Whether someone is on the left or on the right, the principle of individual rights is almost universally accepted, at least superficially, by both major American political parties. Unfortunately, neither party has a great record vis a vis individual rights.
The Republican Party has for far too long been the self proclaimed political party of individualism, and, while there are many things you can call Republican policies, individualism surely isn’t one of them. Uneducated hypocrisy fits, among others.
For a little clarity, let’s start with definitions. Individualism is the philosophical position that, since only individuals are capable of possessing rights, only individual rights exist. For the individualist, collective (or corporate) rights are a progressive fairy tale.
This idea takes a little bit of development (which is why it’s so poorly understood by poorly educated Republicans), so let’s start with something even fly over rubes will likely understand: guns. Gun ownership is an inherent right under individualism. Why?
Because owning a gun is an inherent right of self defense against both personal threats, such as criminals, and political threats, such as a tyrannical state. Additionally, per individualism, gun rights cannot be collectively revoked because of a single bad actor.
Under individualism, the only legitimate role of government is to defend individual rights via punishing of moral crimes (murder, rape, theft, vandalism, arson, etc.). So long as someone is innocent of such moral crimes, the government should leave them alone.
Very few Republicans should take issue with the description of individualism provided above, and yet the (white) nationalists who have taken over the Republican Party openly advocate for state persecution of individuals who haven’t committed any moral crimes.
Since the typical Republican voter will be confused by this, let’s spell it out. Because an individual cannot constitute a “nation” or a “country“, there cannot be an individual right to a “nation” or a “country“, thus an individual right to a “border” is a total fiction.
While advocating for targeted immigration laws that deny access to individuals who pose an actual danger to others are morally justifiable, supporting laws forbidding guiltless individuals from coming into our country is just racist bigotry.
Advocating for laws and policy that prohibit innocent individuals from entering the country or even being able to contract with individuals in the United States in order to “protect American companies” isn’t individualism. That’s pure collectivism.
The average Republican voter will again be confused here, so let’s go over this, too. Invoking “American workers” as a protected class requires there be a collectivist right to economic protection by the state, but there are no such things as collective rights.
Unless an individual right to be protected from competition exists (it doesn’t), there is no basis for state involvement in economic transactions of any kind, let alone international trade, and, even if in response to foreign state involvement, it violates individualism.
Until Republicans voters abandon collectivism (fat chance) or conservatives abandon the Republican Party (and the 2018 midterms demonstrated this may be happening), then the rubes will continue to run the Republican Party into the ground.
Sadly, this article just went completely over the heads of the typical Republican voter, which is why the progressives have enjoyed so much success in dominating the political discourse in America. Their only real political opposition is ignorant.
Individualism no longer has any representation in national politics, and, until it does, collectivism will continue to overrun our nation’s politics unabated.
Liberty is For The Win!