Friday, June 17, 2016

Leftward listing

If there is enough evidence to legitimize the infringement of someone's natural rights, there is enough evidence to prosecute them. If there is not such evidence, there is no legitimacy in repressing the exercise of those rights. The presumption of innocence is a core tenet of the American philosophy of justice. Most Americans do not realize how rare this is in the world. When the US government starts promoting the need to compile lists for the express purpose of establishing a low bar for infringing on the natural rights of US citizens, it should be clear that we are confronted with the type of "experiment on our liberties" of which James Madison warned us.

The relationship that America's founders established between citizen and state is difficult to maintain in its proper balance (made difficult by basic human nature). Unfortunately, we find ourselves in a situation in which the presumptive presidential nominees of the two major parties are on board with abandoning the presumption of innocence, the right to confront one's accuser, and basic due process. The left has been on board with these ideas for quite some time. The increasing cries of support from republicans are deeply troubling.

In the last couple of days I've run across multiple facebook posts by conservatives vigorously defending Trump's intent to lobby the NRA in support of the idea of a "no-buy list" for firearms. I suspect that much of this is from folks that were previously ok with this type of infringement who are now emboldened to declare it by Trump's agreement with them, but that's just one man's guess. There is danger here in the potential for broadening the dilution of the 2nd Amendment across the spectrum of American politics and in increasing division among conservatives.

Conservatives that would traditionally speak out against a particular action taken by democrats and leftists, should not allow themselves to be silenced when a Republican politician takes that same action. The tendency for Trump’s supporters to defend him against any perceived attack is understandable. Unfortunately, some of that defense is morphing into a rejection of some foundational principles of conservatism, or perhaps it is morphing into a new level of comfort for expressing a pre-existing rejection of some conservative principles. Either way, there is a growing need to speak out, and to constantly seek to anchor our political positions to principles that aren’t subject to the winds of political change.