Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Commentary by James Shott

Hillary Clinton, former First Lady and former U.S. Senator from New York, is unquestionably an ambitious lady. As husband Bill’s term in the Oval Office was winding down in 2000, she ran for and won a New York Senate seat, ran for the 2008 Democrat nomination for president, losing to Barack Obama, and then became Secretary of State from 2009 to 2013 in the administration of her recent political opponent. Now she is running for president again.

She is a polarizing figure, with large numbers of people who adore her on one side, and large numbers who just want her to go away on the other, due to both her past ideas as well as the more recent ones. Following her period as Secretary of State we see a calculating, disingenuous personality addicted to secretive practices, both characteristics of someone who will do anything to win whatever challenge they may be facing.

Campaigning again for the Democrat nomination, her over-confident demeanor and insincere responses to questions about her recent past suggest she sees her nomination as inevitable. And despite the numerous scandals raging around her, she feels entitled to the Oval Office. Should someone so out of touch with reality be President of the United States?

There. I have used all of the “forbidden” descriptors, banned from use in discussing Hillary Clinton: polarizing, calculating, disingenuous, insincere, ambitious, inevitable, entitled, over-confident, secretive, will do anything to win, represents the past, and out of touch.

This edict comes from the group "HRC Super Volunteers," which promises to keep an eye out for the use of words it holds to be sexist code words, and even went so far as to warn Amy Chozick of The New York Times. The email sent to Ms. Chozick read, "You are on notice that we will be watching, reading, listening and protesting coded sexism...”

All of which goes to justify using several of those descriptors, even if the Super Volunteers prefer to not see them. Truthfully, it is difficult to discuss Hillary Clinton without these descriptions coming to mind.

She spoke to the sixth annual Women in the World Summit recently. In her speech, she said the following: “Far too many women are denied access to reproductive health care and safe childbirth, and laws don’t count for much if they’re not enforced. Rights have to exist in practice — not just on paper,” she said. “Laws have to be backed up with resources and political will.”

A couple of things in that statement reflect some of those “qualities,” but what came next goes even further: “And deep-seated cultural codes, religious beliefs and structural biases have to be changed.”

Cultural codes do change, but they do so slowly over time, as the things people value ebb and flow, and structural biases also often evolve as cultures change. Neither, however, changes at the command of someone believing they are entitled to make such a demand.

The third element in that statement, religious beliefs, is a completely different matter. Religious tenets are hallowed, deep-seated and long-standing, and in most cases were developed centuries ago. They are a pact between people and their Creator, and as such rise above having to yield to the disapproval of, or recommendations for change by, Hillary Clinton, or any other person or faction.

To suggest that religious beliefs ought to be changed to conform to some recent social whim that contradicts those beliefs is the height of arrogance and hubris.

Furthermore, in the United States, the sanctity of religious beliefs is guaranteed by the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof …”

P.J. O'Rourke, political satirist, and journalist, said this about the Founders and their ideas: “Our Founding Fathers lacked the special literary skills with which modern writers on the subject of government are so richly endowed. When they wrote the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights, they found themselves more or less forced to come to the point. So clumsy of thought and pen were the Founders that even today, seven generations later, we can tell what they were talking about.”

Given the plain language of the Constitution and its Amendments, recent court decisions obviously breach the Constitutional protections of valued religious tenets, such as that people whose religion rejects homosexuality can be forced to provide services through their business that contradict their religious beliefs. When a conflict exists between the desires of a gay couple for wedding services and the religious beliefs of business owners requested to provide those services, laws that punish the business owners for honoring their beliefs and denying the requested services plainly violate the Constitution’s protection of the free exercise of religion.

The ideology of the hard left seems to know no bounds; nothing trumps the desires of the left, not even the U.S. Constitution. Founding principles and sacred ideals are respected only as long as they are useful to the left. After that point has been crossed, long-held and respected values are thrown in the trash in favor of new temporary values.


Cross-posted from Observations

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