This started as a comment to this post of Joe’s, but Joe has told me not to bury so much in comments.
Getting to basics; rights (or equal rights) have a long history of being extremely unpopular. The American Founders knew this. They knew our rights would be constantly under attack, and tried as they could to protect them.
I spent some time, during the Cold War, listening to Radio Moscow, Radio Havana, and several other English broadcasts from not-so-friendly countries. These programs were aimed at Americans, and attempted to malign, impugn, and smear the capitalist, libertarian ideals upon which the U.S. is founded. The people they had as speakers were extremely good at sounding like your favorite, American-born uncle. Very nice, well spoken, friendly, and (drum roll) they sounded exactly like today’s more reasonable sounding pundits of the American Left.
The posted quote instantly reminded me of listening to Radio Moscow back in the day, except that it is much more vitriolic than the Soviet broadcasts.
Yes; the protection of rights makes many more things possible, however, a potentiality is not actuality. One of those things made possible by rights protection is a prosperous, dynamic society in which people can live their lives and pursue their dreams without looking over their shoulders all the time wondering when and why they might get arrested, fined, audited, stopped at a checkpoint, harassed with no recourse, et al. Without rights protection, that vibrant society is impossible, mainly because doing less makes you safer from the above harassment, doing more makes you a target, and doing far more, and being good at it makes you the target…at some point Atlas shrugs.
As for the safety that the left pretends it wants to force on all of us;
Just as a matter of general practicality, are you safer with your rights protected, or without? “Safe from what” would be the next question, or “from whom”? As we’re discussing “safety” in the public arena, keep in mind the question of whether your and your neighbor’s rights are safe.
Human rights protection means that, no matter who you are, a lot of people are going to be doing a things that you absolutely hate, but are perfectly legal anyway. A lot of other people are going to hate what you’re doing too, but they won’t be able to stop you without committing a crime of some sort. That’s what it means, People. It means all the good things that go along with liberty, but it also means you have to actually be tolerant, along with being tolerated, and not just talk about tolerance to make yourself look good in public forums.
Try this mind experiment, next time you see or think of someone or some activity that you hate, or that someone else hates. Ask yourself; “who’s rights are they violating, or trying to violate?” That’s a very clarifying and even liberating question. If the answer is “no one’s” then move along. Nothing to see there. It’s time to dig in and start minding your own business, and hopefully you’ll have the freedom to mind your own business without someone trying to mind it for you.
ETA; I was once in a very long debate with my communist brother-in-law. He was reciting the litany [as he saw it] of horrible, evil things that Wal Mart [a big target because they do so much so well] had done over the years. When I asked that magic question; “Who’s rights are they violating?” he shut right the hell up. In his mind I was just “tricking” him with clever rhetoric, but in fact he had never considered rights in his extensive evaluations of Wal Mart [or, presumably, in most other areas of consideration]. Again, I blame education [or what used to be referred to as Soviet propaganda] for the mass ignorance with regard to America’s Promise.