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George F. Will: Understanding our divisions: The source of liberty

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  • USUStudent Logan, UT
    April 17, 2014 12:31 a.m.

    The ironies of this argument. Isn't it the conservatives who are arguing for a democracy? In Utah's same-sex marriage case, the conservatives keep arguing that a majority of Utahns oppose same-sex marriage, therefore the ban should stay intact. But it's the progressives who are making this argument according to him? By the way, the Constitution was created to protect the rights of minority groups. Therefore, it's the conservatives who are trying to "invoke the right of the majority." Poor argument.

  • JoeBlow Far East USA, SC
    April 17, 2014 5:04 a.m.

    Conservatism, especially Fiscal, has a very good and needed message that the country needs to hear.

    Unfortunately, it gets drowned out by the voices of the conservative crazies. You know them.

    The Birther types.
    The "shut down the IRS" types.
    The "legitimate rape" types.
    The Louie Gohmert types.".
    The "campaign with Ted Nugent" types.
    The "shoe thrown at Hillary was staged" types.

    This is no longer the fringe constituency. It is BECOMING the base. And, sadly, GOP encourages them.
    Their "noise" clouds a legitimate message. And it is a huge turnoff to many.

    Conservatism is not crazy in the least. But their messengers are quickly getting there.

  • Nate Pleasant Grove, UT
    April 17, 2014 5:36 a.m.

    On the question of whether the rights of man precede government, the Declaration of Independence is clear:

    "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed...."

    Progressives pay lip service to the Declaration, but ignore its plain meaning. The state exists for man, not man for the state. Liberty is our natural right, and democracy our means of protecting it.

  • Esquire Springville, UT
    April 17, 2014 8:38 a.m.

    Blowhard self-serving sophistry. Seriously, that's what this opinion piece is all about.

  • Happy Valley Heretic Orem, UT
    April 17, 2014 8:38 a.m.

    Nate said:
    "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed...."

    You do realize that as this was written, those truths and rights didn't include anyone but white men with money, so it was just words when written, they sounded good, but it would be over a hundred years before women would fight tooth and nail for one of those self-evident truths.

    "To enjoy privilege without abuse, to have liberty without license, to possess power and steadfastly refuse to use it for self-aggrandizement — these are the marks of high civilization." UB

  • Tyler D Meridian, ID
    April 17, 2014 8:55 a.m.

    “The temperature of today's politics is commensurate to the stakes of today's argument.”

    I could not disagree more…
    Whatever else you think about this article, the “stakes” such as they are, are small potatoes next to the psychological aspects driving up the temperature.

    We are losing the ability to engage in sober dialogue, to be rational, and to place facts and the values we attach to them in proper perspective.

    In short, we are becoming a country addicted to self-righteous indignation and much of our media has become the moral equivalent of a drug dealer.

  • samhill Salt Lake City, UT
    April 17, 2014 9:18 a.m.

    Another brilliantly articulated exposition of the central problem we have, and probably always will have, as a nation.

    I wish more people were capable of understanding root problems as well as Mssrs. Will and Sandefur obviously do. Our nation needs more of that understanding but we seem headed in the opposite direction.

  • Fitz Murray, UT
    April 17, 2014 10:00 a.m.

    Commentaries on the Constitution gives us incite into the intent of the Constitution. It says:
    "Let us never forget, that our constitutions of government are solemn instruments, addressed to the common sense of the people and designed to fix, and perpetuate their rights and liberties. They are not to be frittered away to please the demagogues of the day. They are not to be violated to gratify the ambition of political leaders. They are to speak in the same voice now, and for ever. They are of no man’s private interpretation. They are ordained the will of the people; and can be changed only by the sovereign command of the people."

    Some place along the way, our elected political leaders have "frittered away to please the demagogues of the day." Our Constitution is slowly fading into oblivion.

  • Mountanman Hayden, ID
    April 17, 2014 10:10 a.m.

    Interesting article. This article reaffirms to me what I have always believed; Liberals believe rights and liberties emanate from the central government and Conservatives believe rights and liberties are God given. Thus the role of government for liberals is much different than how conservatives view the role of government. In all of history the vast majority of humans have lived under despot Kings, tyrants and dictators where the central government told the people what they could or could not do. Along came our founding fathers who thought the people should tell the government what it could or could not do, not the other way around. In all of world history, this was truly exceptional. This is what is meant by American exceptionalism and it is truly a Conservative idea!

  • airnaut Everett, 00
    April 17, 2014 10:26 a.m.

    And --
    Nowhere in the U.S> Constitution does it say CAPITALISM had to be our economic model.

  • Mountanman Hayden, ID
    April 17, 2014 10:36 a.m.

    airnaut. Actually the 10th amendment's commerce clause is CAPITALISM in itself. It certainly isn't talking about socialism, period.

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    April 17, 2014 10:36 a.m.

    Nate made the perfect argument for same sex marriage. The constitution endows us with inalienable rights, which is to say we can't permit them to be usurped even if we want to, such as in a popular vote.

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    April 17, 2014 10:41 a.m.

    I think this was a pretty good analysis of the two differing philosophies.

    I know SOME will hate it... because it's George F. Will after-all...

    But I think IF you can pretend you don't know who wrote it, and read it without pre-judging it... you will find it interesting and helpful in understanding both sides.

    I can see the position of both sides. And I think we need BOTH sides. Like somebody said... you can't fly very far with only one wing. But BOTH sides need to focus on supporting each other... instead of tearing the other down and suppressing or dismissing people with the differing point of view.

    ===

    Try re-reading it with a totally open mind (not even considering who wrote it)... and see if you can't learn something about the other side... and what motivates them...

    I think if we understood some of the stuff he went over here, we could understand each other better and get along a lot better.

    Neither side is all good... and neither is all bad. We need both. We should not focus on eradicating either.

  • Tyler D Meridian, ID
    April 17, 2014 11:09 a.m.

    It’s astonishing to see how the right-wingers like to label & caricature those who disagree with them, so let’s clear up a few things.

    1.Our rights come from WE THE PEOPLE, exactly as the Constitution implies - Jefferson in the Declaration (not a governing charter, by the way) was simply expressing his Deist leanings. Our rights don’t come from government any more than they come from a bronze-age god.

    2.The first three words of the Constitution implies democracy (Breyer is right) and all the writings of the Founders talk about self-government. I don’t know what self-government means if it doesn’t mean a democracy. And for you purists, it’s a Republic simply because most people have day jobs (i.e., too busy to vote on every single issue).

    3.Of course the Constitution enshrines basic rights and liberties but it was never meant to create a country that was ONLY interested in individual liberty – that form of government is called anarchy.

    Bottom line – the majority does rule and can decide on whatever laws, regulations, economic systems, etc., unless expressly forbidden by the Constitution.

  • airnaut Everett, 00
    April 17, 2014 11:18 a.m.

    Mountanman
    Hayden, ID
    airnaut. Actually the 10th amendment's commerce clause is CAPITALISM in itself. It certainly isn't talking about socialism, period.

    10:36 a.m. April 17, 2014

    ========

    ???

    10th Amendment:
    "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people."

    But, if you meant "commerce clause",
    that would be found in --

    Article I, Section 8, Clause 3:

    [The Congress shall have Power] To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian tribes;

    ======

    I still can't see how trade can only mean soley Capitalism, and precludes any and all Socialism.

    We trade with other Countries -- Socialist, Communist, -- ect. all the time.

  • JoeBlow Far East USA, SC
    April 17, 2014 11:44 a.m.

    2 bits.

    Good comment. And it applies to many issues in politics As you note, partisanship prevents people from looking objectively at virtually anything ideas, good or bad, from the other side.

    They CANNOT give the other side "A WIN" regardless of whether it is good for America.

    But, best be careful. You write "Neither side is all good... and neither is all bad. We need both."

    Again, I completely agree. And that mentality (which encompasses most of my posts) gets me labeled a LIBERAL.

    At a minimum, it would get you labeled a RINO. Not that there is anything wrong with that. In fact, I have come to define RINO as a Reasonable Republican.

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    April 17, 2014 11:56 a.m.

    @Tyler D,
    It always astonishes you to see how the RIGHT-wingers like to label & caricature those who disagree with them...

    Wow... did you not see JoeBlow 5:04 a.m.'s lists of "TYPES" of people?

    "The Birther types.
    The "shut down the IRS" types.
    The "legitimate rape" types.
    The Louie Gohmert types.".
    The "campaign with Ted Nugent" types.
    The "shoe thrown at Hillary was staged" types"....

    I was going to comment on his labels and "TYPEs"... but decided not to (Until YOUR comment accusing RIGHT-Wingers of labeling those they disagree with...

    Can you show me a similar list of labels from a "RIGHT-winger"??

    ===

    I don't think you can. I haven't seen one here.
    But I have from the LEFT-Wingers (LDS Liberal is notorious for his typing and labeling)... but you totally overlook that and claim only RIGHT-wingers do it?

    Maybe the blinders didn't let you see HIS list of labels and "Types" for people he disagrees with...

    ===

    Kinda ironic I think... That no right-wingers have done that in this topic, and a left-leaning guy did.. but you're disappointed in RIGHT-wingers for labeling...

  • GaryO Virginia Beach, VA
    April 17, 2014 12:26 p.m.

    As usual George F Will is busily conflating ideas and attempting to undue the will of the Founders, which was to give us a workable government. NO George. The Declaration of Independence does NOT “set the framework” for reading the Constitution. They are two separate documents designed to fulfill two very separate functions. The Declaration justified our separation from Britain, and the Constitution gives a plan of governance. Thus, when we talk about government, we ALWAYS differ to the Constitution, NOT the Declaration of Independence.

    Who says Progressives are obsessed about majority rule at the expense of Liberty? . . . Certainly not Progressives. Progressives believe in PROGRESS that can be implemented through good governance.

    NO George, Progressives don’t play down Liberty. Although Liberty can exist in some cases without government, good governance actually enhances Liberty by promoting and providing for the General Welfare, as specified in the Constitution.

    “The argument is between conservatives who say American politics is basically about a condition, liberty, and progressives who say it is about a process, democracy.” WRONG. Progressives aren’t all that concerned with “process,” they are concerned with RESULTS.

  • Tyler D Meridian, ID
    April 17, 2014 1:03 p.m.

    @2 bits

    I should have worded that a little better… here’s what I meant:

    When George Will caricatures people into an either/or proposition of either believing in liberty or not, or…

    When Nate suggests Progressives (does that mean anyone who’s not a dittohead?) believe we “exist for the state” or…

    When samhill agrees with Will’s caricature and laments that more of us don’t “get it” or…

    When Mountanman says “Liberals believe rights and liberties emanate from the central government and Conservatives believe rights and liberties are God given,” well…

    I felt it was necessary to call these out and further make the case that one can think Limbaugh, Beck, et al are nuts and still cherish our founding documents & principles.

    I for one do…

    I’m just tired of the right-wingers claiming to be the only ones that do, and I’m especially tired of religious conservatives attempting to rewrite history by constantly portraying our founding as establishing a Christian Nation and implying the Founders were little more than divine puppets (this last is admittedly a bit off topic… apologies).

    PS – Liked your first comment…

  • Darrel Eagle Mountain, UT
    April 17, 2014 1:10 p.m.

    @Mountanman

    Liberals believe rights and liberties emanate from the central government and Conservatives believe rights and liberties are God given.

    =========

    I love when people tell me what I believe. I have seen a very prevalent defense of "traditional marriage" on these forums that "Marriage isn't a protected right in the Constitution"

    To me it would seem this would indicate the opposite of what you claim.

    Regardless, these rights come from the very nature that we are living, breathing, thinking, human beings. They are not given by any earthly power; only protected. The Constitution cannot, and does not grant rights, only ensures their protection; and in return we agree to forego some of our rights. We the People are sovereign; We the people created the Constitution that in turn creates a National Government, which in turn empowers State Governments.

    By that logic, any right not expressly surrendered to the National Government, naturally reside with the People, or can be surrendered to the State and local governments, if not already prohibited by the Constitution, or Federal Law.

  • Open Minded Mormon Everett, 00
    April 17, 2014 1:14 p.m.

    As much as disagree with many of the things Ezra T. Benson said -- I will agree with this.

    forming a "Government" for the people, and of the people boils down to this.

    Farmer does everything himself. Grow crops and protect family and fields 24/7/365.
    Later, the area grows to a small group of Farmers.
    Then, a larger group of Farmers,
    who finally decide that it would far easier for them to COLLECTIVELY hire one guy,
    to protect all of them --
    so they can focus on what they do best Farming.

    So, they elect one of them and give him authority to serve and protect and calle him the Sheriff.

    The bigger modern extension of this is --

    The Fireman,
    The Teacher,
    The Military,
    to assure clean air, food and water,
    The Roads, Power, Water, Electrical, Sewer, Trash, Medical, and
    further policing businesses to Serve and PROTECT the citizens.

    To Serve and Protect.
    That is the role and duty of Govenment.

    The details of what services we "farmers" want,
    and how to pay for them is were we differ.

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    April 17, 2014 2:01 p.m.

    Darrel,
    IF same sex marriage is part of YOUR "Pursuit of happiness"... then I think it is something that pre-dates government, and should be secured and protected by the government. That's why I think the Supreme Court would be on your side (IF they would ever agree to hear and rule on one of these cases).

    I just wish same-sex-marriage advocates didn't think it was so important to change the pre-existing definition of the term "Marriage".

    You don't have to re-define "Marriage" to pursue your happiness (or at least you shouldn't). As long as you are free to pursue happiness... I think the government has done it's job to secure your rights. But they don't have to slap down people with more traditional religious beliefs for you to pursue happiness (IF we allow other union types that would make you happy). That was the over-reach... prohibiting other union types.

    Anyway.. the topic isn't same-sex-marriage. But it's a good example of what the Constitution says the government is supposed to secure... our God-given rights (not our Government-approved rights).

  • RFLASH Salt Lake City, UT
    April 17, 2014 2:08 p.m.

    The article states, " Conservatives believe that liberty, understood as a general absence of interference, and individual rights, which cannot be exhaustively listed, are natural and that governmental restrictions on them must be as few as possible and rigorously justified. Merely invoking the right of a majority to have its way is an insufficient justification. "

    How come I don't believe it? Well, being gay, I wish that they did believe it. You certainly don't see that here in Utah. Oh yeah, they constantly complain about the government sticking its nose into our lives, but when it comes to the state of Utah, it is very different. look at same sex marriage! The first thing out of their mouths is the right of the majority(Mormons) to have its way! Gay rights are not the only time that they fall back on the majority! Just ask any none Mormon! Then they will tell you " If you don't like it, go somewhere else!"
    These conservatives are such hypocrites! They constantly complain about Obama and how government is in our lives too much. I feel the same about them! Who are they to tell me I can't get married?

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    April 17, 2014 2:14 p.m.

    Open Minded,
    President Benson didn't invent this. It's called the "Social Contract". Google it, or read Jean-Jacques Rousseau's famous 1762 book on this topic.

    The antecedents of social contract theory are found in antiquity, in Greek and Stoic philosophy and Roman and Canon Law, as well as in the Biblical idea of the covenant.

    Social contract theorists seek to demonstrate, in different ways, why a rational individual would voluntarily consent to give up his or her natural freedom to obtain the benefits of political order.

    Hugo Grotius (1625), Thomas Hobbes (1651), Samuel Pufendorf (1673), John Locke (1689), Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1762), and Immanuel Kant (1797) are among the most prominent of 17th- and 18th-century theorists of social contract and natural rights.

    Our founding fathers were highly influenced by John Locke. They mention his philosophy all the time in their personal writings.

    Locke believed that natural rights were inalienable, and that the rule of God therefore superseded government authority; and Rousseau believed that democracy (self-rule) was the best way of ensuring the general welfare while maintaining individual freedom under the rule of law...

    The exact age-old schism George Will is explaining...

  • Darrel Eagle Mountain, UT
    April 17, 2014 2:42 p.m.

    @2bits

    That was a well thought response to my argument. Thank you for your civil dialog.

    I have been very happily married to my wife for nearly nine years, and I would argue against anyone who says they have 3 better kids than I do. The point I wish to make is, I did not need to place my marriage on a Statewide ballot to enjoy all of the benefits society provides to those that are legally married. I feel that if I wish to protect my right to marry the person of my choice, I have to fight for that right for all, even for those with whom I might religiously, morally or in some other manner may disagree.

    If Person A makes Person B feel complete, and I can see no harm done to society in allowing them to be united before the law, who am I to say no?

    We don't allow family members to marry because their offspring may result in serious birth defects...harm has been shown. Therefore, society can, and has prohibited this type of unuion.

    Heck, if everyone is a consenting adult, I am all for polygamy.

  • Tolstoy salt lake, UT
    April 17, 2014 4:31 p.m.

    It would be really refreshing if just once George could simply tell us what he thinks rather then trying to tell me what I think, especially seeing as he never seems to get it right. If his arguments for his position are strong it should be able to stand on its own without mischaracterizing others point of view.

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    April 17, 2014 5:30 p.m.

    If we believe that government is the source of our rights, then we reject everything that led to the founding of our nation. Our forefathers told the world that God gave us liberty and that the purpose of government was to secure those liberties so that no other nation could use its power to take away our liberties. There are many today who think that liberty comes from government. They think that a President is a de-facto king, that Congress is subject to that king, and that the Supreme Court is subject to the king's will. They have abandoned everything that constitutes freedom and liberty.

    We are Americans. As Americans, we are responsible to take care of ourselves, without government aid. We have the responsibility to restrict government. We have the responsibility to protect the most fundamental unit in society, the family. We have the responsibility to reject any idea that rejects God and God's plan of happiness, which requires that we discipline ourselves to reject any and all rules or regulations that destroy the nobility of the family and its purpose.

  • Mountanman Hayden, ID
    April 17, 2014 5:47 p.m.

    "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness." Declaration of Independence. Could it be stated more clearly where our rights and liberties come from? I rest my case.

  • Open Minded Mormon Everett, 00
    April 17, 2014 5:49 p.m.

    2 bits
    Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Open Minded,
    President Benson didn't invent this. It's called the "Social Contract". Google it, or read Jean-Jacques Rousseau's famous 1762 book on this topic.

    =========

    Agreed, I know Ezra T Benson did not 1st make this remark,
    I just used him and his reference to it to quiet my ultra-Conservative friends -- the will never argue with anything Ezra said.

    Nice twist, deflect and diversion --

    My point is --
    WE farmers form Government to Serve and Protect us,
    so that we might Pursue our own Happiness --
    Rather than sleep constatnly with one-eye open,
    worrying about wild animals, wild-fires, or thiefs in the night.

    It starts there --
    and since our Farm is now 330 Million,
    and many of us are no longer farmers, but urbanites in cities,
    our needs have changed to adabt to our newer more modern surrounds and cicumstances,
    and so too must our Government.

  • Unreconstructed Reb Chantilly, VA
    April 17, 2014 6:33 p.m.

    "There are many today who think that liberty comes from government. They think that a President is a de-facto king, that Congress is subject to that king, and that the Supreme Court is subject to the king's will."

    Who exactly are "they" and where exactly have "they" declared that Obama is a "de-facto king" with the other two branches of government "subject" to that "king"?

    Part of a civil discussion is not twisting people's position to say the absurd things that you want them to say. That's called a strawman argument.

  • Pops NORTH SALT LAKE, UT
    April 17, 2014 8:03 p.m.

    One of the things that muddy the waters is that there are a number of different concepts which can all be referred to as "rights". One way to distinguish between natural, God-given rights and other kinds of rights is the Gilligan's Island test. If you're stranded on a remote island with others, what rights do you have? Those are natural rights. Do you have the "right" to make someone else provide health care, or food? No. But you do have the right to take care of your own health, find your own food, defend yourself, or shack up with anyone who is willing to join you.

    The marriage license offered by the state isn't a natural right. The state's involvement in marriage is this: the state wishes to incentivize certain relationships by offering benefits to those who meet the criteria posited by the state and who are willing to abide by agreement. This is perfectly legal and constitutional as long as the criteria posed by the state are relevant to what the state is attempting to accomplish (and what it's trying to accomplish is above board).

  • SoCalChris Riverside, CA
    April 17, 2014 8:28 p.m.

    Will says: "The argument is between conservatives who say American politics is basically about a condition, liberty, and progressives who say it is about a process, democracy."

    Huh? I see it as the opposite. Although most conservatives adhere to the notion that we are endowed by our Creator with certain rights, we believe deeply in the democratic process. The Constitution had to go through a democratic process to be ratified and so has each amendment.

    If you believe same-sex marriage should be a basic right, amend the Constitution -- In the same way proponents of the Equal Rights Amendment tried to ratify it 30 some years ago. But as we're seeing, it's much easier to claim it's been in the fine print of the 14th Amendment all along rather than go through the democratic process.

  • Karen R. Houston, TX
    April 18, 2014 7:32 a.m.

    This is a very poor use of Mr. Will's intellect. Very little about human beings or life is black/white. It may make it easier to reduce everything to simplistic, binary categories, but doing so only DISTANCES you from reality. Mr. Will should give back the money he was paid for this one. It offers very little.

  • GaryO Virginia Beach, VA
    April 18, 2014 8:26 a.m.

    Hey 2bits -

    Yes, the founders were influenced by Locke and his concepts of Liberty. According to Locke, when people enter into the social contract, they GIVE UP their natural liberty in favor of the kind of liberty made possible by government and law. According to Locke, Liberty or “freedom of men under government is, to have a standing rule to live by, common to every one of that society, and made by the legislative power erected in it.”

    George will tells us that natural liberty is that “which simultaneously justifies and limits democratic government.” No it does not. Locke says that Natural liberty is sublimated upon entering the social contract.

    Contrary to what George Will would have us belief, Locke does NOT stubbornly insist that the natural liberty found in his hypothetical state of nature should take precedence over the higher liberty achieved through good governance.

    Will and his plutocrat-serving colleagues are trying to sell America a false bill of goods, and they try to support their behavior with words they falsely attribute to great thinkers of the past.

    Basically, today’s Right Wing ideology is based on lies on top of lies.

  • Nate Pleasant Grove, UT
    April 18, 2014 8:51 a.m.

    @Tyler D

    If the shoe fits, the progressives are going to have to wear it. In the progressive utopia, Julia must have her morning-after pills -- paid for by me -- even though my church teaches me not to participate in abortions. Countless other progressive positions violate individual liberty. They range through just about every amendment in the Bill of Rights. Make all the noise you want about it, but if someone decides every question in favor of state power and against individual rights, it becomes not a stereotype, but a pattern.

  • Nate Pleasant Grove, UT
    April 18, 2014 9:03 a.m.

    @Happy Valley Heretic "...it was just words when written...."

    No, the Declaration was much more than that. The power of those ideas overcame the ruling social order one measure at a time. It took just over a half-century to overcome slavery; it took another half-century to produce the 19th Amendment. But the seeds were planted in the Declaration. The outcome was inevitable, as long as we stayed true to the ideas.

    I don't think progressives are grateful enough for the Declaration and the Constitution. We see too many disparaging comments right here in this forum. In reality, those documents laid the foundation for nearly every good thing we have.

  • Nate Pleasant Grove, UT
    April 18, 2014 9:07 a.m.

    @Hutterite

    Pops is right. We're talking about natural rights here. Obtaining a state license is something else.

  • GaryO Virginia Beach, VA
    April 18, 2014 10:46 a.m.

    Hey Nate –

    “I don't think progressives are grateful enough for the Declaration and the Constitution.”

    Well, you are wrong about that.

    Progressives are extremely grateful for those documents, but they recognize that the United States Constitution takes precedence over the Declaration of Independence.

    Progressives want to see PROGRESS in our government’s ability and wilingness to provide for and “promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity.”

    It is self-described “Patriotic Conservatives” who oppose the Constitution.

  • Craig Clark Boulder, CO
    April 18, 2014 3:40 p.m.

    Liberty and democracy are not mutually exclusive to the point where you choose one or the other. Both are vital. Both have limits. There was conflict between individual freedom and majority rule when Jefferson proclaimed “we are all Federalists and we are all Republicans.”

    That was over 200 years ago. Some today still wrestle with it.

  • wrz Phoenix, AZ
    April 18, 2014 7:19 p.m.

    @USUStudent:
    "In Utah's same-sex marriage case, the conservatives keep arguing that a majority of Utahns oppose same-sex marriage, therefore the ban should stay intact."

    There are may who oppose SSM because other types of marriages will of necessity and to be fair to all, will follow. Which will cheapen the ritual and eventually be the cause of its demise.

    @Hutterite:
    "Nate made the perfect argument for same sex marriage. The constitution endows us with inalienable rights, which is to say we can't permit them to be usurped even if we want to, such as in a popular vote."

    I take it then, you approve of all types of marriages including SSM, polygamy, incest, underage, and a variety of other combinations, right?

  • mark Salt Lake City, UT
    April 18, 2014 10:53 p.m.

    "you're stranded on a remote island with others, what rights do you have? Those are natural rights. Do you have the "right" to make someone else provide health care, or food? No."

    Of course that isn't a natural right. And no one claimed it was. And of course you don't have the "right" to force somebody to drive on the right side of the road, or force somebody to buy a license to operate a business. And you don't have the "right" to force somebody to pay for a military, or pay to have roads built on your island.

    Those things aren't rights, they are how we have decided to order, and arrange our society. Just like we have decided to help poor people afford food and healthcare. You're confused on the concept of rights.

    "As Americans, we are responsible to take care of ourselves, without government aid. We have the responsibility to restrict government. We have the responsibility to protect the most fundamental unit in society, the family. We have the responsibility to reject any idea that rejects God and God's plan of happiness,"

    No we don't