In North Carolina, the election of May 8th provides the opportunity for voters to cast their preferences where not only candidates are concerned but the state-constitutional definition of "marriage" as well. Amendment One proposes to add a ban on any domestic union outside heterosexual marriage to the state constitution.
I'm posting the unedited version of a letter to the editor I recently wrote for two reasons. Said editor's word limit is a fixed 200; this is . . . over that. A weense. Also, I think this may help clarify a stance a la this post's title; individualism--its literary incorporation so valued here--just ain't got that swing (or the rhyming counterpart thereto) sans the comprehended, valued, defended concept of individual rights. And so:
Today, I voted in favor of the few candidates who appear consistently dedicated to across-the-board liberty for citizens of North Carolina, and against Amendment One. Many of the popular arguments both for and against this proposed alteration sidestep the core element being voted upon. Left-wing, right-wing, and wingless (... grounded?) voters will never reach a unanimous opinion on whether homosexuality is morally permissible; fortunately for everyone's government-protected individual rights, we don't need to massly concur on what is likeable, moral, gross, in-all-senses healthy; we don't need to agree on much, actually.
If we are to stand by the separation of church and state (and if we are to protectively seal our government from ideologies up to and as harmful as Islam, we must commit to the separation of church and state), our constitutional definition of "marriage" must only take into account the elements of that union that conceivably may require government intervention. Regardless of the contract type, courts are charged with judiciously weighing in on contract disputes because this process is vital to the acquisition, management, and defense of one's earned property; and attempting to hold "individual rights" aloft while diminishing "property rights" ... well, it's a bad joke.
I find it reprehensible that people who present themselves as rational patriots, defenders of the Constitution, do not see the error in telling adults of sound mind that they cannot voluntarily enter into a contract whose (legal) upshot relates to property and taxes. It is boggling, furthermore, that a purported patriot thinks him or herself justified in decreeing that this taxpaying citizen cannot be extended benefits presently extended to these (hitched) citizens.
I consider it a shame that with this measure and others similar the Republican Party alienates so many who refuse association with modern-day discrimination. It's a shame because the Democratic Party collectively supports many adamantly anti-individual-freedom programs. Inasmuch as "individual rights" is a hollow concept when one tries to subtract out property ownership, "redistributing wealth" and forcing taxpayers to monetarily sponsor other people is an unequivocal violation of the idea of Liberty for One (and therefore, the idea of liberty). Faults such as these too frequently go glossed over, not properly taken to task for their affront to freedom, because, again, many rational voters will not cast lots with a party that trends toward unabashed and unconstitutional treading upon rights in the name of a belief system that far from everyone adheres to.
The Republican Party should defend the republic of the United States of America; it is failing. What it gains in (generally and to an extent) respecting private property ownership (of most), it loses in assuming the power to force-apply a majority's moral stance onto every minority in jurisdiction.
Ayn Rand said
"Individual rights are not subject to a public vote; a majority has no right to vote away the rights of a minority; the political function of rights is precisely to protect minorities from oppression by majorities (and the smallest minority on earth is the individual)."
How right she was. On a closing note, I would like to quote her once more:
"Intellectually, to rest one's case on faith means to concede that reason is on the side of one's enemies—that one has no rational arguments to offer. The 'conservatives' claim that their case rests on faith, means that there are no rational arguments to support the American system, no rational justification for freedom, justice, property, individual rights, that these rest on a mystic revelation and can be accepted only on faith—that in reason and logic the enemy is right, but men must hold faith as superior to reason."
It is an insult to this country's Constitution to defend it on the grounds of religious conviction or tradition. Yesterday is valuable exclusively to the extent that it proffered objective values that are such-judged in the scope of independent reason. Every toddler with Legos understands that collapsing a structure is a lazy moment's work compared to building one; what we stand to speedily lose in every election is hard-earned government protection of rights for every individual--the monied tycoon, single mom, social recluse, frat boy, black guy, white dude, heterosexual or homosexual or bisexual individual. We stand to sacrifice today and tomorrow to the religion of yesterday; we stand to inflate our government to the brink of bursting--unscrutinized sentiments providing the dizzying breath for this.
However, fortunately, we also stand to turn back the tide of irrationality and force; to salvage the America in which tribe membership does not matter but merit does--the country in which one is not Brother or Sister Whoever in whatever groupthinking/moving/earning/spending National Family, but is: One.