Attn: Republican Party, Please Help Clarify Which Constitutional Rights are Important and Why

Attn: Republican Party, Please Help Clarify Which Constitutional Rights are Important and Why

Disclaimer: The views expressed are not representative of those of Unfold. This is an individual viewpoint from one staff member.

 

The Republican Party appears confused over exactly which constitutional freedoms they want to protect: Gun Rights? Of course. Citizen Birthrights? Not so much.

An emergent theme from the Republican party as we debate gun control is that our constitution enshrines the right to bear arms and thus it is sacrosanct. Senator Orrin Hatch from Utah expressed concern, saying the right to bear arms is an “express provision” in the Constitution, unlike other “conjured-up” provisions “the court has come up with” over time. (On a side note, as even the majority of Democrats do not want to abolish the 2nd Amendment this doesn’t seem like a justified fear!)

For a party whose members like to proclaim their defense of our Bill of Rights, one which decries even a ban on dangerous assault weapons–to advocate for the amending of the birthright citizenship is nonsensical!  A little over a month ago, 19 Republican congressmen introduced a bill abridging birthright citizenship to legal immigrant’s families. (And do we even want to get into their opposition to granting all citizens the equal right to marriage?)

The Republican Party does not defend all parts of the Constitution equally. The NRA has been a good friend of the Republican Party, contributing significant funding to their election campaigns as well as being a formidable lobbying force. Yes, Dems receive funding from them too but the $50,000 they received during the 2011-2012 election cycle is paltry compared to the $18 million that was spent against them.

Rather than expressing outrage at Obama over taking our rights away the Republican Party should have an open and frank conversation about which rights matter and why. We deserve to understand the motivations behind all the rhetoric.

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