FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Your Rights and Our Election

Rights. We are inundated with a great deal of loose talk about “rights.” What sorts of them? Legal rights. Civil rights. Natural rights. Human rights. Constitutional rights. God-given rights. Is there a difference? Says who?

AWR Hawkins of Ammoland Shooting Sports News helps us understand God-given rights: “our right to keep and bear arms is a God-given right.” He’s backed up by David French of the National Review who informs us that having and using guns is a “Biblical and natural right of man.” They seem to be endorsed by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who railed against a proposed arms control treaty that could, in his words, “hinder the US in fulfilling its strategic, legal, and moral commitments to provide arms to key allies such as Taiwan and Israel.” Moral commitments and lethal aid—praise the Lord and pass the ammunition. The Republican Senator from Kentucky is of course a champion of right-to-life legislation 100 percent. Nothing says pro-life like a prayer closet full of guns and some war profiteering.

Free speech is defined by Jeff Bell, who also clears up questions about who defends all our rights and under what circumstances. No, he’s not the Supreme Court Justice who wrote the prevailing opinion on the matter, he’s the head of the Broward Country, Florida police union, who pulled the plug on the rights of three Miami Dolphin players to be protected by police because they knelt during the Star Spangled Banner. I hope Chief Justice Roberts was taking notes.

I’m pretty sure Donald Trump is informed by these sorts of declarations and friendly reminders about what constitutes your rights, his rights, and the times when those rights may no longer apply. Re-elect McConnell and his ilk, vote in Donald Trump, and watch what happens to your rights. If you do, unfortunately, you may lose the right to know until it’s a bit too late. But for the time being, it’s your right to vote—well, unless you’re part of a demographic likely to vote against incumbents. The 2013 Supreme Court evisceration of the 1965 Voting Rights Act goes a long ways toward helping us to understand that, nowadays, voting in the US is much like health care in that it’s a privilege, not a right. That will be all firmed up once Trump gets to appoint the next Supreme Court Justice and possibly a couple more of them.

Rights, schmights. Focus on the Surreality TV around the election. Much more fun!

More articles by:

Tom H. Hastings is core faculty in the Conflict Resolution Department at Portland State University and founding director of PeaceVoice

July 17, 2018
Conn Hallinan
Trump & The Big Bad Bugs
Robert Hunziker
Trump Kills Science, Nature Strikes Back
John Grant
The Politics of Cruelty
Kenneth Surin
Calculated Buffoonery: Trump in the UK
Binoy Kampmark
Helsinki Theatrics: Trump Meets Putin
Patrick Bond
BRICS From Above, Seen Critically From Below
Jim Kavanagh
Fighting Fake Stories: The New Yorker, Israel and Obama
Daniel Falcone
Chomsky on the Trump NATO Ruse
W. T. Whitney
Oil Underground in Neuquén, Argentina – and a New US Military Base There
Doug Rawlings
Ken Burns’ “The Vietnam War” was Nominated for an Emmy, Does It Deserve It?
Rajan Menon
The United States of Inequality
Thomas Knapp
Have Mueller and Rosenstein Finally Gone Too Far?
Cesar Chelala
An Insatiable Salesman
Dean Baker
Truth, Trump and the Washington Post
Mel Gurtov
Human Rights Trumped
Binoy Kampmark
Putin’s Football Gambit: How the World Cup Paid Off
July 16, 2018
Sheldon Richman
Trump Turns to Gaza as Middle East Deal of the Century Collapses
Charles Pierson
Kirstjen Nielsen Just Wants to Protect You
Brett Wilkins
The Lydda Death March and the Israeli State of Denial
Patrick Cockburn
Trump Knows That the US Can Exercise More Power in a UK Weakened by Brexit
Robert Fisk
The Fisherman of Sarajevo Told Tales Past Wars and Wars to Come
Gary Leupp
When Did Russia Become an Adversary?
Uri Avnery
“Not Enough!”
Dave Lindorff
Undermining Trump-Putin Summit Means Promoting War
Manuel E. Yepe
World Trade War Has Begun
Binoy Kampmark
Trump Stomps Britain
Wim Laven
The Best Deals are the Deals that Develop Peace
Kary Love
Can We Learn from Heinrich Himmler’s Daughter? Should We?
Jeffrey St. Clair
Franklin Lamb, Requiescat in Pace
Weekend Edition
July 13, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Brian Cloughley
Lessons That Should Have Been Learned From NATO’s Destruction of Libya
Paul Street
Time to Stop Playing “Simon Says” with James Madison and Alexander Hamilton
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: In the Land of Formula and Honey
Aidan O'Brien
Ireland’s Intellectuals Bow to the Queen of Chaos 
Michael Collins
The Affirmative Action Silo
Andrew Levine
Tipping Points
Geoff Dutton
Fair and Balanced Opinion at the New York Times
Ajamu Baraka
Cultural and Ideological Struggle in the US: a Final Comment on Ocasio-Cortez
David Rosen
The New McCarthyism: Is the Electric Chair Next for the Left?
Ken Levy
The McConnell Rule: Nasty, Brutish, and Unconstitutional
George Wuerthner
The Awful Truth About the Hammonds
Robert Fisk
Will Those Killed by NATO 19 Years Ago in Serbia Ever Get Justice?
Robert Hunziker
Three Climatic Monsters with Asteroid Impact
Ramzy Baroud
Europe’s Iron Curtain: The Refugee Crisis is about to Worsen
Nick Pemberton
A Letter For Scarlett JoManDaughter
Marilyn Garson
Netanyahu’s War on Transcendence 
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail