Individual RightsIndividual rights are the most important safeguard of any free nation.  Americans fail to realize that our political system no longer operates with the Constitution as its core from which it extracts values that inform its policy decisions. Such values of absolute liberty and the pursuit of life on the individual’s terms are absence from today’s political stage. It is important to note that although they are very much present in political ethos, they offer little in the realm of substantive policy ramifications. There are only two types of government possible, rights-respecting and rights-sacrificing.  American government is the latter.

Individual Rights vs. Collective Rights

Rather than the Constitution, what we as voters are given is a choice of two platforms. However, what many fail to see beyond this fact is that the choice of one over the other necessitates the destruction of liberty. Voting Democrat will save a woman from the ugly chains of religious dogma, which is trying to legislate away her right to choose what she does with her body. It will, at the same time, and with little distinction in the sphere of genuine liberty, concede one’s right to one’s efforts in the marketplace through growth of the welfare state.  However, according to traditional party lines, voting Republican may save one from this fate of government theft in the form of taxation and increased spending on social welfare programs.  But it will then open the door to that evil religious dogma that seeks to strip women of the most intimate choice any individual can make

What these examples illustrate is that the most critical aspect of American government today is its lack of liberty as the Founders envisioned.  Any system whereby the choice of one set of rights (as envisioned by either party platform) must be sacrificed for another is no system of liberty at all.  Rights, by their nature, cannot be changed like a pair of shoes for political expediency.  Such rights are no rights at all.

“Any alleged ‘right’ of  one man, which necessitates the violation of the rights of another, is not and cannot be a right.  No man can have a right to impose an unchosen obligation , an unrewarded duty or an involuntary servitude on another man.  There can be no such thing as ‘the right to enslave‘.”

– Ayn Rand, “Man’s Rights”

Is this not what our two-party system necessitates?  The division within Washington creates the conditions whereby my choice necessitates my very destruction as a free human being, for the necessity to choose between a given set of rights brings the destruction of all rights.  Such a system operates not beneath the haven of individual rights, but what Ayn Rand termed “Collectivized Rights”:

“Individual rights are not subject to a public vote; a majority has no right to vote away the rights of a minority; the political function of rights is precisely to protect minorities from oppression by majorities (and the smallest minority is the individual).”

The irony then goes a bit deeper when we realize that our refusal to recognize this, coupled with our participation at the voting booth cements the legitimacy of our own oppressors.

BM4BMK_2937399bBoth parties take rights from the American people. The only substantive difference besides where each party spends our tax dollars is which rights they aim to claim. But rest assured, it matters very little which party takes the White House this fall. In some kind of Orwellian paradox, what should matter to the American people (and all lovers of true liberty around the world) is that your vote, in the widest sense of the preservation of a free people, doesn’t matter in the least.  Perhaps it is time we begin reflecting upon key documents, such as the Magna Carta, and the political realities of our predecessors, such as “taxation without representation.”  That said, we only need ask ourselves two questions: Are our rights, as outlined in the Constitution, being safeguarded? and Does our current two-party system of government represent the interests of liberty?

Neither Republicans nor Democrats represent rights as envisioned in the Constitution.  Until we arrive, as a nation, at the recognition that our political system is beyond fractured, we are left with a half-choice. Which set of rights will you sacrifice this year?