Leftists and conservatives will all argue that they support the freedom to live their lives as they choose. Like anything else in life, the devil is in the details and when you probe further you find a fundamental difference in what is defined as freedom. In a recent blog post discussing the difference between the Tea Party movement versus Occupy Wall Street, Flopping Aces’ guest writer johngalt gave an excellent summary:
“I believe that the two differing groups have vastly different ideas on how freedom and liberty are achieved, and, in essence, who has the responsibility for making a person’s freedom and liberty a reality.”
(Addressing the demands of the OWS) “These “demands” all have one thing in common. That is, the removal of responsibility to individuals over their own lives. Even the requests for spending money on “ecological restoration” removes their own responsibility over the environment they can affect, dumping it on someone else. To put it quite simply, in order to attain what the OWS movement sees as freedom and liberty, their demands only “liberate” themselves from personal responsibility.”
And after summing up core Tea Party principles – “The TEA party groups universally espouse Personal Responsibility over one’s own life. Which means, that when a TEA party member starts to talk about freedom and liberty, they are not talking about imposing upon another person to provide for that freedom and liberty, but rather, that each person take their own responsibility over their lives.”
That sums up the philosophies nicely, and I can break it down into even simpler terms. If an act involves the freedom to insert something into your body or somebody else’s for pleasure, the leftist will choose the option that offers greater freedom. Freedoms that entail responsibility for one’s actions will fall onto the side of the conservative.
There is one exception I can see to this that does not fall squarely into either camp, and I want to briefly examine it before we go any further. I am, of course, talking about gay marriage. On the surface, this looks like a no brainer that conservatives seek to restrict the freedom of consenting adults. When you dig deeper though, there is more to it. A good portion of conservatives (including your author) actually favor civil unions (43% conservative GOP, 59% Mod/Lib GOP, 54% Cons/Mod Dems). It is ridiculous that two consenting adults who love each other shouldn’t be able to enjoy all of the legal benefits that their hetero counterparts do simply because their brains are wired to be attracted to the same gender. Where the line gets drawn is with marriage because marriage itself has a deep meaning within their religion. If you think that sex is no different than race look no further than my analogy regarding gays in the military. The other issue that conservatives have is that it also leads to the state using it to impose its will on its citizens. It’s not homophobic to think that Kindergarten is too young to start teaching children about sex or that forcing the church out of the adoption business is a good idea. This topic warrants its own post, but I needed to discuss it before going any further.
Back to the original point, what are the topics where the leftists will favor greater personal freedom over the right? Simply put, any involving sex, drugs, or alcohol. This is not to say that granting such individual freedoms would be a bad thing. Reforming our drug laws will get quite a few people out of prison and reduce a slew of law enforcement costs, not to mention allowing society to focus treatment on addicts rather than punishment. Are there negative sides to this? Absolutely. The same with sex – there is no reason why the government should interfere in personal relationships provided they do not cause harm to others. Unfortunately, the left never knows when to stop, and suddenly it is a right to have someone else pay for your contraceptives, morning after abortifacients and sterilization services. What the left fails to realize is that having access to something does not constitute the right to have it paid for by someone else. Again, conservatives will for the most part support a woman’s right to access to these services, but draw the line when suddenly the First Amendment to the Constitution is trumped by your need for pleasure. And there are also legitimate medical reasons for these services – some women take the pill to help fight conditions they may have or may need a hysterectomy, and few conservatives will oppose these. They just don’t want to be forced to pay for your weekend romp.
Now look at the other side, and where conservatives desire freedom. Theirs are the ones that our president laments as “negative freedoms:”
- Freedom to defend yourself and your family
- Freedom to not have the state impose on your religious beliefs
- Freedom to choose where your children go to school
- Freedom to decide how your retirement is funded
- Freedom to make the choices over your personal health care
In each one of these the conservative seeks freedom from the state to make choices over the major decisions over their lives, where those of the left focus on their pursuit of pleasure. One wants the freedom to live and grow and take responsibility for one’s life, where the other only looks at short term happiness. Also ironic that for all that leftists claim to love freedom, in each of the bullet points above the leftist happily surrenders his freedom to the state in return for absolution from responsibility for his actions. The conservative freedoms also come with great responsibility, and they not only willingly accept them, but vehemently fight for the freedom to fail.
The leftists can argue that each of those negative freedoms cuts both ways:
- Gun control will protect you and your family from gun-wielding criminals
- The church has no business being granted any kind of exemption from laws of the land that the rest of the citizens live under.
- What is to stop people from using vouchers to send their children to poorly run schools, or to use the extreme example, a school whose teachings are based on White Supremacy?
- What happens to the person who put their entire 401(k) into Enron stock?
- What recourse does a citizen have against an insurance company that rejects their expensive health care claim or they exceed their cap and are forced into bankruptcy over a medical condition?
These are valid questions, and any one of them is worthy of its own post debating the various arguments. But back to my main point, in each of the leftist arguments you are entrusting the state to make the best decision over your life in dealing with these issues. Each one of these issues can be answered with individual freedom and free markets. At the end of the day, it comes down to one simple question: Who do you most trust to make the most important decisions over your life – you, or the state? I know where I stand – where do you?
Crossposted from Brother Bobs Blog
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The idea that this controversy is about contraception is just a bunch of left-wing wacho MSM garbage!! Come on folks let’s get a grip!! This is about 0-bama once again craping on the Constitution of the United States!! Let’s focus on that first.
And then Jesus came upon his disciples and said, “What’s this shit I’ve been hearing about a human sacrifice for your sins!!!?? Who in the goddamned hell came up with that Neanderthal bullshit!!!!?? What are we, living in the fucking Stone Age!!!!? Blood sacrifice!!!!!!!!!!?? Listen, you can take that sickening, disgusting, vile, evil, sadistic, asinine pile of Stone Age donkey shit and shove it straight up your Cro-Magnon asses!!!”–Jesus Christ, the Lost Gospel
And then Jesus said, “And in order get married in this country you first go to a government office and get a government document. So I don’t give a flying fuck about your religious meaning of marriage. And you can shove your “civil unions” up your ass. That’s not equality, dumbass.”–Jesus, from up in the sky
Amen Brother Bob. Well done.
The odd thing about this, if it were to become enforced, is that the LEFT would be the cause of all the American people’s birth control habits and ailments becoming part of the government files.
Can you imagine?
You want to ask out a receptionist.
You look up her background sex habits and find out she has herpes.
Or you find out she’s been on the pill since age 13.
STILL want a date?
Maybe, but not to lead to marriage.
Think that’s going to help or hurt this country?
And….if YOU can’t look this stuff up, you have to know there are plenty of guys who can and will.
They each have a leg up on you in finding a good life partner.
Not only would I debate that certain people are “hard wired” to be attracted to the same gender, which would require some scientific data to uphold that philosophy, but I would be curious to know exactly what “rights” gay couples are denied outside of filing joint income taxes and receiving Social Security benefits. Because, frankly, anything else can be acheived through simple legal documents that are often required of even heterosexual couples due to state laws (states that do not have community property laws, for one example.)
Also, it is important to take a look at where the gay “movement” actually started, who started it and why, and what the progression has been. A quick perusal of the progress of the gay movement will show that it has morphed from one of simple rights to privacy to the normalization of something that is in direct conflict with the biological process of continuation of the species.
One cannot legitimately discuss the gay “movement” without discussing Gramsci or Lukacs, the Frankfort School and “cultural” Marxism or the connection between the gay movement and the destruction of the Church (any Christian faith), for they, historically, go hand in hand.
Like gun control, an important factor to any socialist movement, is not about reducing crime. It is forcing those who believe that they have a right to self protection and accept that with that right comes responsibilities, and that those who oppose the 2nd Amendment are simply trying to force their belief system on another group. Not only do those anti-2nd Amendment proponents not want to personally own a weapon, they want to force others to give up theirs. This is the same philosophy behind the gay movement, the feminist movement, the athiest movement.
Gramsci, and his supporter, Lukacs, understood that Marxism could not be achieved through violent revolution if there remained a moral, and religious, people standing in their way. People who owe their loyalities to a higher power, or to a moral society, are not going to be useful idiots who, in search of a way of life that has meaning, are willing to give their loyality to the government above all things. Gramsci understood that social norms had to be destroyed in order to make Marxism the social norm. And this could be acheived through the use of special/one interest groups all acting in conjunction.
To understand the direction that the American society is now taking, you also have to point to the infiltration of our tony universities (UCLA, Columbia, Harvard) by the Frankfort School Marxists who feld Nazi Germany to the U.S. You have to point out to their influence on academia, and future teachers, by accepting academic positions. Saul Alinsky subscribed to Gramsci/Lukacs while William Ayers was a true Marxist revolutionary thru violence.
Now, I point out all of this for one reason: that there is never an end goal for the left. They will pick a target (the Catholic Church), freeze it, personalize it with the goal of eliminating the influence held by the Church. The Catholic Church simply represents only one hurdle to be eliminated in the goal for true Marxism, just as homosexuality represents a hurdle that must be removed.
The true difference in the two fractions (the TEA Party vs. OWS) is that conservatives are basically one voice whereas the left is many voices, each shouting for their own single issue, combined to operate like the spokes of a wheel, each independent from the other, but all with the same goal of supporting the rim.
@ Dickel: Drinking and commenting is never a good idea.
@NanG: Good point. I was starting to go into that here but it would have made the post too long. I’ll be covering that in a follow up post.
@retire05: We’ll have to agree to disagree on your question about choosing sexual orientation, and overall you made some great points in your comment.
“And there are also legitimate medical reasons for these services – some women take the pill to help fight conditions they may have or may need a hysterectomy…”
Another leftist faux argument. Other than for birth control, there is really no necessary medical reason for a women to take “the pill.” It is basically a combination of estrogen and a progestin. Both can be prescribed by a doctor for any of the maladies that are being put forth as making the birth control pill a mandated necessity for women. And surprise, surprise, hormone therapy is almost always covered by health insurance.
@Kira: I could have stated my point better. I was trying to say that if being used as an equivalent hormone therapy the pill would still be covered – thanks for the correction.
@Brother Bob: Thanks. I just keep seeing that argument put forth by the “give me brigade” in threads all over the intertubes and have yet to see it rebutted. It is a false argument and we cannot let it become a common accepted given. For too long, we have allowed the left to set the givens; no more! They are the power now and it is our turn to speak truth to power!! 😉
Brother Bob, there is nothing to agree to disagree on. Either there is scientific evidence that the brain’s of gays are “hard wired” to function that way, or there is not. If there is any credible scientific evidence that supports your view, I am more than willing, ready and able to read those studies if given the links.
There have been a few studies that try to hypothesize a brain anomaly in gay men, but it could not be shown in gay women, so the whole study went down the drain. And in order for an anomoly to be “hard wired” it would have to be present in a major portion of homosexuals.