INDIVIDUAL RIGHTS V. SOCIETAL HEALTH
When we look at all the major battles going on right now, there is a clearly recurring conflict: what are the rights of the individual and what are the things we agree upon to build a better, safer country for all of us? Certainly, the founding fathers wanted a place built on the rights of the individual, including the rights of protection and the rights of life, liberty, etc., but the point was that this would be a place where those rights would be available for all. (Their definition of “all” has certainly come under major scrutiny, but that’s a topic for another time). The assumption should have been a sound one: given the basic decency in humankind, all would have their rights protected—and that an individual’s gain was also in fact the society’s gain.
Sadly, protections designed to increase well-being for all seem to fragment it instead. Horrific gun violence escalates daily, yet one’s right to bear arms is in conflict with a child’s basic right to live. Mask mandates and vaccines are decried by many, while more and more people contract and die senselessly from COVID variants. Policing in this country should be strictly scrutinized for abuse and yet this seemingly conflicts with the recent astronomical rise in violent crime.
These difficulties seem insurmountable, as people are refusing to consider any changes in their rights, even though they could benefit from the greater good. What we need to do is stop retreating to our respective encampments, because THE PROBLEMS ARE THERE! They are not going to go away until people realize we need solutions and that means negotiations and, yes, some compromises. Solutions do not occur in isolation, but through synthesis. It is time for the left and right to come together for resolution—before we dissolve in entropy.