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Essentials for liberty

Written By Kenneth Brooks on 01-15-2012 | in Political, Government, Democracy, Critical Thinking,

Incredibly, four Republican candidates for Office of President disagree with the Constitution's presumption of the people's retained rights and limits on government powers. Ron Paul said,

"The Civil Rights Act of 1964 did not improve race relations or enhance freedom. Instead, the forced integration dictated by the Civil Rights Act of 1964 increased racial tensions while diminishing individual liberty. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 gave the federal government unprecedented power over the hiring, employee relations, and customer service practices of every business in the country. The result was a massive violation of the rights of private property and contract, which are the bedrocks of free society" Congressman Ron Paul in Congress 2004

Paul's evaluation of the Act from a perspective of race is wrong. Congress wrote the Act from the perspective of citizens' retained rights and constitutional protection of them. It describes it as,

"An Act To enforce the constitutional right to vote, to confer jurisdiction upon the district courts of the United States to provide injunctive relief against discrimination in public accommodations, to authorize the attorney General to institute suits to protect constitutional rights in public facilities and public education, to extend the Commission on Civil Rights, to prevent discrimination in federally assisted programs, to establish a Commission on Equal Employment Opportunity, and for other purposes." This description refutes Paul's assertions.

Owning the value created by one's labor is a fundamental property right. Nevertheless, the 1788 U.S. Constitution protected property rights and continued slavery laws allowing property owners to steal the value of kidnapped Africans' labor. This fact proves wrong Paul's assertion that rights of private property and contract are the bedrocks of free society.

Rick Santorum said this in an interview with the Des Moines Register: "Religious liberty is now trumped because . the courts have created a 'super' right that's above a right that's actually in the Constitution, and that's of sexual liberty. And I think that's a wrong, that's a destructive element."

The Constitution does not create rights for the people. The First Amendment describes what laws Congress cannot pass regarding citizens' retained rights like religion. Amendment 9 says, "The enumeration in the Constitution of certain rights shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people." It refutes Santorum's assertions.

In addition, Santorum sponsored a Marriage Amendment to the Constitution that "Marriage in the United States shall consist only of the union of a man and a woman." The proposed amendment supporting the religious convictions of some citizens over others would have violated a fundamental principle of our Republic that the Constitution protects the retained rights of all citizens. It does not create special rights for groups. Santorum, like Ron Paul, favors a pure democracy and domination by the majority over the human rights a numerical minority.

Mitt Romney and Jon Huntsman promote foreign policy based on ideas of American exceptionalism - that the United States alone has the right, or moral obligation, to bring civilization, democracy, or liberty to the rest of the world.

It is only American power - conceived in the broadest terms - that can provide the foundation of an international system that ensures the security and prosperity of the United States and our friends and allies."

"As the world's greatest power, the United States will strive to set the international policy agenda, create a predictable economic and security environment that enables other countries to develop policies that are in conformity with our own, and minimize those occasions on which the United States is confronted by instability and surprise." Mitt Romney

"American exceptionalism is not only about who we are as a people - but it also speaks to how the United States alone is positioned in the world to promote freedom, democracy, human rights, wealth creation, and security. It is a role we should not shrink from, but rather embrace." Jon Huntsman

American exceptionalism is a dangerous idea destructive of America's goals for a free society. It includes an additional presumption of presidential exceptionalism- that the U.S. President alone has moral authority and wisdom to decide liberty for the world, including limits on American citizens' freedoms.

Supporters of liberty struggle constantly with the imposers of tyranny. The essential requirement for liberty's victory is simple. All persons in society respect one-another's status of equality and freedom to exercise nature or God granted human rights without infringing on the rights of another person. At least a majority of them must do this.

The remarks and conclusions made by the Republican candidates violate the essentials for freedom. They presume different human status and liberty rights for citizens as racial group members, religious group members or residents of an exceptional nation. The conclusions are not unique to candidates or members one political party. Therefore, supporters for freedom must evaluate a candidate's fitness for elective office by examining the person's remarks and conclusions about government and not from political party loyalty.

Don’t return to failed conservative economics policy.

Written By Kenneth Brooks on 12-20-2011 | in Political, Government, Critical Thinking, Economics,

Most responders to opinion polls believe President Barrack Obama could do more to create jobs and improve the economy. Almost fifty percent of them favor a conservative Republican Party presidential candidate over Obama in the 2012 election. I can understand differences of opinion about how effective Obama's economic policy has been to end the recession he inherited from President George W. Bush. Nevertheless, the conclusion to replace him with a Republican president embracing the same conservative economic ideology as Bush is irrational.

Problem solvers must look past current conditions to originating causes for a problem. For example, Republican Party presidential candidates blame Obama's economic policies for the high unemployment rates and declining housing values in the U.S. economy. They claim that their conservative based economic policies will work better. However, they limit their discussion and comparisons to the period beginning January 2009, the Obama presidency. However, causes for the economic recession predate January 2009.

In January 2001, Democrat President Bill Clinton turned over to Republican George W. Bush a federal budget with a surplus, a nation not at war, soaring housing values, and unemployment at a ten-year 4.2% low. Eight years later, Bush passed to Democrat Barack Obama an economy with a federal budget deficit, a nation fighting two wars, plummeting housing values, unemployment at 7.8% and a banking system in crisis. This was the record of an economy in steep decline during eight years of conservative economic policy.

Some signs of a weakening economy such as yearly losses of manufacturing jobs predated the Bush administration. Nevertheless, the conservative economic policies he applied did not slow the economy's slide into recession and probably sped up the rate of decline. Knowing this result, voters commit economic suicide if they replace Obama with a president that shares Bush's conservative economic ideology.

Americans that take their voting duties seriously must ask conservative presidential candidates two simple questions. "What is the difference between your conservative economic ideology and Bush's ideology?" "How will your conservative economic policy affect the economy differently than Bush's economic policies did from January 2001 to January 2009?" Voters should demand clear answers to those questions. They should treat ambiguous answers or no answer by a Republican candidate as conformation that he or she intends the same conservative economic policy as Bush.

I don't agree with all Obama's economic or social policies and find some counterproductive. Still, in fairness, I evaluate his performance as a new president with highest priority to prevent an economy in steep decline from crashing. He did not have a proven economic formula that guaranteed success no matter contrary claims by Republicans. Perhaps Obama could have made better choices to help the recovery. It's possible a replacement could do better than he has done, but not someone embracing past conservative economic ideology.

Republicans commonly avoid explaining Bush's conservative economic failures by comparing Reaganomics, the conservative economics policies of President Reagan (1981-1989), with Obama's policies. Their remarks suggest that Reaganomics were and are the cure-all economic ideology. The comparison is not relevant. The relevant point is that conservative economic policy from 2001 to 2009 did not prevent the economy sliding into recession. Additionally, domestic and international economies changed in thirty years with introduction of the European Union's euro, the ascendancy of China and India in international trade and deregulation of U.S. financial system to make them less responsive to a U.S. president's economic policies.

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