Yesterday Rush Limbaugh had a great monologue on the notion of rights in America and how today everything seems to be a right. Here is an excerpt from it:
RUSH: This might be a wise, opportune time to revisit something. This whole notion of rights. ‘Cause people do run around, “I got my rights! You can’t take it away from me! I got my rights,” and it has boomeranged. It has exploded, and everybody — well, a lot of people — has a misunderstanding of what is a right. How would you define it. If somebody came up to you and said, “I’m confused. I don’t know what a right is.” How many of you would say, “Well, it’s something the government allows you to do”? If you did say that, you couldn’t be more wrong. A right… Remember, now, especially by virtue of our Declaration of Independence: “We are all endowed by our Creator with certain unalienable rights; among them, life, liberality, and the pursuit of happiness.”
Those three things are enumerated in our Declaration. Those three rights encompass so much. Pursuit of happiness. Right to life. Liberty. There’s a lot there. Those are things. Those are things that cannot be taken away from you. A right is something that no man can take away from you — and if someone tries, then you are being violated. Now, the US Constitution, this is an opportune time to remind you again in the Obama administration view of it, and he himself has said this. He has a guy in his orb by the name of Cass Sunstein, and Cass Sunstein and others have led the intellectual thinking that the Constitution really is nothing more than negative liberties. Negative liberties. The Bill of Rights. Well, what’s in the Bill of Rights?
Well, freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom to associate.
Where’s the negative here? Well, that’s tricky. They don’t look at the Constitution the way you do. They look at the Constitution as an obstacle. They look at the Constitution from the prism of being in power. They look at the Constitution as “negative” because the Constitution tells people in power what they cannot do. They cannot stop us from practicing religion. They cannot stop us from speaking, particularly political speech. They cannot stop us from free association. And that’s what they don’t like. That’s why they call it “negative liberties.” That’s why FDR said, “Let’s have a new Bill of Rights! We want to spell out positive Bill of Rights from the standpoint of what government can do” they say “for” you, but it really means “to” you.
So when you have people like leftists, liberals, Obama, Constitution is an obstacle. They want you to believe that rights come from them, that Obamacare grants you certain rights (that, by the way, the Republicans want to deny you). That’s the way it works. And what are these rights? Do you have “the right to affordable health care”? Think about it. Do you have the right to affordable health care? Well, naturally, you don’t. But how many Americans believe they do? This is where this law has been found unconstitutional. The government has mandated that everybody have health insurance — and if they don’t, that they pay a penalty. The Constitution is clear. It’s in the commerce clause of the Bill of Rights.
You cannot do this. The government cannot require that everybody have something, and by the same token they cannot require that we don’t do something! They cannot mandate it. States can (auto insurance, all that) but the federal government can’t. There’s a reason it’s set up this way. It’s to keep the federal government from becoming omnipotent and omnivorous and so big and powerful that you can’t escape them. Now, you might like the idea that affordable health care is a right. But somebody then’s gonna have to do define affordable. Who gets to define that? Is affordable you only have to pay a hundred bucks a month for it or affordable means, “whatever you can pay, you get the same thing that everybody else gets no matter how much they can pay”?
How do you define this? There is no such thing as a “right,” not only to affordable health care, there’s no right to health care, period. Just as there is no right to a house. Just as there is no right to a car. You were not created… Tell Thomas Jefferson he had a right to a car but he never got one. They didn’t exist. This is not what people had in mind. This is not what rights are. Rights are not wants. Rights are not desires. Rights involve basic humanity, the way that we are created and the way our humanity must be respected by others. Now, as we all know, throughout the history of the world, human rights have been violated left and right. You want some names?
Fidel Castro. Hugo Chavez. Hu Jintao. Mao Tse-tung. Joseph Stalin. Adolf Hitler. Vladimir Lenin. Mikhail Gorbachev. Idi Amin Dada. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Any mullah, any Islamist cleric is violating human rights somewhere along the line. Militant Islamists. You know, not mainstream. You know what I mean here. The point is that people who want to deny you your human rights are all over the place. The whole concept of American exceptionalism has been that that hasn’t been the case here. The history of human existence is one of bondage, torture, prisons, poverty, injustice. Throughout human existence that has been the lot of most people. That has been the way they lived.
But not here.
For the first time ever in human existence, the United States Constitution and Declaration of Independence, our founding documents, create a country where America is an exception to the way human beings have been treated throughout history. It’s not that we’re better than anybody. It’s not that we have better DNA. It’s not that we’re smarter; it’s not that we’re chosen. It’s none of that. That’s not what exceptionalism means. We’re the exception to the rule is one way of looking at it. Some of us believe we are exceptional people. To the extent that we are it’s only because we’ve had more freedom than anybody else has had to realize goals, ambitions to whatever degree of effort we want to apply.
It’s been up to us. So you don’t have all kinds of rights that Congress or the Senate or the president bestows upon you. There is no president, there is no human being that can proclaim a “right” to affordable health care. I mean, Obama has done it. Does it exist? Will it ever? It’s impossible. They mandate everybody have an insurance policy. If you don’t, you pay a fine. (clapping) “Yes, that’s right, Mr. Limbaugh! That will lower prices for everybody by increasing the numbers of people in the pool!” Right, okay. We’re gonna mandate every one of you New Castrati people have a gun.
“It’s not the same thing, Mr. Limbaugh!”
“Because guns kill!”
That doesn’t matter. I have the power as the federal government. You can make me go buy an insurance policy or put me in jail or fine me if I don’t, right? I’m gonna pass a law and I’m gonna tell you you have to have a gun.
“On what premise, Mr. Limbaugh?”
To reduce crime.
That’s right, Mr. New Castrati. Take a look: The cities that have the strictest gun control laws have the highest crime rates.
“Such as, Mr. Limbaugh? What are you speaking about?”
Washington, DC, your golden orchard. New York City. Wherever you look. The point is, this is irrelevant because a federal judge named Vinson in Pensacola has said that the government does not have, within the powers of the Constitution, to require every citizen have health insurance. So I could not pass a law, constitutionally, requiring you New Castrati people and everybody else to have a gun. The difference is, when I’m told that, I say, “Okay, fine. Can’t do it.” They’ve just been told that their health care law is unconstitutional. Their reaction is, “Screw it. We’re gonna keep on.” That’s a violation of your rights, if you want to get down to the nit. In our country, ignore the Constitution, ignoring the law, your rights are being violated like you can’t believe, under the guise, under the guise of affordable health care for all as a right. You are being bamboozled.
The rest of the transcript can be viewed here. He made great points but I think he could have gone farther. With all these so-called “rights” the liberals are trying to create these days, they ignore one fact. This fact is that to secure these “rights,” they need to violate the rights of millions of other people. They would take my money to secure these “rights.” They would limit my freedom to secure these “rights.” When will they realize that in order to secure these “rights” they are ignoring the true, God-given rights of others? I doubt they ever will. Liberals never look at the consequences of their actions. They just destroy and move on, continuing their path of dividing people instead of bringing them together while making them more and more dependent on government. By expanding this government, they do more to destroy rights than securing them.
Simply put: True rights do not come at the expense of the rights of others. When you talk about someone’s rights to Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness, they do not force someone else to give up their own to secure them. To provide the “right” of healthcare or any of the other million social programs liberals push does. They take my money which I earned and give to those who did not earn it. I’ll gladly give to charity and help out those in need, but I don’t want to have my money stolen from me to do so. And by having government involved, you now have to pay for some bureaucrat to administer the transfer of wealth and that siphons off a lot of the money they take, ensuring those who truly need help don’t get all the help they need. So much for compassion.