Monday, July 06, 2015

Be Wary of Dignity in Constitutional Rhetoric

Over at Instapundit, Elizabeth Price-Foley highlights (link broken, sorry) Jonathan Turley's article about the creeping progressive project of a Constitutional "right to dignity" that SCOTUS Justice Kennedy seems to be a big mover thereof.

Naturally, EPF points out that the Left pines desperately for such an amorphous concept to be enshrined in our constitutional framework, so that they can define this hard-define-concept any way they want.  All fine, but the right to dignity is not an end in itself, it is but one flavor of positive rights that the Left wants to foist on us, because they hate the negative rights basis of our constitutional framework.

And I've talked about the positive rights thing before...
The reason is simple: negative rights don't cost money, positive rights cost money.  It doesn't cost you or me any tangible resources to allow our fellow citizens to speak their mind, worship their god or live unmolested in their home.  But when you have a positive right to a home or to food, that has to be paid for with actual money.  Who pays for that?  We do.  The government has no money of its own, it can only tax or borrow...or confiscate.  So, we wind up paying, always.  Someone has to have a home, because it is their right, so we have to pay for it.  What is yours - your money, your property, your business - becomes secondary because people have rights to things and these things cost money.  Standing up to confiscation in any form - excessive taxation, trampling of creditor rights (see Chrysler bailout) or outright confiscation - is recast as denying your fellow citizens' rights.  Now what it is yours is no longer yours.  Someone else has a right to what is yours.  "Taking" is now not only not taboo, not merely virtuous, it is imperative.


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