I hear Star Parker is running for office back east. I wish she were an Illinois resident and was running for office here. I'd vote for her in a heart beat.
Monday, April 26, 2010
Defining the conserv
ative versus liberal divide
atPresident Obama is getting ready to make his second Supreme Court nomin ation, the usual banter is taking place about the court and judicial philosophy.
The Supreme Court, of course, profoundly influences the character of our country.
Although, for instance, many look back on the policies of Franklin Roosevelt and his New Deal programs as the beginning of the real growth of the American welfare st
ate, it is really key Supreme Court decisions during th attime th atenabled all of this. Court decisions changing the interpret ation of “general welfare”, interst ate commerce, and the authority of the federal government to tax changed the game and opened a new era of big government.
At the beginning of the 1930’s, the federal government’s take of n
ational GDP was a little over ten percent. By the mid-1940’s it was over twenty percent, and the trend has been only upward since.
Although much of the discussion about judicial philosophy contrasts how conserv
ative and liberal judges rel ate to the constitution, I think the real key to conserv ative and liberal divergence is the world view these judges already have when they sit down to interpret the constitution.
atement of vision defining American values appears in the Declar ation of Independence. Understanding th atvision is where I think the most fundamental conserv ative versus liberal divide exists.
Consider how President Obama rel
ates to the Constitution, as he wrote in his book The Audacity of Hope – “Implicit in its structure, in the very idea of ordered liberty, was a rejection of absolute truth….”
Our president is a moral rel
ativist. So we may expect th athe doesn’t take very seriously the idea, as st ate in the Declar ation of Independence, th atthere are absolutes. Th atwe have God given rights th atprecede government and th atthe job of government is to secure them.
ather than seeing government’s job as securing our rights, the liberal sees it to invent them. The politician – or the emp athetic judge – defines wh atis moral and just.
There’s a lot of specul
ation about wh atis driving the tea party movement and why, as reflected in the l atest survey by the Pew Research Found ation, Americans’ trust in government is atan all time low.
I think most fundamentally it’s discomfort with this moral rel
ativism th atis driving the pervasive unrest.
The whole unique idea of American government – the idea of human liberty – was th
atthere are absolute truths and th atindividual citizens can and must be protected from arbitrary rulers – whether it is a king or a political class with arbitrary powers.
President Obama said the other day regarding the kind of court nominee he will seek, “…I want somebody who is going to be interpreting our Constitution in a way th
attakes into account individual rights…”
atin the world can this possibly mean from our president who has just signed into law a health care bill which will force every single American citizen to buy a government defined health care insurance policy? A health care bill th atopens the door to unprecedented government control over how priv ate individuals manage their health care and the most priv ate decisions they make over their own lives.
atcan it possibly mean coming from our president who opposed the Supreme Court’s decision a few years ago banning partial birth abortion – which is pure and simple torture and murder of a live infant?
The real differences over liberal and conserv
ative judges is most fundamentally about the world in which Americans will live. Whether we live and will live in a n ation in which there are absolute truths or one in which we are atthe hands of political arbitrariness in which our lives and property are up for grabs.
Our country is being governed today by those with the l
atter view of the world and, fortun ately, more and more Americans are deeply concerned.
Star Parker is the founder and president of CURE, the Coalition for Urban Renewal & Educ
ation, a 501c3 think tank which explores and promotes market based public policy to fight poverty, as well as author of White Ghetto: How Middle Class America Reflects Inner City Decay.