John Hawkins, founder of Right Wing News, has been a strong conservative voice for over a decade. I enjoy reading his articles because he provides thought provoking ideas, though I tend to disagree with many of them. Last week, he wrote two articles for TownHall, where he is a weekly contributor. Five Myths Liberals Have Created About Themselves, Part 1 and Part 2. They are both well written articles, though, not based in much truth. In each article, Mr. Hawkins addresses five so called myths. I’m not going to address them all, maybe in time, rather I’ll just discuss three of his ten points.
2) Liberals care about education: If you define “education” as doing as much as humanly possible to toss plums to the teachers’ unions who help fund and elect Democrats, liberals love education. Alternately, if you define education as the rest of us do, making sure our kids learn as much as possible and are prepared for the working world, liberals don’t care about education at all. They fight merit pay, oppose firing bad teachers and try to kill even effective school choice programs. Any time there’s a divergence between what’s best for the teachers’ unions and what’s best for the kids, the kids ALWAYS lose with liberals.
As a self identified progressive, I can honestly say that education is one of my top concerns. For me, education is the third rail. Education should be like national defense: completely free to citizens. Teachers should be making six figures and shouldn’t be retained simply because they can teach their students only what is on the exam. Education should be about education. All topics are included in education including evolution. Evolution and creationism are not mutually exclusive. One is based on scientific theory and one is based on faith. So, the way I see it is that Republicans are also not that keen on education because they only want certain topics taught.
Furthermore, the Republican Party Platform says no more federal loans. If the GOP gets its way, only those who can take out private loans will have the ability to attend secondary schooling. We’re already behind other nations in schooling and now we want to drop further back? This is a regressive idea.
The federal government should not be in the business of originating student loans. 2012 Republican Party Platform.
How are those less fortunate supposed to attend secondary schooling? I guess they’re not. I fail to see how this means Republicans care about education, though. It seems to me they care about education for certain people, not all.
2) Liberals respect the Constitution: You can’t claim to value and respect the Constitution while saying that there is such a thing as a “living constitution,” which in practice is nothing more than calling the whims and prejudices of liberal justices “Constitutional Law.” This is what liberals believe in and yet, they still want to have it both ways. First, there’s a debate about what the Constitution actually says, but if liberals don’t happen to be in the right, they still want left-wing judges to rule in their favor anyway. That isn’t constitutional law or even law at all; it’s slipping the umpires $50 before the game and asking them to call the balls and strikes your way.
As I understand this, if liberals believe the Constitution is a living document and can change and adapt as a society does, that means the converse is true for conservatives: the Constitution is bound by the four corners of the document, the specific words written therein and does not change its meaning throughout time. If that’s the case, then Justice Scalia is right… and that’s scary. Justice Scalia believes the Constitution is to be interpreted as written and as it was understood at the time of drafting. As I’ve argued before, if this were true, then women would still be unable to vote and black people could still be owned as property and only count as 3/5 of a person.
I would hope that even staunch conservatives would agree with me that we’ve moved beyond those archaic days of 200 years ago. So, if we, as a society, have evolved but the Constitution isn’t a living document, then we are all guilty of violating the Constitution on a daily basis. That means one of two things: either we need to formally amend the Constitution every time societal norms change or we need to get rid of the Constitution because we’re not bound by it anymore. The latter is a revolutionary thought and the former would be impractical to do every time societal norms change slightly.
We reaffirm our support for a Constitutional amendment defining marriage as the union of one man and one woman. We applaud the citizens of the majority of States which have enshrined in their constitutions the traditional concept of marriage, and we support the campaigns underway in several other States to do so. 2012 Republican Party Platform.
To say that the Constitution is not a living document is to ignore the brilliance of the Founding Fathers. The Ninth Amendment says, in its entirety, “The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.” We all have unenumerated rights. These rights have belonged to us since the beginning of time but would simply be too exhaustive to write them all down. Denying these rights is denying people their civil liberties. Just because some people fail to recognize the rights does not mean those rights do not exist. The right of people with a skin color other than white to be free was not recognized by our society until the last century. But, that does not mean that right didn’t exist until then; that right always existed. The same is true for marriage equality. That right presently exists, however, our society, as a whole, has yet to recognize it as such.
5) Liberals are for progress: Liberals are for progress — well, towards bankruptcy, degeneracy and societal decay. On the other hand, if we’re talking about progress towards new oil pipelines, school choice, balancing the budget, restructuring Social Security and Medicare or cutting wasteful government programs, liberals are about as progressive as your 92 year old Aunt Millie when she offers you a big bowl of hard candy that she’s had in a drawer since 1952. Just as saying “forward” doesn’t mean you’re moving in the right direction, calling yourself a “progressive” doesn’t actually mean you’re always in favor of progress.
I am a progressive. To me, that means moving forward and advancing. I fail to understand why staying the same or regression is a trait to be desired. Just as I want to move forward in my life and better myself, I want the same for my country. Societal decay? Really? Are we still at the point where we want to raise children to be discriminatory? Absolutely not. At least not us progressives. Liberals got women the right to vote, liberals ended slavery and one day liberals will defeat those who oppose marriage equality. I fail to see the negative.
Maybe Republicans think we’re moving too quickly. Is that it? Maybe they want these things, too, they just want to slow down and have more time to grow to accept the changes. Okay, I can respect that. What I can’t respect is blatantly discriminating. Calling it anything else is just blinding yourself to the truth. Moving forward, advancing, progressing and becoming a more evolved and accepting society. Where is the negative?