I’ll admit, this article is a direct result of a back and forth debate I had this afternoon with a conservative. This debate centered around this person’s belief that conservatives are people who support “Constitutional values,” while liberals are constantly trying to undermine our Constitutionally protected rights.
So I decided I’d list my top five ways that liberals are much more Constitutional than conservatives.
In no particular order, let’s get started.
1) Religious freedoms: This is the one that often irritates me the most when it comes to conservatives. They really can’t mentally grasp the concept that “freedom of religion” means that no American can be forced to have another person’s religious views placed upon them. Liberals actually believe in true religious freedom. As in, keep religion private and out of public policy. Simple, right? Let people practice their religion (any religion, or no religion at all) as much as they’d like, just as long as it’s done so privately. You know, where it cannot be forced on other people. That’s true religious freedom. The right for myself, or any other American, to live our lives as we want, without someone else’s religious views being forced upon us. Conservatives are constantly trying to assert that “religious freedom” means that they have the right to pass laws which force their religion on other people. Forcing people who don’t subscribe to a particular religion to follow laws based on that religion isn’t “freedom of religion” – that’s religion by force. In other words, it’s completely unconstitutional.
2) Women’s rights: This one is really simple. When the Supreme Court ruled on Roe v. Wade it gave women the right to have an abortion – end of story. Any attempt to infringe upon that right is unconstitutional. Which is exactly what conservatives are constantly trying to do. Hiding their attempts to ban abortion clinics under the guise of “protecting women’s health” is laughable.
3) Equal rights: I’m not quite sure how this is even an issue. Seriously, in this day and age, how are we still having to fight for equal pay for women and equal rights for LGBT individuals? Well, because Republicans continue to vote against legislation that protects women in the workplace, while supporting laws that would make discriminating against LGBT Americans legal. The rule here should be crystal clear: If a straight, white Christian male is given a right – everyone should have that same right. That’s the thing about every American’s right to “equal rights” – you can’t pick and choose which Americans you want to give them to. Although conservatives are constantly trying to do exactly that.
4) Voting rights: Long ago, some people attempted to keep certain people (typically people of color) from voting by requiring tests or charging a “poll tax” in order to vote. These were clear attempts to discourage these particular people who might want to exercise their Constitutional right to vote from being able to do so. Well, since Republicans can’t flat-out prevent people from voting, they’re now passing strict new voting laws that make it more difficult for many Americans to vote. But it’s “okay” because these laws aren’t meant to discourage people from voting; that would be unconstitutional, you see. No, no. These laws are meant to combat rampant voter fraud – a problem that doesn’t actually exist. Liberals want to make voting easier, and more accessible – while conservatives are trying to make it more difficult and discouraging.
5) Obamacare: A fairly new one, but still a constant. It’s rare that you can bring up the Affordable Care Act to a conservative where they don’t go on and on about how “unconstitutional” and “socialist” the health care law is. The law was passed by Congress, signed by the president and upheld by the Supreme Court – it’s Constitutional. In fact, outside of a full-on Constitutional Amendment, you don’t get much more “Constitutional” than the Affordable Care Act.
If you look throughout all of these subjects, you’ll notice a common trend. When it comes to conservatives, it isn’t about what’s actually Constitutional, but what they wished was. Conservatives will frequently go on and on about how much they love our Constitution – up until it supports something with which they disagree. Then they have absolutely no problem doing everything they can to prevent Americans from being given those rights.
Hit me up on Twitter and let me know what you think.