Civil Rights 101

Amid the fountains of bloviation about the demise of Western Civilization because the California Supreme Court upheld a constitutional amendment, let’s have a short civics lesson.

Civil rights are “civil” because they are granted by the civic institutions of the state.  There is a lot of pontificating – yes, @ColinKelley, this means you, though you have plenty of company – about how civil rights should never be subject to majority rule.  Sigh.  People, think.

Civil rights BY DEFINITION have to be voted on.  It is inalienable rights that cannot be voted on (among these are life, liberty, and property).  By no possible stretch of the imagination is the right to have your sexual union recognized by the state inalienable.  ALL rights granted by the state are alienable.

When you get rid of the idea of God, and stop basing your laws on moral conduct, then you reach the point where all rights are civil rights, and all power rests in the hands of the government.  Then your inalienable rights, the ones that adults care about, can be violated at will.

[Side note here: if you are black, you understand all too well how government can do this.  Slavery was a violation of civil rights, yes, but it was also a violation of inalienable rights.  The Constitution did not emancipate blacks, but it did at least have a mechanism for the assertion of inalienable rights and it was that document that made emancipation possible, once people came to their senses.  Slavery remains, however, undeniable proof that the existence of a document doesn't automatically guarantee its legal force.]

This is one reason smart people revere the Constitution, because it at least attempted to put restraints on what government could and could not do with respect to those inalienable rights.  For this purpose, governments are formed.  However, as we learn, no amount of law will prevent bad people from being bad.  No set of regulations will make selfish people less selfish.  No constitution can stop people from choosing to be treated like infants, abdicating personal responsibility, and trying to make everyone else pay for their own stupid mistakes.

This is why even smarter people don’t believe that the Constitution can save the Republic.  It’s just a  document.  Only the people can save the Republic, and right now, my read is that the people don’t care.  They don’t have enough understanding to process how the CA Supremes can vote 6-1 not to invalidate a constitutional amendment process that was as meticulously legal as anything could be.  They just want to be mad.

Well, then.  Wish granted.

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