American Patriot posted four questions asking our opinions on a few issues, and I am obliging him with a response. These are my responses:
1) What are your opinions (generally speaking – you do not have to write a 50 page essay) of our Founding Documents and their relevance to modern day U.S.?
I believe the founding documents were a framework for our country. The founding fathers (a bunch of f*cking racists with a handful of good ideas1) gave us the tools to change that framework as the times change though. I wish the amendment process would be used much more, instead of just making “laws.” From this point on, I will no longer put laws in quotation marks, but if I talk about federal laws, know that I am air quoting around them in a condescending fashion. One example, at risk of sounding like a hippie, would be medical marijuana prohibition. How do they justify the fact that they had to amend the constitution to make alcohol illegal, and then just include medical marijuana under some blanketing of interstate commerce?
2) Do you believe in a ‘living constitution’?
Do I believe that some things, such as what is considered a liberty and a right require a flexible view along with the evolution of society? Yes, especially with the evolution of technology, and how it can be abused to infringe on personal privacy (Fusion Centers). Do I believe that the Supreme Court should inject their bias into decisions? No. I do not agree with many federal laws that are made by just using their own opinions of vaguely worded amendments to justify their enforcement. I believe that if the country expects us to follow the law, then they should follow the law and do things correctly (amend the constitution). That being said, some things, like the ACA, just wouldn’t get done unless someone took the step and got it done, and I do believe that health care is a right of all people. I think that health care could be better done on a state by state basis though, and the president has made this an option to all states (I loved this decision, although I expect many won’t take him up on it because they don’t have any better ideas). There are some things that cannot be done on a local government basis though, like environmental protection. If states were allowed to make the decision, then other states, down the river or in the direction of prevailing winds, could be the ones taking the brunt of the damages. Although I haven’t been explicit, you may have guessed than I am not a very religious man, because religion sticks too firmly to ideas rooted in the past. I believe that knowledge of history is vital and important but dogmatic adherence to past principles, in the church as well as government, should be frowned upon. Societies change over time, it is guaranteed and unstoppable, and with these changes our society requires a form of government that is as dynamic.
3) What do you think a ‘right’ is and what are basic ‘human rights’ as you see it?
A really complex issue, it’s easier to see when rights are being infringed than to come up with a list of rights. So here I go… I’ll steal and expand on Life, Liberty and Pursuit of Happiness (hey, I wrote about that one). Life would be food, shelter, clothing, health care, clean air, clean water, and education2. Liberty is a bit trickier, but I would include protection of free speech, religion, race, gender, sexual orientation, mandatory gun ownership and other similar issues I’m forgetting. Pursuit of happiness is pretty much covered under everything else, again citing Denmark as my example.
4) Where do you draw the line between ‘rights’ that need to be protected by the government and ‘wants’ that should be individual responsibility?
I think that local governments are ideally/uniquely situated to protect rights, since they are in more direct contact with the people. Although without the federal government stepping up on things like civil rights, we might still be stuck in a backwards country in that respect. In terms of wants, I wouldn’t consider “things” a right (the rate of trampoline and Jet Ski ownership in Denmark is disgustingly low) even though they make some people happy.
 Tosh, Daniel, perf. Happy Thoughts. 2011. DVD.
 Our system sucks, but this isn’t the place to expand on that.