Proliferation of “rights”

by Barry King

Crazy about "rights" in the USA: OK, so you find certain rights (real rights, without scare quotes) occasionally inconvenient, even though they are established in the text of our founding documents. Such as: the rights to life, to bear arms, to free speech, and to religious liberty. I get that. They are inherently controversial, always were, still are. That's why the list is so short and why it was so carefully considered, and is in the Constitution and Declaration, rather than in easily changeable law. (At least until the SCOTUS gets started on indefinitely expanding it according to modern preferences and fads.)

But I don't get this: what makes a long and growing list of individual preferences worthy to be called "rights", worth fabricated outrage, petitions, boycotts, blacklisting, cancellations, and protests? What are the motivators for that? Are you bored, self-indulgent, lost in Maslow's hierarchy, or nostalgic for the era of real civil rights issues?

What are you going to do when the guy who demands his "right" to use the girls' shower according to his preference, meets the girl who demands her "right" not to have her stress triggers pushed by meeting a guy in her shower, because that is her preference? Are you going to boycott / blacklist / fire both of them? Are you going to call for opposing groups of protesters to face off against each other in the streets? That's not a recipe for "diversity" or peace or civility, it's just a recipe for a pointless civil war.

 

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