The statement of vision defining American values appears in the Declaration of Independence. Understanding that vision is where I think the most fundamental conservative versus liberal divide exists.
Consider how President Obama relates to the Constitution, as he wrote in his book The Audacity of Hope – “Implicit in its structure, in the very idea of ordered liberty, was a rejection of absolute truth….”
Our president is a moral relativist. So we may expect that he doesn’t take very seriously the idea, as state in the Declaration of Independence, that there are absolutes. That we have God given rights that precede government and that the job of government is to secure them.
Rather than seeing government’s job as securing our rights, the liberal sees it to invent them. The politician – or the empathetic judge – defines what is moral and just.
There’s a lot of speculation about what is driving the tea party movement and why, as reflected in the latest survey by the Pew Research Foundation, Americans’ trust in government is at an all time low. I think most fundamentally it’s discomfort with this moral relativism that is driving the pervasive unrest.
The whole unique idea of American government – the idea of human liberty – was that there are absolute truths and that individual citizens can and must be protected from arbitrary rulers – whether it is a king or a political class with arbitrary powers.
President Obama said the other day regarding the kind of court nominee he will seek, “…I want somebody who is going to be interpreting our Constitution in a way that takes into account individual rights…”
What in the world can this possibly mean from our president who has just signed into law a health care bill which will force every single American citizen to buy a government defined health care insurance policy? A health care bill that opens the door to unprecedented government control over how private individuals manage their health care and the most private decisions they make over their own lives.
Or what can it possibly mean coming from our president who opposed the Supreme Court’s decision a few years ago banning partial birth abortion – which is pure and simple torture and murder of a live infant?
The real differences over liberal and conservative judges is most fundamentally about the world in which Americans will live. Whether we live and will live in a nation in which there are absolute truths or one in which we are at the hands of political arbitrariness in which our lives and property are up for grabs.
Our country is being governed today by those with the latter view of the world and, fortunately, more and more Americans are deeply concerned.
Posted by John Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.). For a daily critique of Leftist activities, see DISSECTING LEFTISM. To keep up with attacks on free speech see TONGUE-TIED. Also, don't forget your daily roundup of pro-environment but anti-Greenie news and commentary at GREENIE WATCH . Email me here