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.
Often the “rights” created by liberal politicians are “feel good” rights designed to blind Americans from the rights that they are really eliminating. For example, personhood laws have made headlines in recent weeks as a growing number of states are attempting to declare once and for all that life begins at conception. While supporters of this law are merely trying to protect an unborn child’s right to life (which is in the Declaration of Independence, by the way), liberals are claiming that they are violating women’s “Reproductive Rights.” Sure, women in this country have the right to liberty which allows them to have as many children as they want. However, rights such as the new “reproductive rights” cannot come at expense of other rights, such as the right to life. By using this label, liberals are merely covering up for the fact that they are violating the unborn child’s right to life. Talk about cowardice. Too bad so many people fall for this stunt and actually believe in the “War on Women.” Excuse me, I’m a woman and I feel no such thing. However, as a conservative Christian, I do feel at battle everyday for espousing beliefs that supposedly “violate” the man-made “rights” of the left.
The left has expertly created many “rights” at the expense of others. We have the “right” to health care at the expense of freedom and the free market itself. We have the “right” to contraception apparently. Forget, however, that forcing Catholic and Christian institutions to provide contraception violates their freedom of religious expression. These liberal “rights” are merely tools to revoke our inherent rights and make leftists feel better about their efforts to slowly break down our free society.
Rights are stable because they are inherent and unalienable. When you “create” right after right, our legal system is constantly fluctuating and it’s hard to rely on a system without a solid foundation. The liberal “creation” of rights is dangerous to the security of our inalienable rights. Just because you create a right to make yourself feel better doesn’t mean it’s a good thing. Just because you call something a right doesn’t mean it’s a right. We shouldn’t be so flexible with our inalienable rights and freedoms.