Un/Common Concepts of Rights

I don’t think most people have a very clear idea of what a “right” is. Conversationally and in the news, the concept of a right seems to range from a basic human need (food, shelter) to abstractions about life in society (property, movement) to social expectations that might vary by time and culture (harassment, religion).

I think there are some elements of truth in varying degree to each one of those, but we rarely ever encounter any clear definition of the term that people agree on. And I think a lot of our political discussions would go a lot farther if we did have more agreement on that term.

Truth, Feeling, and Appearances

Although we were out of the country on vacation, we still managed to see the majority of this week’s judiciary committee meeting regarding Brett Kavanaugh’s appointment to the Supreme Court and Dr. Christine Blasey Ford’s allegations of sexual assault against him.

And it’s complicated.

Political Intelligence

It’s pretty common for the anti-Trump crowd to say that Trump is “stupid” or an “idiot.”  And it equally common for the pro-Trump crowd to argue that he’s actually a strategic genius who has been manipulating our perceptions and the media in order to advance his agenda.  Both of these positions are, in my view, overstated… although I do like to call the man an idiot myself.

The key is context.