Do Progressives Know What Rights Are?

Blog Post - Do Progressives Know What Rights Are?

One of the pervasive trends of American progressivism is to refer to everything that they support as a "right". Listen to any progressive talk about politics for more than 5 minutes and you will hear about these "rights". From college education to healthcare, to a "living wage", marriage, abortion and everything in between, the list of "rights" is virtually limitless.

Progressives give very little justification for these things being rights, and have even more trouble explaining where or how these things became rights and where they come from. Indeed, it appears the only criteria that need be met to declare something a right is that the progressive feels as though it ought to be, as if that is enough to actually make it so.

With so little criteria or justification to be met, literally anything you can dream up could be considered a right. I like tacos, therefor I feel tacos are a right. Disagree with me? Why is it you don't support people being able to eat tacos?

Of course, just guaranteeing the freedom of everyone to consume tacos if they so choose to do so is not enough for the progressive. What they really mean is that the tacos for their consumption must be provided to them free of charge, lest someone not be able to afford tacos. It is a tragedy that some people eat at authentic Mexican eateries while some of us are left with Taco Bell. Not only is the freedom to consume tacos a right, but my taco consumption must also be subsidized by taxing anyone who makes more than me their "fair share", until everyone is eating tacos provided to us by the state at a lower quality than the tacos we were eating before.

Admittedly, this is a trivial example, although deliberately trivial. When anything can be made into a right because you feel as though it ought to be, something as trivial as tacos can become a right.

What caps off this insanity is that these same people have such little respect for rights that are actually recognized by law and enshrined in the Bill of Rights. Progressives think we should just do away with these in haste, if even by executive decree, ignoring the rule of law in the process. What is lost on progressives is that without the fundamental law of the land, neither the rights we have fought so hard to achieve and defend, nor the so called "rights" favored by the progressive have any leg with which to stand. If the right to bear arms can be stricken from law by executive decree, so too can the "right" to a free education when the next executive assumes office.

It is this fundamental misunderstanding of what rights are that will never allow the progressive worldview to thrive and survive. There is no such thing as utopia, only an imperfect world full of imperfect people following their own rational self interest.

Comment list

  • Argo Bell
    28-Jul-2016 10:30 AM

    Well said. And for every new right given, there is often one taken away. For example if we give everyone tax payer subsidized tacos, we have to pay for that right by taking money away from the taxpayers. Meaning the taxpayers no longer have the right to use that money on anything else.

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