Rights guaranteed – responsibilities not required

How come liberals talk about rights that should be guaranteed, but not responsibilities required? I would think that if you are going to be guaranteed rights by the state, the state would set detailed responsibilities from those benefiting from those rights.

This mornings post by Scott Johnson at Power Line – Obama’s Constitution – should be an eye opener. During the past few months the alternative media has proven Obama to be a socialist. There is no denying it. Now we have another official Obama adviser trying to explain away Obama’s comments on Chicago public radio in 2001.

Update: New phrase coined – Second Bill of Rights. (see more below)

Cass Sunstein, a law professor from the University of Chicago, made the attempt to link Obama’s statements in 2001(transcript) to conservative principals.

“What the critics are missing is that the term ‘redistribution’ didn’t man [sic] in the Constitutional context equalized wealth or anything like that. It meant some positive rights, most prominently the right to education, and also the right to a lawyer,” Sunstein said. “What he’s saying – this is the irony of it – he’s basically taking the side of the conservatives then and now against the liberals.”

The right to education? There is no right to education. As a matter of fact, there are only three rights that are inalienable, granted by our Creator, and those are the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Those rights are inalienable, they can not be taken away by anyone or any state. Any other perceived rights defined by the left are provided by the state, and therefore can be taken away.

That does not stop Sunstein, or other socialists like Obama, from trying to define new rights. They use emotion to define these rights. Of course you have a right to food, water, housing, medical care, a job. This is exactly why it’s easy to be a liberal, all you need is good intentions.

Being a conservative is hard.

For those who think we’re being too hard on the Obama advisers, let’s take a look at Sunstein’s book, The Second Bill of Rights: FDR’S Unfinished Revolution and Why We Need It More than Ever, which you can pick up at Amazon for 83 cents.

He argues for FDR’s second bill of rights. I’m familiar with FDR’s New Deal which started the entitlement culture here in the United States, but I was not familiar with FDR’s second bill of rights, of which he spoke at his State of the Union address in 1944. (My emphasis added.)

This Republic had its beginning, and grew to its present strength, under the protection of certain inalienable political rights—among them the right of free speech, free press, free worship, trial by jury, freedom from unreasonable searches and seizures. They were our rights to life and liberty.

As our Nation has grown in size and stature, however—as our industrial economy expanded—these political rights proved inadequate to assure us equality in the pursuit of happiness.

We have come to a clear realization of the fact that true individual freedom cannot exist without economic security and independence. “Necessitous men are not free men.” People who are hungry and out of a job are the stuff of which dictatorships are made.

In our day these economic truths have become accepted as self-evident. We have accepted, so to speak, a second Bill of Rights under which a new basis of security and prosperity can be established for all regardless of station, race, or creed.

Among these are:

The right to a useful and remunerative job in the industries or shops or farms or mines of the Nation;

The right to earn enough to provide adequate food and clothing and recreation;

The right of every farmer to raise and sell his products at a return which will give him and his family a decent living;

The right of every businessman, large and small, to trade in an atmosphere of freedom from unfair competition and domination by monopolies at home or abroad;

The right of every family to a decent home;

The right to adequate medical care and the opportunity to achieve and enjoy good health;

The right to adequate protection from the economic fears of old age, sickness, accident, and unemployment;

The right to a good education.

All of these rights spell security. And after this war is won we must be prepared to move forward, in the implementation of these rights, to new goals of human happiness and well-being.

America’s own rightful place in the world depends in large part upon how fully these and similar rights have been carried into practice for our citizens. For unless there is security here at home there cannot be lasting peace in the world.

One of the great American industrialists of our day—a man who has rendered yeoman service to his country in this crisis-recently emphasized the grave dangers of “rightist reaction” in this Nation. All clear-thinking businessmen share his concern. Indeed, if such reaction should develop—if history were to repeat itself and we were to return to the so-called “normalcy” of the 1920’s—then it is certain that even though we shall have conquered our enemies on the battlefields abroad, we shall have yielded to the spirit of Fascism here at home.

I ask the Congress to explore the means for implementing this economic bill of rights- for it is definitely the responsibility of the Congress so to do. Many of these problems are already before committees of the Congress in the form of proposed legislation. I shall from time to time communicate with the Congress with respect to these and further proposals. In the event that no adequate program of progress is evolved, I am certain that the Nation will be conscious of the fact.

What does Obama think about FDR’s second bill of rights and Sunstein’s book that promotes the concept? If there really should be a right to a decent home, food, clothing and recreation, who pays for that?

During this time, Americans were not just asked to sacrifice, it was demanded of them. And maybe that was the right thing to do. But in 1944 FDR asked Congress to change the inalienable rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness to life, liberty and state sponsored happiness, forever changing American culture to … (drum roll please) … an entitlement society.

You need to be concerned. You need to ask Obama, Biden and other liberals about these concepts. Where do they stand? Where do you stand?

Ben Smith over at Politico has more.

Update: A phrase has just been coined – Second Bill of Rights. Malkin has more and directs us to Mark Steyn over at The Corner.

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Steve McGough

Steve's a part-time conservative blogger. Steve grew up in Connecticut and has lived in Washington, D.C. and the Bahamas. He resides in Connecticut, where he’s comfortable six months of the year.

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