As I was talking with Semperfortis last night during the ATS Live!!! radio show, he mentioned how important it is that we vote in the presidential
election - if nothing else, because the president is the one who appoints the Supreme Court Justices and they are ultimately the ones who make
decisions about our rights, liberties and privileges as cases are brought to them.
I completely agree. The Supreme Court sets precedents that will decide future cases regarding our rights, liberties and privileges.
Semper seemed to be of the opinion (correct me if I'm wrong) that liberal justices are the more 'dangerous' ones because they have an interest in
restricting our rights. This seems to be a common viewpoint, even among liberals, and I'd like to explore the validity of that claim.
My position is that conservatives are also interested in restricting our rights, liberties and privileges, just different ones than those the liberals
want to restrict.
This is a VERY GENERAL and short outline, just to show what I'm thinking and would like to discuss. Keep in mind, I'm talking about the general
public and the government. Following are some general ideas that I would like to flesh out and get your input on.
Liberals want to restrict or limit:
Our right to own firearms
Free speech (hate speech laws, fairness doctrine)
Hiring practices (anti-discrimination laws)
Personal consumption (FDA limiting salt, etc)
Free choice (driving a gas hog)
Conservatives want to restrict or limit:
Free speech (TSA protests, military funeral protests)
Woman's right to govern her body (abortion)
Equal protection under secular laws (marriage and military service for gays)
Equal protection of religious expression (for non-Christians)
Right to trial and due process (terror suspects)
Choice (recreational drug use, abortion)
As regards the Bill of Rights here are some VERY GENERAL examples of constitutionally-protected rights that each ideology, liberal and conservative,
would like to restrict:
Bill of Rights
1st Amendment - Speech, Religion - Both
Liberals want to restrict "hate speech" and religious expression (mostly of Christians)
Conservatives want to restrict freedom of (non-Christian) religious expression
2nd Amendment - Firearm Ownership - Liberals
Liberals want to restrict firearm ownership
3rd Amendment - Quartering of Troops - NA
4th Amendment - Search and Seizure - Both
Patriot Act is supported by both
5th Amendment - Due Process - Conservatives
Conservatives want to limit due process for terror suspects
6th Amendment - Jury Trial - Conservatives
Conservatives want to limit jury trial for terror suspects
7th Amendment - Common Law Suits - NA
8th Amendment - Cruel and Unusual Punishment - Conservatives
Conservatives support torture of terror suspects
9th Amendment - Non-enumerated rights - Both
Conservatives don't want gays in the military or married
Liberals want to legislate what we consume (salt in processed foods)
10th Amendment - States' rights - Both
Liberals don't want Arizona's 'show your papers' law
Conservatives don't want 'Death with Dignity' laws
I think we can all (or most of us) agree that total
unrestricted liberties (anarchy) would not work in a dense, complex society such as ours.
Some of our individual liberties must be restricted to assure that we can all live together reasonably peacefully. But I don't think one ideology or
the other is fully responsible for wanting to restrict them. Each side wants to restrict different rights and each side has what seem like very good
reasons that THEIR restrictions are good for the society as a whole.
All of this goes to what many here on ATS are discovering: Not only are both parties "the same". One ideology is just as dangerous to our freedoms
as the other is. Liberals and Conservatives, in their current form, are both dangerous to our way of life, our rights and our freedom.