National Security

Hey, Bernie and Joe—How can people have a ‘right’ to something another private individual has to provide?

It’s an inescapable truth that a socialist government will, eventually, have to force a person to provide a “right” to another person’s time and labor.

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As a “small l” libertarian, one reason I became a police officer was that I made American liberty possible every day—okay, other people helped, but you get the idea. Regardless of what the political Left would have you believe, without the security provided by law enforcement officers —the men and women who land on your front porch when you dial 911— your pursuit of happiness would not be possible.

Another aspect I appreciated was having to be acutely aware of people’s constitutional rights. I had to be; respecting and protecting people’s rights was a significant part of my job. Other people with important jobs, such as prosecutors, defense attorneys, and judges also deal with constitutional rights, but of those people already in the criminal justice system.

In the criminal justice system, no one other than cops deals so closely and so often with the public at large. Many people know about the U.S. Constitution and the rights it confers and acknowledges. Sadly, many more do not. Still, that remarkable 18th century document protects even those 21st century people who know nothing about it.

As I wrote about in my latest book, “De-Policing America,” I’ve always harbored the notion cops carry a figurative, tiny, rolled-up Constitution behind their badges. They have to keep the people’s constitutional rights in mind at all times. Even more than that, they have to apply them daily.

Even in liberal Seattle, people who are always screaming about their rights have no idea how those rights work. I remember many people who wanted officers to violate people’s rights all the time. They didn’t think of it as violating rights because they don’t know what constitutional rights are.

I had people who wanted me to “evict” people, who’d committed no crime, from their homes, whom they’d allowed to live with them, and who’d established “legal residency.” Besides that, generally, county sheriffs evict people from residences, not the police, and then only by court-ordered eviction.

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That’s why I advised so many people over the years to be very careful who they let stay in their homes. Because leftist government bestows on these psychic vampires the “right” to remain in your house, even if you don’t want them there, until you go through a long eviction process. Many people thought they were being “nice” when they offered someone refuge…until it came back to bite them.

Others wanted us to arrest the drug dealers in the park or on the corner because they just “knew” they were dealing dope. The problem: Evidence. They had none. Hell, you can “know” a lot of things, but without being able to prove it, and beyond a reasonable doubt, you have nothing.

That’s why rights are so important, and people should not minimize or take them for granted. Benjamin Franklin originated the notion, “echoing Voltaire” and later reinterpreted by Sir William Blackstone (as Blackstone’s ratio), “It is better 100 guilty Persons should escape than that one innocent Person should suffer.”

How does our society minimize real rights? By creating false rights out of government privileges or entitlements. Now, I could go on for pages about the “rights” some people want government to bestow. And there’s the first problem: the idea that government bestows rights. You know the old saw: “A government big enough to give you everything you want, is a government big enough to take away everything that you have.”

With natural rights, those that come from God (or nature), no man, woman, or government can bestow these upon you. They can only acknowledge that these rights are inherent and unalienable; people are born with them. Men, women, and governments can only bestow privileges. Let’s take universal healthcare as a front-burner example of a “right” the Left believes people should have.

As the Declaration of Independence recognizes, among other things, people have a right to life (which includes self-defense), to liberty, to the pursuit of happiness. The Constitution, via the Bill of Rights, recognizes freedom of speech, freedom of religion, right to self-defense (Second Amendment), freedom of assembly, redress of grievances, etc.

What do these rights have in common? Not one of these true rights has to be (or can be) provided to you by another human being. If anyone believes government can bestow these rights, then that person endorses tyranny. Governments are only obligated to recognize and protect natural rights, and your fellow Americans are only obligated to acknowledge and respect constitutional rights.

So, what about healthcare? Can healthcare truly be considered a natural right? Sounds nice, right? It’s so virtuous to care for other people—for “free.” But caring for people is only virtuous if it’s done through free will and not by force. And what about the healthcare providers?

How can a person have a right to something another person has to provide? What if a person can’t or, for whatever reason, doesn’t want to provide the service or product? This is where we get to the heart of socialism’s evil. It’s an inescapable truth that a socialist government will, eventually, have to force a person to provide a “right” to another person’s time and labor.

If not by force, how do you think Bernie or Joe are going to give “free” healthcare to everyone (and they do mean everyone) as a “human right”? Government force has to come at some point because of human nature. Some people simply won’t peacefully agree to be ruled through tyranny. And Americans are some of the worst people on earth to try to tell what to do. And even worse, to try to force to do something they don’t want to do.

Just look at the patriotic Americans who, in response to leftist Democrat tyranny, attended the recent pro-gun rights rally in Virginia. And the same goes for the “right” to food, a job, college tuition, housing, utilities, hot yoga classes, bi-weekly foot rubs, whatever. Someone else has to grow, build, service, or supply medical care, food, a job, college tuition, housing, utilities, etc.

I am stunned that it’s not obvious to everyone that the government does not bestow those rights I, as a cop, protected for all those years. A limited government’s duty is not to bestow rights but to protect the rights that guarantee our American liberty. Actually, this knowledge is probably as obvious as I think it is to the Left.

It’s just that people who support socialism, Marxism, and the new socialist Democratic Party don’t care. They are either socialist followers who want free stuff or socialist leaders who want power. Can it really be as simple as that?


meet the author

Steve Pomper is a retired Seattle police officer. He's served as a field training officer and on the East Precinct Community Police Team. He's the author of four books, including "De-Policing America: A Street Cop's View of the Anti-Police State." He's also a contributor to the National Police Association.

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