Thoughts, essays, and writings on Liberty. Written by the heirs of Patrick Henry.

June 27, 2008

What are you REALLY voting for?

by Chris Byrne

Yesterday, the supreme court announced that the constitution actually means what it says, and that it’s OK if we want to exercise our pre-existing and fundamental rights… at least most of the time, presuming we follow the allowed restrictions…

Don’t get me wrong, I’m very happy about Heller, and I think it’s a better ruling than many would have you believe (not that it won’t require literally decades of litigation to resolve those issues)…

…My problem here is that there had to be a supreme court decision on this; not to determine how much the government could restrict a fundamental right, but whether that right even existed at all.

The even bigger problem I have with this, is that about 30% of the population have convinced themselves that it doesn’t; and that among that 30% are a strong minority of our national legislature (there are some pro gun democrats, and some anti-gun republicans), and a not insignificant minority of our state legislatures (about 15% of the state legislatures outright, and presumably anywhere from 15 to 30% of the legislators in the rest of the states).

Even a member of the supreme court, construed the very concept of the limitation of government so obscenely, that he was openly mocked by another; to wit:

“The majority would have us believe that over 200 years ago, the Framers made a choice to limit the tools available to elected officials wishing to regulate civilian uses of weapons.” – Associate Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens

YES, that is EXACTLY what the framers did; that is in fact the entire purpose of the second amendment, and the bill of rights as a whole;. and anyone who in any way does not understand that has no business being a citizen of this country, never mind being a supreme court justice.

Stevens is either a liar, a fool, or disingenuously dissembling to make a fundamental right into nothing more than a hindrance to government.. which is by far the worst interpretation of his actions, and unfortunately I think the correct one. It makes him both craven, and a clear enemy of the core principles of liberty and limited government.

… but 30% of the population agrees with him.

… and that frightens me.

Now, that wouldn’t really be an issue, except for one thing: That 30% controls one of the major political parties in this country.

Which also wouldn’t be TOO much of a problem, except for one other thing: That 30 percent also controls 4 members of the 9 member supreme court.

Yesterdays decision on Heller was 5-4 in favor of the idea that the government cannot abrogate our fundamental rights by force of law; except in certain strictly limited ways.

5-4…

There were four justices of the supreme court who voted against the very foundation of our limited government…. In fact against the very IDEA of any real limitation on government, as I see it.

And it’s not just about guns (though Silveira and Fincher are certainly illustrative), it’s also about Angel Raich, and Susette Kelo, and all the other decisions favoring government over the rights of the people.

Those four justices have been reliable votes against freedom, liberty, and limitation of government (they were frequently joined by Anthony Kennedy, and now retired Sandra Day O’Connor. I also don’t discount the fact that on occasion even the so called “conservative justices have also voted against liberty)

5-4…

So, at this point, there comes a decision.

In 2008, this country will choose our next president. We have two choices (yes, only two. Don’t try and pretend otherwise).

In addition to the veto pen, and the office of commander in chief; the next president is likely to select at least one, and possibly as many as three justices for the supreme court.

Barack Obama is one of the 30%, and unabashedly so.

John McCain is one of those people who have deluded themselves into thinking there is a balance to be struck between the rights of individuals, and government. He’s wrong, in some ways disastrously so (BCRA for example); but he isn’t actively promoting the position that individual rights are superseded by “governments rights” (which don’t exist).

Obviously, neither are good; but one is clearly worse.

More importantly though, is the realization that indeed we ARE in a two party game; and what that game really is.

One party is controlled by those utterly hostile to the notion of individual rights; the other is controlled by people who believe in individual rights but disregard them when it suits them.

One party is the 30%, the other isn’t.

For those of you who say “I don’t vote for the party I vote for the man”, or “Continuing to vote for the lesser of two evils is rewarding their bad behavior. We should teach them a lesson”…

Let me be blunt: Grow the hell up, wake the hell up, and get your head back into the real world where it belongs.

Let’s face it folks, we ARE in a two party system. No matter what the Libertarian party wants to believe about its own relevance (and nominating Bob Barr showed they really don’t care so long as they can get enough press to get 4% in the general and qualify for automatic ballot inclusion and matching funding) a vote for anyone other than John McCain is a vote for Barack Obama.

Welcome back to the real world folks; where there hasn’t been someone you could actually vote FOR (as opposed to voting against), since around 1817. All you can do now, is vote against the worse guy (or rather, the worse party).

Of course that’s “OK” because you don’t actually vote for the president, you’re voting for the party; and as much as we are not a parliamentary system and that should NOT be the case, it is.
The president himself has very little to do with how the country is run, except in crises. The party, who fill in all the blanks for appointees and bureaucrats, really chooses who runs things and how.

So, you can vote for the 30%, or you can vote for the other guy, but as the game is right now, there is no third choice.

I’ll take the other guy thank you.

I’m not saying I like it, or that you have to like it. I’m saying that’s how it is whether you like it or not, and deluding yourself into thinking otherwise is ridiculous and harmful.

So either play the game by the rules, don’t play the game, or change the rules.

Freedom is sexy, so share!Share on Facebook0Tweet about this on Twitter0Share on Google+0Share on Reddit0Digg thisShare on StumbleUpon0Share on LinkedIn0Pin on Pinterest0Email this to someone
TrackBack URI: http://www.thelibertypapers.org/2008/06/27/what-are-you-really-voting-for/trackback/
Read more posts from
• • •
  • http://www.eugeneunderground.blogspot.com Bob Mulroy

    Remember when Liberals were Americans too?:

    Certainly one of the chief guarantees of freedom under any government, no matter how popular and respected, is the right of citizens to keep and bear arms…. The right of citizens to bear arms is just one guarantee against arbitrary government, one more safeguard against the tyranny which now appears remote in America but which historically has proven to be always possible.

    Hubert H. Humphrey

  • tkc

    The choice of the lesser of two evils is hardly a choice at all.

    So I simply won’t make it. I’ll be staying home come election day.

  • http://www.orderhotlunch.com Jeff Molby

    I also don’t discount the fact that on occasion even the so called “conservative justices have also voted against liberty

    “on occasion”? Try “with equal regularity”. I shudder to think about what would happen to things like due process with a panel of law and order conservative justices.

    Yes, McCain is right on the 2nd ammendment, but he’s wrong on many (most?) of the others.

    I won’t be happy with any justice picked by either candidate, so….

    So either play the game by the rules, don’t play the game, or change the rules.

    …I’ll choose the last two options.

  • http://poppychop.net/ Nitroadict

    But…But… if you don’t play the game, the terrorists will win!

  • Matthew Lee

    And what about the children?

  • oilnwater

    i’d say buy guns and ammo now. go to shooting ranges and learn how to use the guns effectively on many different timed ranges. learn how to garden and farm if you have more than 1/2 acre of yard. buy water filters, buy gold. buy shipping and railroad. otherwise stay in cash and also buy a home safe. don’t rely on libertarian views or the kindness of your fellow man, but try and get your neighbors on a most friendly keel in a dumbed down way, without making them feel you are an alarmist.

  • Jonathan Myers

    I couldn’t have said it better myself.

    As a matter of fact, that’s (in so many words) exactly what I’m saying to as many people as I can.

    Just FYI to ‘TKC’…

    When the ‘lesser of two evils’ is the current underdog, not voting IS a vote for Sen. Obama.

    Other than that… ‘OilnWater’ has the right idea…

  • Ken H

    There’s no way I would vote for Senator McCain. I would vote for Senator Obama before I would vote for Senator McCain. I haven’t decided yet whether to vote for Bob Barr or Barack Obama and won’t until closer to time to vote.

  • Eric

    Care to explain why Ken? Just saying you won’t do something isn’t really helpful. You might have a good point, but we don’t know what it is.

  • http://www.thelibertypapers.org/author/tarran/ tarran

    Speaking for myself, I think McCain is dangerously unhinged. I am reminded of the Archduke Maximillian of Austria how once said that he would prefer to rule over a wasteland rather than rule over a country of heretics.

    When McCain’s policies go badly, he starts demonizing those whom he sees as saboteurs. The man has a serious anger management problem.

    If he were to win the presidency, McCain would be see his policies run up against the limits of governmental power. these limits would take the form of policies that failed due to non-cooperation or budgetary crises. And I think he would meet these limits to his power with force, demanding laws and regulations that would force people to do what he wanted to do.

    Obama, on the other hand, strikes me as someone who recognizes that to thrive, a parasite must not consume more than its host can sustain.

    Face it, the next persident of the United States will be someone who believes that the individual is of no importance in comparison with the existence of the nation, that the position of the individual is conditioned solely by the interests of the nation as a whole.

    Obama is more liekly to reconize the limits on his own power though. Ths, the case can be made that Obama will be less destructive than McCain. Furthermore, I think nothing would discredit the Democrats so thoroughly as reigning for 8 years with control of both the legislature and the presidency.

    8 years of unopposed rule has discredited the Republicans. Once the Democrats are similarly in disgrace, people will be far more receptive to the idea that activist government should be rejected.

  • Jonathan Myers

    “If he were to win the presidency, McCain would be see his policies run up against the limits of governmental power. these limits would take the form of policies that failed due to non-cooperation or budgetary crises. And I think he would meet these limits to his power with force, demanding laws and regulations that would force people to do what he wanted to do.

    Obama, on the other hand, strikes me as someone who recognizes that to thrive, a parasite must not consume more than its host can sustain.”
    -tarran

    Wow… I would love for you (tarran) to further explain this line of thought.

    Please keep in mind that Sen. Obama doesn’t have to make certain decisions himself. He simply has to appoint specific Supreme Court Justices…

  • http://thelibertypapers.org/ Brad Warbiany

    tarran,

    I agreed up until this point:

    8 years of unopposed rule has discredited the Republicans. Once the Democrats are similarly in disgrace, people will be far more receptive to the idea that activist government should be rejected.

    “The people” are in favor of activist government. When it fails to meet their ends, they think electing someone else to head it will solve the problem. You and I know that it won’t, but “the people” are notoriously unable to learn the lessons of history.

    When Obama and the Democrats don’t usher in the era of peace, harmony, and plenty that their supporters expect, “the people” will simply switch their allegiance to the next empty suit promising solutions he can’t provide.

  • http://www.thelibertypapers.org/author/tarran/ tarran

    Jonathan,

    Remember how he demonized NAFTA while sending aides to quietly tell his friends in the Canadian government that he didn’t really believe his protectionist rhetoric.

    Obama is a machine politician from Chicago. Now, the Chicago machine is pretty totalitarian. However, they are also adept in figuring out what lines they should not cross. That is why Chicage is still thriving despiute its heavy taxes and massive amounts of economic regulation.

    If he were from Detroit, a city that has been economically destroyed by its local political machine I would say something different about him.

    And Brad, I think that while the bulk of the people want activist government, we have the youth. The Internet is a wild place with few laws. Yet they use it every day. Based on their experiences, I think they will understand Hayek’s observations about order arising spontaneously from the bottom up. These people’s minds are fertile ground for classical liberal ideas.

    I honestly think that classical liberalism will be making a comeback in the coming generations. The tide of history has turned and time is on our side.

  • Pingback: …no third solution » Blog Archive » Comments on Comments #19

  • Ken H

    “Care to explain why Ken?”

    Eric, I believe that Senator McCain is a bonafide warmonger and is just itching to start a war with Iran. Two simultaneous wars are too many already.

Powered by: WordPress • Template by: Eric • Banner #1, #3, #4 by Stephen Macklin • Banner #2 by Mark RaynerXML