Monday, February 9, 2015

Rights versus Privileges

Rights are things that you are born with. You do not get rights from the government. You get rights from birth. The only impact the government can have on rights is that the government can take rights away from you.

Every human is born with the same rights. We are all born with the right to speak, the right to defend ourselves, the right to arm ourselves, the right to a fair trial among our peers, a right to practice religion, etc. These are things we are born with.

This is what makes the U.S. Constitution unique, and one of the reasons it's the longest lasting Constitution, is because the founding fathers understood that rights are things we are born with. The Constitution was written as such that it would prevent the government from taking any action to take away these rights.

When the government gives you something, it's not a right, it's a privilege. For example, you have the privilege of driving a car, and handicap people have the privilege of ramps and larger bathrooms and such.  

In other words, a handicapped person has the natural right to speak out against the president.  He does not, however, have a natural right to use a ramp.  If he has a ramp this is not a right but a privilege.

When you hear a politician say he is fighting for handicap rights, you have proof of his ignorance. What he really meant to say was that he is for handicap privileges. This is true because handicapped Americans have the same rights as non-handicapped Americans.

You often hear about Gay rights and racial rights and so forth. The same principle applies here. Every human being in America has the same rights, and it doesn't matter what creed, color, race or sexual orientation. We are all equal and we should all be treated with equal respect.

Again, the U.S. Constitution understood this, and it portends to protect us from each other. The founders understood that my rights stop where your rights begin. In this sense, the U.S. constitution protects us from each other, not from ourselves.

Thus, the government does not have a right to tell you what you can eat, or what you have to buy (which is why people have a problem with Obamacare), or where you can live. You are born with a right to live as you wish, and the U.S. Constitution must protect this right. That is, so long as you're not infringing on someone else's right to live as he wishes.

You have a right to scream as loud as you want. Yet this right stops when you are infringing on your neighbor right to piece and quiet at night. You have a right to drive at any speed you want in your car, yet this right stops when your driving puts other people at risk.

So common sense applies. Put simply:
  • Rights: Things you are born with
  • Privilege: Things given to you by the government 
The next time someone says something like, "I'm fighting for the rights of union workers." You will know that union workers have the same rights as you and me. If anything, he's fighting for the privileges of union workers.

In this way, politicians twist words in order to make things sound better than they actually are. Rights are rights, and privileges are often treated by some to be rights when they are, well, just privileges.