Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Voting, it can be denied us

"Grandpa, I’ve heard you call voting a privilege while I have heard others say that it is a right. What is the difference between the two words?"

Grandpa putting down his paper he was reading and looked at me with a surprised expression. Then he said,

" Tis a very good question, boy, and one that everyone should be able to distinguish between if they are to understand their role in the governmental process. The primary difference between the two is whether you see them from an upper viewpoint or from a lower viewpoint. By upper viewpoint I mean from the viewpoint of what or who can deny it or what or who can take it away from a person. From a lower viewpoint it is meant from a viewpoint of whom or what cannot deny it or taken away from a person. And that can be determined by how we received that right in the first place.

The reason this is necessary is because you can have a right to something but that thing could also be a privilege. Declaring something as a right is viewing it as something that cannot be taken from you. Viewing something as a privilege is from the viewpoint of its capacity to be taken away from a person. This is where power and authority enters the picture.

Now, to understand this even further we must understand that there is a hierarchy of power and authority in our governmental structure. And in recognition of that hierarchy we can ascertain at what point something can be denied us or taken away from us. And this is why the Declaration of Independence and along with the Constitution of the U.S. are so important

This hierarchy of power and authority can be declared in terms of rights given. All rights can be declared as God given rights whether directly or indirectly. This means that only God has the power and authority to deny these rights. But it is to whom God has given certain rights to that are always questioned. And this is where the Constitution comes into play.

It is within the Constitution that we find that certain rights belong to the federal government, certain rights belong to state and local governments and that certain rights were given to the people in that order of hierarchy. Now comes the sticky part of rights as they are bestowed. We are a nation that possesses 51 Constitutions, a federal Constitution along with a Constitution for each State.

Within each Constitution as we read it we will see that it determines the bodies of the government that it is pertinent to. We will also read the powers and authority it gives to each body. But most important is the fact we can read the restrictions placed upon the government that it specifically addresses. In other words the Federal Constitution restricts the federal government to enacting laws in regards to certain and specific issues. The federal government has no right to enact laws outside of these issues.

If the federal government seeks the power and authority to address issues outside of its given constitutional authority it must seek permission from the States not from the people themselves. And it does so through what we call a constitutional amendment.

So, boy, when someone says they have a constitutional right to vote they are saying that it was the Constitution that gives them the power and authority to select their leaders. But also given what I have said we must always remember that this right may also be taken away. And it can be denied us, the people, without any authority from us. It is in remembering this that voting becomes a privilege and not a right. And people should consider it their duty to vote if they wish to hang on to that privilege."

With that grandpa went back to reading his paper. As I was pondering these words I asked grandpa this question,

"grandpa, I know that as a member of this family I have certain duties to perform so are the chores I have to do every day privileges as given to me by you and gandma?"

I heard grandma give a small snicker at my question.


JD said...

I pray that Americans vote for a candidate that will end the occupation of Iraq. Our military occupation of Iraq is not enhancing our security nor is it benefiting our economy. The occupations needs to end yesterday. Semper Fidelis.

The Griper said...

then I can assure you that your prayers will not be answered regardless of whom is voted into office. For our stay in Iraq is not a military occupation as defined politically.

as for you reasoning that reasoning can be applied to our stay in afghanistan also. in fact it could be applied to any and every war we fought or will fight that was not or is not fought on US soil.

as for the war in Iraq we were more justified in waging the war there than we were in waging the war with afghanistan.

dcat said...

Tell it to the ones that are greatful we are there! jd!

dcat said...

Here you go jd


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