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The Leveling of Man

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

In our ongoing discussion of House Bill 2661, Mark has made the point that:
"The problem here is that the government is violating the principle of equality before the law by extending its role into transactions in which the government plays no part. ... Civil rights are not involved unless you say it’s OK for the government to throw aside the principle of equality before the law and declare that some people are "more equal" than others. ...[I]t has arbitrarily handed out privileges to certain classes of people and not to others."
To which I respond:
I have the right to dispose of my property any way I see fit. In disposing of it, I may choose to make it available for purchase. The government postulates that buyers of my property have the "civil right" backed by the force of government, to be protected from "socially unacceptable" discrimination in the purchasing process. How can both parties be right? Or is one made more right because government chooses to stand in their corner? The latter seems to be the case when it comes to discrimination. In rereading your last comment, I came upon the sentence, "[government] has arbitrarily handed out privileges to certain classes of people and not to others". This, in my opinion, is where our answer lies. Government doesn’t give a rat’s ass about your rights or mine. It has arbitrarily handed out a privilege to its subjects and now must make the rules to enforce it. That’s what this is all about... the steady march into government-granted privileges, culminating in complete social bondage of the masses because most don’t know about natural rights. In fact, most people think our government grants our rights to us.
I was talking with a wheelchair-bound fellow who came into my store, yesterday. I mentioned this bill to him. He said he hadn’t heard about it. He then told me of a story where his subsidized-housing complex had modified a walkway that caused him to fall out of his chair and become injured. He sued the complex and won. The judge ordered the complex to pay his medical bills and provide him with a little cash for his inconvenience. I asked if the complex was forced by court order to fix the hazard that caused all his "pain and suffering." His answer... "No." Unbelievable! He commented that he wished there were some agency that he could report them to. I told him that, in fact, now there was: The Washington Human Rights Commission. He then explained to me that he felt laws written to protect the handicapped were lacking because those writing the laws were not, themselves, handicapped. They could not fully appreciate the difficulty the handicapped experience trying to get around in a bipedal society. I told him that I understood and appreciated his frustration, but he was sorely mistaken if he thought our lawmakers could ever legislate him back into being a whole person. It would never happen. The best he could hope for would be for lawmakers to ban walking by all. Then we would all be on an equal footing.
And that’s what this bill does. It essentially bans the walking by all members of society in order to level the playing field for a few who are wheelchair-bound. It doesn’t raise them up to a higher level in society but forces society down to theirs. In doing so, it infringes on the natural rights of everyone it touches... even those it claims to protect.


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