It’s a serious question, folks. What are the Limits of Liberty?
See, in the comments here, Brett challenges my love of freedom. As the W.O.R.M.’s sole axiom is “maximize liberty”, I have to respond. Hopefully others will be interested or weigh in. Brett’s a very thoughtful commenter, and definitely a liberty-lover, but I’m taking his argument to its logical limit. Let’s see who blinks.
I posited that progressives seek to control all aspects of life, whether to forbid (lengthy showers) or mandate (making states legalize sodomy). I stated that sodomy isn’t a Constitutional right. Brett countered with the 9th Amendment.
The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.
Does that really mean “anything goes”? Attorneys? Isn’t it to limit the Federal Government, not to prevent states from regulating themselves? I’d argue that one of those “retained” rights is the right to ban absolutely anything not Constitutionally guaranteed. Brett disagrees:
…I place protecting the rights of the individual, not the demands of the majority, as the true purpose of government. Yes, dry counties are unconstitutional.
Okay then. Time to whack injustice with our mighty 9th Amendment hammer! Prostitution is legal in Nevada, so it must be required everywhere else. Dry counties are unconstitutional? Then everyone, including the Amish and Mormons and Baptists, must allow alcohol in even the smallest communities. And if sodomy is guaranteed by the 9th, so is incest.
Isn’t it, Brett?
How dare you prudes deny us Southerners our world-famous brother/sister unions! Hey, if the spawn is genetically unfit they can always abort it, right? And if a daughter is of age and wants to have sex with Daddy, it’s unconstitutional to outlaw it. What is the age of consent? It’s 16. You states that say 18 better shape up. And if any state ever lowers it all the others have to follow. Why? 9th.
Best of all? long pig is back on the menu!
Did any of those disgust or appall you, Brett? They’re just as protected by the 9th as sodomy. And if alcohol can be forced on dry counties then incest can be forced on the prudes. All 300,000,000 of them. You don’t get to pick and choose. There’s a serious whiff of “that which is not forbidden is mandatory” coming off your strategy. You’re saying if something’s not specifically forbidden by the Constitution, the 9th Amendment requires states to allow it? Then the (absolute) lowest common denominator determines what is legal across the entire country.
I’m not budging from my argument. Maximizing liberty means giving people specific areas where their word is law. Don’t like it? Move. “Your house, your rules”? As long as I’m free to leave, fine. Your neighborhood, your rules? Certainly. Your state, your rules? That’s the way I read the Constitution.
Wait, somebody wants to ban free speech? Sorry. Not possible. It’s an enumerated right. So is the right to bare arms (the Constitution has typos).
But if your state wants to ban heterosexual activity? Er…okay, I guess. It’s not a specifically enumerated right, so you’re free to do so. Go for it, we’ll see what happens. Probably not overpopulation, so you got that going for you.
To repeat: my sole axiom is to maximize liberty. I’m as opposed to tyranny by majority as Brett, but the terminus of his argument is even worse: Tyranny of the Shameless. The single least principled, least cautious, least dignified person is freed; all others are shackled. That’s why I’m fighting Brett tooth-and-nail here. Tooth-and-nail.
I’m not gonna be Lindsay Lohan’s bitch.