Wednesday night I attended a debate between Jonah Goldberg and Peter Beinart at Salt Lake Community College. It was a great debate from which I came away thinking: I wish John McCain would shrug off his native populism and be a strong advocate of conservatism like Jonah Goldberg.
Probably the most impactful thing I heard from Goldberg was a point he made regarding “rights.” The Bill of Rights is a negative guarantor of rights–as in, it limits what government can do to the individual. Liberals have turned rights into “positive” things. The right to health care, a job, etc.
As Goldberg pointed out, anything the government gives, it can take away. And rights that are native to the individual–inalienable, God-given–cannot be given or taken away by government.
This is classic liberalism at its best.
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