Stepping back from moralism

I’ve often wondered just how tied to religion the Republican base is.  When moral issues come up, it certainly seems to be a very high percentage of the makeup. One of the problems, however, is that our other argument is the Constitution. For instance, the possession and use of a naturally growing plant (apparently created by God) gets more and more strange the more one considers it. Where in the Constitution does it say that I can’t grow one of these plants *for any reason*?  Or any plant that even resembles it. This, to the point of outlawing marijuana’s cousin, the hemp plant. Are we *that* scared of marijuana that we would outlaw anything that even looked like it? Apparently we are. Even as someone who doesn’t smoke anything of any kind, I find this beyond strange.

But it’s not just that. We seem to like to meddle, nationally, in the right to die, gay marriage, flag burning and things that Thomas Jefferson would say “neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg”. If Ted Kennedy were in incredible pain and wished to pull the plug a little early or if Ronald Reagan, in a moment of clarity, decided he didn’t want to go back to where he was, are we really good judges to say they shouldn’t do that? Is this not something between man and his maker?    Do I need someone like Rick Santorum forcing me to live my life as he wishes?   If Catholics, for instance, think that assisted suicide is evil, does that not, then, only apply to actual Catholics?  What if Muslims come to power?   Will I be forced to add a few dozen more illegal things to the long list of things I can’t do to myself?

Pondering out loud, I’m asking if this is a necessary part of conservatism or Republicanism? Would it cause a splintering of religious conservatives? Or would they hang in there and be okay with the “it’s unconstitutional” argument. I respect Republicans for trying to make a flag-burning amendment rather than simply trying to outlaw it, but if we were to outlaw flag burning, what is next? Not coincidentally, the fact that it is legal to burn a flag has all but completely destroyed the desire to burn them. Maybe there’s a message for us in there somewhere.

As a married person, I honestly don’t feel diminished if Bob and Steve get married. Politicians say my marriage is diminished, but I’m not feeling it. I don’t really care. Of course, some might say that homosexuals shouldn’t be exempt from the stresses and strains of marriage either. But it is it a national issue? Moreover, is it an *important* national issue, compared to the economic disaster we face?

Now, I can see how the federal government may have an interest in the trafficking of highly addictive drugs. I have seen these drugs take away the freedom of will of friends and acquaintances and it is a brutal affair. Certainly we can regulate the sale of these, without punishing the sad user further. We have seen that humans like to intoxicate themselves one way or another. If not marijuana, alcohol. If not alcohol, adrenaline. If not cocaine, huffing some chemical that is 100 times more dangerous.

One of the things that has annoyed me more than all of this, however, is “Click it or Ticket”.  Aside from the annoying rhyme, seeing these signs and the associated taxpayer expensive every few miles.   I have no idea why this bothers me so much, since I feel naked without my seatbelt, but in my fantasies, I have one of the many interesting weapons from Halo2 as I come upon one.   Yes, it’s a good idea to wear a seatbelt, but why are we spending 100s of $millions to threaten and fine people?

The question becomes, if we really profess to believe in the Constitution, why do we get involved in these things at a national level?   Is it possible to explain to those who do like these laws that it’s a state or local issue?    Do we gain more voters than we lose?  Or do we simply lose the base?    These are interesting questions that would be interesting to poll.   For instance “if the same interpretation of the Constitution that prevents ObamaCare also throws out all national, but not state or local, drug use laws, are you for this interpretation?”    Are we capable of separating our moral lives from our legal lives?   Inquiring minds would like to know.