Inalienable Rights aren’t some sort of zero-sum game that means you have fewer rights if other people have the same rights as you.
I used to let myself get suckered into that Ayn Rand sort of game but as I’ve gotten back to my Sixties idealist roots I’ve started to see how shitty I was acting and how I was letting myself join a lynch mob attacking other groups that were equally or more oppressed.
Identity politics encourage that shitty sort of behavior towards people that aren’t part of your tribe.
Hell people even encourage folks to deny others their inalienable rights based on the argument that, “they aren’t like us.”
It doesn’t matter whether the argument they aren’t like us, is based on race, ethnicity, religion or a myriad of other factors including sex, sexuality or gender behavior.
We don’t really enumerate most things that are inalienable rights because we really like being able to discriminate, say we are better than those people over there, hell we murder millions in wars that leave millions of our own dead in order to perpetuate our entitlement and our “right” to deny others their equal rights.
The people who wrote our Declaration of Independence summed up some of those rights we describe inalienable: Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
The thing about these sort of rights is that they should belong to everyone, including people who are different from you or I.
It doesn’t mean you should have more rights than someone else simply because you have more money or are white and a Dominionist. Inalienable rights means that both men and women have the same rights. That gays and lesbians have the same rights as straights. That TS/TG and all those other labels have the same rights as people whose lives were never impacted by trans-prefixed words.
The late Utah Phillips used to say, Everyone is born with these rights and as soon as they are born people start taking them away and its up to you to fight to keep those rights that should belong to everyone.
I’ve spent my lifetime standing up for those rights, not just for myself but for others from other groups that I am not a part of.
That what the Left is about and I am an unabashed leftist. To be a leftist, to be a Progressive is to stand up for and defend the rights of everyone.
Steinbeck laid out what that means in Tom Joad’s soliloquy near the end of Grapes of Wrath.
I’ll be all around in the dark. I’ll be ever’-where – wherever you can look. Wherever there’s a fight so hungry people can eat, I’ll be there. Wherever there’s a cop beatin’ up a guy, I’ll be there. I’ll be in the way guys yell when they’re mad – I’ll be in the way kids laugh when they’re hungry an’ they know supper’s ready. An’ when the people are eatin’ the stuff they raise, and livin’ in the houses they build – I’ll be there, too
It is bigotry to try to impose collective guilt upon an entire class of people based on the acts of individuals who may be members of that group.
It is a freaking war crime when an invading army uses collective punishment on a population for the acts of resistance committed by a few.
Yet every single time bigots want to justify their advocating for the denial of rights to an entire class of people they drag out the red herring of some member in that group having at some point and time having done something heinous.
The expected reaction to that heinous crime is supposed to be, “Oh that’s horrible. No one in that class of people should be allowed to go on breathing much less be entitled to the same rights I am.”
Well that works if no one questions the premise of imposing collective punishment for individual acts.
It also works if no one questions the general mendacity of bigots trying to stir others into joining them in their attacks upon the group targeted for bigotry.
Sometimes bigots will appeal to people’s vanity with the , “You and I are different, we are not like those people, we are different.
And different we may well be, but that does not justify the leap of logic required to reach the conclusion: Therefore we should deny others the same rights we consider our inalienable rights.
At one point we, Americans fought a war which divided families and nearly brought our nation to an end.
A large number of people in the southern part of our nation were conservatives who thought they were better than people from Africa, whom they treated as subhuman and owned as slaves. While large numbers of progressive people in the North (who may in reality have not held very high opinions of those people from Africa) stood up and fought to expand those inalienable rights to those people who were enslaved.
It was a bloody bitter war and even today the struggle of people of African ancestry to obtain and maintain their inalienable rights continues.
On one side are the progressives who believe in expanding the category of inalienable rights and insuring that all have those rights, on the other side are the conservatives who wish to restrict the category of inalienable rights and deny those rights to people not like them.
To often I hear an argument from post-transsexuals that goes like this: I had to struggle. No one gave me those things, we had to work for them.
Okay… Nice going. Instead of our having suffered and worked to change those things leaving a heritage of expanded rights for others; we should leave things just the way they were, so that others have to put up with the same pain and difficulty as we did. Except it was pretty easy to skate by with what we had back then. You didn’t have to have official papers, undergo computerized background checks.
The moment I started questioning some of the bullshit put out by the HBS/classic transsexual clique I started seeing the epic fail of both their ethics and logic.
They are running on Focus on the Family/NOM/AFA logic and ethics, which are the ethics and logic of bigots.
The right to own other people, to control the lives of others, to support the discrimination against others is not an inalienable right because it denies inalienable rights to others.
It is nothing more than bigotry and is thus unethical and reactionary behavior.
This analysis of also applies to the self anointed “radical feminists.”
In Orwell’s Animal Farm, he pointed out this logic with the idea “all animals are equal except some are more equal than others.”
You betray your true colors when you trot out the Phyllis Schlafly bath room argument. From that point on I know you can’t possibly be a progressive. Because the argument is bullshit. The protecting women argument was used in a slightly different iteration of protecting white women, to deny black people equal access and enjoyment of their inalienable rights.