Do Ask, Do Tell: A Gay Conservative Lashes Back : Individualism, Identity, Personal Rights, Responsibility, and Community in a Libertarian Third Millennium
The original Bill of Rights, sponsored largely by James Madison, is now about 210 years old. Reinforced by the Fourteenth Amendment, which eventually applied many of its provisions to the states, it has served us well. It is time to re-evaluate our fundamental constitutional rights and to seriously consider their major renovation. This is my central proposal.
Are we ready to trust ourselves as individuals with the personal responsibilities that go with rights? When government defines personal moral values, we tend to take less account for not only our own actions but also our own underlying values, for those spiritual yearnings that make us, all unique people, who we are. We tend to lose interest in speaking for ourselves and tend to leave moral judgments to "experts" who get paid to pass judgment on all of us. I discuss a philosophy, often called libertarianism, of extremely restricted government. I present it from the personal perspective of a gay man who grew up in a period of enormous change and migration toward cultural individualism. My argument is intended for everyone, but I provide my own detailed perspectives on many issues.