfare, is unjust and unfair. In my circumstance, as I described, my 5 acres has far greater value than what the market would assess. To take it from me, my wife and daughter after the many years of sacrifice above and beyond the cost of materials, at market value would be unjust and I would fight to defend an unjust taking in that fashion.

Taking my home so that developers could profit from the taking is unjust. And I would fight to prevent that from occurring. The fight would be over an unjust law or unjust application of the law, not the Constitutionality of eminent domain.

The point that continues to be missed in our debate, is that a law may be Constitutional and yet unjust. But, an unjust law is not unConstitutional simply because it is unjust. As I have pointed out, slavery was Constitutional for almost 100 years, but, it was still unjust. Libertarians often try to equate the two, but, they are not by definition, equatable.

Entrapment by police was unjust, but, did not become unconstitutional until the Courts ruled it Unconstitutional. Same with poll taxes, literacy tests, and a host of other unjust laws, eventually ruled Unconstitutional by the Courts.

Now if you asked me about my previous home in San Antonio which I purchased for $56,000 dollars, already built, I would make a very different argument, that the eminent domain purchase of my home for fair market value plus moving costs, would present no problems for me, provided, the eminent domain reason was in fact, for the greater public good like a land grant hospital in an area where no other competing facilities were available. That too would be constitutional.

My quote was “It is time to defend ourselves against those would subvert our Constitution and spirit of the Founding Father’s intent to protect the public against the evils of power in government.”

Do not mistake what I said. I didn’t claim eminent domain is unconstitutional, I railed against the evils of politicians in power using that power unjustly against the interests of the people. The concept of eminent domain is justified when implemented FOR the interests of the people, like the Tennessee Valley Authority which brought electricity to 10’s of thousands of folks, affording them the opportunity to share in the bounty of the 20th century and not be left behind in the 19th.

Posted by: David R. Remer at September 24, 2007 9:44 PM
Comment #234198

David,

What I find interesting is your refusal to accept natural rights, outside of the constitution that we continue to retain. These are not ‘legal’, not written down, but we all know when they are being encroached upon by our government. You’ve expressed that several times, as I have quoted you saying.

Libertarians seek to defend them and return those encroached ‘rights’ to us. These are legal rights, the cannot be taken away from us by our government unless we choose not to be free. Many people do, that’s their business, but you’ve made it clear that you will fight to defend them.

We say the same things, David. You want to make a political point by trying to argue semantics. But when push comes to shove, you end up in the same place. Only you take it only far enough to protect own. I choose to protect those same natural rights that others have. These are not ‘legal’ rights, they are natural rights, that once existed in our constitution. That our government, through our own acquiescence, have encroached on them does not mean they don’t exist, outside of the law.

We will continue to disagree on these issues, but by standing by mine I am at least consistent.

Posted by: Rhinehold at September 24, 2007 9:45 PM
Comment #234199

David… I am sorry, but you still fail to answer the question directly… which given the obvious hypocracy of your views, I can certainly understand… authoritarian when it is convenient, but when someone points out your views are, by your own definition, authoritarian, well, you resort to calling that person’s comments ‘dense’. What a hypocritical, ignorant view…

Again, I may not know ‘dung’ (your word), but it seems to me that in your view it is up to the government to give you your beloved unenumeraed rights… I am glad you wait around for the federal government to save you.

The reason why we call that view of yours unconstitutional is not a sense of authoritarianism (you are way more authoritarian than I), but that the Constitution specifically says any power not specifically given to the federal government is reserved for the states and the people. I do not really know how or why you choose to convolute that as you do, but I do think I know more than dung… not much, maybe, but some…

Posted by: Doug Langworthy at September 24, 2007 9:46 PM
Comment #234201

Doug said: “David… I am sorry, but you still fail to answer the question directly… “

You are sorry, because you object to nothing more than the fact that I did not answer the way you wished me to. You have my answer. Do with it what you will. You have no right to demand I answer the way you want me to. Live with it.

Posted by: David R. Remer at September 24, 2007 9:52 PM
Comment #234203

Rhinehold said: “What I find interesting is your refusal to accept natural rights, outside of the constitution that we continue to retain. These are not ‘legal’, not written down, but we all know when they are being encroached upon by our government. You’ve expressed that several times, as I have quoted you saying.”’

You will have to quote me again then, because I haven’t a clue what quote you are referring to. I don’t recall discussing natural rights. Natural rights are nebulous, vary from culture to culture, from religion to religion, and don’t even exist under some governments. And I dispute your illogical claim that we all know when they are encroached upon. Please demonstrate.

Posted by: David R. Remer at September 24, 2007 9:58 PM
Comment #234205

Doug said: “Again, I may not know ‘dung’ (your word),”

Glad you said that, and not me.

Posted by: David R. Remer at September 24, 2007 10:03 PM
Comment #234208
You will have to quote me again then, because I haven’t a clue what quote you are referring to.

I didn’t figure you did.

It is time for patriotic Americans to bind together to halt this runaway government which has no respect for individuals or rights. It is time for Americans to take the power away from those who would use power to profit themselves at high costs to others. It is time to defend ourselves against those would subvert our Constitution and spirit of the Founding Father’s intent to protect the public against the evils of power in government.

What ‘rights’ does the government not respect, David? By your definition, the Supreme Court did nothing at all illegal and is not attempting to violate your rights?

Unless you mean, which I posit that you do, that you have natural rights to your property and the ability to defend it even if constitutionally the government can come in, kick you out, give you ‘fair market value’ for it and then turn it over to a developer. They have that right now, David, but you clearly suggest in your quote that they are encroaching on your RIGHTs.

How can a government encroach upon someone’s rights then, David, once they have found them to be constitutionally invalid? Where do you gain your right to defend your homes from the government if not from the Constitution?

Posted by: Rhinehold at September 24, 2007 10:16 PM
Comment #234212

Rhinehold said: “You want to make a political point by trying to argue semantics. But when push comes to shove, you end up in the same place. Only you take it only far enough to protect own. I choose to protect those same natural rights that others have.”

The difference between us Rhinehold, is I don’t try to define those unenumerated rights for everyone. That would make me authoritarian, authoring the definitions for others. You, on the other hand, believe you and the LP have the authority to define what those rights are for others should you achieve power. That is why I will fight Libertarian ideologues while promoting certain Libertarian platform issues.

Like ending the failed drug war, and using eminent domain to transfer property for no other benefit than the profitability of campaign donor developers of the politicians invoking it as quid pro quo for those donations.

Posted by: David R. Remer at September 24, 2007 10:43 PM
Comment #234214

Rhinehold asked: “What ‘rights’ does the government not respect, David?”

The rights of voters to expect and demand that government officials act for the public interest, not against it. The politicians work for us, not the other way around, as is all to commonly believed by politicians today.

The right of the employer (taxpayer voter) to vote out their employees (politicians) who fail to serve the interests of the people and their nation’s future.

Posted by: David R. Remer at September 24, 2007 10:49 PM
Comment #234219

Rhinehold, it is not semantics. Words have meaning and to subvert those meanings to deceive in politics is the tactic of corrupted power or the uneducated. McCarthy defined anyone who criticized him a Communist. His redefinition of the word caused great harm to this country and innocent individuals.

To declare one knows what unenumerated rights are for all others, and declare any laws or policies they don’t like as Unconstitutional by virtue of not according their definition of undefined rights, is a form of McCarthyism tactic.

Unconstitutional is a word with very specific and proscribed meaning, not defined by individuals, but, by the Constitution itself and the Courts, set out by the Constitution as the final decider as to what is, and is not, Constitutional in a contest over the issue.

It is of far greater importance than semantics, Rhinehold. As I pointed out, when people like GW Bush claim Congressional oversight is an unconstitutional abridgment of the non-existent unitary executive interpretation of the powers of the executive, a grave danger to America and her citizens results.

When Bush claimed executive authority to circumvent judicial oversight by the FISA courts, he attacked the definitions of the Constitution wording itself, trying to make the Constitution bend to his will and do his bidding, instead of the other way around as was intended by the founding fathers and in the carefully selected language they used.

Unenumerated rights are undefined rights. And the Constitution is very clear as to how those rights may become defined, through the checks and balances of the 3 branches of government, with all such definitions originating either in the people’s house (democratic majority rule) or the Courts, protectors of the Constitution and minority rights.

It is not an either, or, kind of thing. This Constitution of ours is not for 5th graders to understand or even high school or many college graduates. This Constitution is genius, and complex, and easily misinterpreted, which is why we have so incredibly many lawyers servicing the interface between the uneducated public regarding law, and the makers and enforcers of it.

It is difficult for many Americans, if not most, to grasp that fact, that undefined rights are left by the Constitution to be defined both by the people (Congress), and the awesome power of the Supreme Court Justices. To many these seems contradictory. But, the fact is, it was genius. Just as most folks can recite E=MC2, few can tell you what it means in practical application. The same is true of our Constitution. Folks can recite it. But, few can follow the conversation of the Supreme Court Justices and the advocates presenting a case before them for review.

I forget who and the exact quote, but one of our founding elders said something to the effect that: ‘Here it is, a free democratic republic, if the people can hold onto it’. Very prophetic warning to future generations, with so many trying so hard to redefine what “free” means, what “democratic” means, and what “republic” means, for their own self-centered purposes.

It was a “natural right” of whites to own slaves at one time by virtue of their having defined Africans as not humans. As “natural” as owning cattle or sheep, at one time. History was full of examples of slavery as being in the natural order of things. So much for natural rights.

Posted by: David R. Remer at September 24, 2007 11:18 PM
Comment #234224

Ok Daivd, from reading all of your posts, I am gathering, of my own volition, that you hate freedom. Simple enough… now I can move on.

Posted by: Doug Langworthy at September 25, 2007 12:09 AM
Comment #234228

Thank you, Doug. For moving on. Sorry you couldn’t debate this topic without getting defensive, making outrageous and unsupported accusations as your only defense, as in: “I am gathering, of my own volition, that you hate freedom.”

Thank for the concession.

Posted by: David R. Remer at September 25, 2007 12:23 AM
Post a comment