Savage Rights

Quit whining about your so-called rights. You have none. You have no right to healthcare or education, clean water, food or housing. You are not entitled by birth to surf the web in search of contraception. The prey has no right to protection from the mortgage banker. There is no freedom from suffering, disease, hunger, fatal mishaps, or marauding bands of savages. You must crush the opposition. Club the bastards to death.

This bleak reductive argument makes some sense. It’s one of the underpinnings of conservative ideology. Human rights are human constructs. They can be taken away, and we can, easily enough, descend into animalistic savagery. But conservatives are not savages, are they? They sort of believe in the Declaration of Independence and the Bill of Rights. What they seem to understand most of all is that laws maintain order, and the law says we can defend ourselves. We have a natural right to kill. Under the right circumstances of course.

Nowhere in the Constitution does it say you have the right to a good doctor or a post-graduate degree. If you end up in a ditch clutching an empty vodka bottle, you made some bad choices. It’s your fault, so stop whining about your rights. Can’t read? That’s your problem. Quit begging for handouts. Pay for your own damn education. Nobody likes whiners. No lazy SOB has the right to spend my hard earned tax dollars for their tacos. Get your own food. Nobody has an unalienable right to anything. Your brain tumor is your fault. Natural law does not guarantee health care. Stand up and embrace your Ayn Rand individualism.

This fallback position works surprisingly well for conservatives. When people show weakness by whining, it only encourages the aggressor. There’s nothing more disgusting than hearing a liberal spouting off about their rights. When liberals refuse to submit to the jack boot of primal order, they are disrespecting authority and deserve what’s coming to them. A civilized society needs law and order. You have no rights when staring down the barrel of a shotgun. You have no rights when the debt collector arrives at your door. You have no rights when you choose to drink poisoned water. Life is cruel. Get used to it.

Many conservatives, including Ayn Rand herself, have benefited from progressive social programs and many others have benefitted from tribal inheritance and favorable tax laws. However, their ideology does not allow them to acknowledge the assistance. In an attempt to rid themselves of this contradiction, they propagate a fear that our lifeboat will sink if we don’t destroy the ladder. They tend to think their success is based on natural superiority, intellect, savvy, good brains and good looks. The ideologically pure conservative tends to think in terms of natural order, market infallibility, freedom from regulation, and they are relentless in maintaining their superiority through the use of law and order.

So quit whining about rights, and quit wasting tax dollars on the poor. Find a job and stop relying on the government. Stop acting as if we accomplish more when we work together. Healthcare is not a right. Stop getting cancer, having heart attacks, and especially stop whining about mental health services simply because you’re depressed. Come on, have a drink. But for God’s sake don’t come running to me when you become an alcoholic. Show some individual responsibility for your choices.

So, let’s just drop the arguments embedded in the Constitution and start from the primal savagery of the animals that we are and admit the vision of the far right wing – the extremists of the Republican Party dressed up in patriotism, pin stripes, and gold.

Progressives should stop whining about rights and therefore encouraging the aggressor. They should understand their opponents; they should use logic, hard work, and calculated compromise, and fight when necessary.

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