A few weeks ago, President Obama made headlines with his “flexibility” comment to President Medvedev of Russia, claiming that he would have more freedom to “get things done” after he is reelected in November. Well, that is if the election goes according to his plan. While “flexibility” is now synonymous with the arrogance shown by our Commander-in-Chief in Russia, I believe that there is a different sort of “flexibility” we should be worried about, a kind perhaps even graver than what Obama said to Medvedev.
Rather, liberals tend to be more “flexible” on their definition of “rights,” than those on the right, putting our personal liberties at stake. It’s clear that conservatives and liberals have different conceptions of “rights.” Conservatives tend to adhere to the natural law conception that rights are either given by God or inherent in all humans. Either way, they are unalienable and irrevocable. This tethers the rights to a stable foundation. How can anyone take something away that has been so deeply ingrained into humanity? This gives us a sense of security in our rights and protects against the selfish passions which prey upon people in power.
The liberal conception of rights, however, tends to be one of “flexibility.” It seems like every week, they are “creating” a new right. Congratulations America, you now have the “right” to healthcare, housing, proper food, etc. Yet, where do these rights come from? Often they are simply the product of political opportunism. Thus, they are not tethered to anything solid and can be easily revoked. Laws protect rights and should be solid. We must be able to have faith in our legal system. Without this common sense of adherence to law, the legal system is inefficient.
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