Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Will anyone talk about rights?

Sometimes Hubby and I venture into political talk. He despises all things McCain. And I loathe everything (except his eloquence) about Obama. Actually, I don't care for either of them, but I don't have intense animosity towards McCain the way Hubby does.

I've been trying (with out much success) in articulating why I think they are different flavors of a bad ice cream. I continue to struggle to speak convincingly about my convictions. And frankly, I don't have the time right now to be "up" on all the latest politics.

I came across an article by Steve Chapman in the Chicago Tribune a few days ago which expressed a lot of what I'm thinking these days. Here's a snippet:

The Founding Fathers set out to protect "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness," but Barack Obama has a different idea.
The "essence of America's promise," he declared in Denver, is "individual responsibility and mutual responsibility"—rather than, say, individual freedom and mutual respect for rights. The "promise of America," he said, is "the fundamental belief that I am my brother's keeper; I am my sister's keeper."

In reality, that fundamental belief is what you might call the promise of socialism. What has set this country apart since its inception is not the notion of obligations but the notion of rights.

"All previous systems had regarded man as a sacrificial means to the ends of others, and society as an end in itself," wrote the novelist and philosopher Ayn Rand. "The United States regarded man as an end in himself, and society as a means to the peaceful, orderly, voluntary co-existence of individuals."
Good old Ayn Rand. Couldn't stand her novels. But what a thinker!

The article also picks on McCain for his emphasis on nationalism (in case you were worried about fairness).

If we make being "your brother's keeper" a principle of government - how will it be enforced? How do you make people take care of other people? Through force. Through taxes. That's why I can't stand Obama.


Beth said...

Hi Sue,

I see you liked Chapman's editorial. Be sure to check out my post The Missing Ingredient on Wealth is not the Problem. It tackles the same issue from a slightly different angle.