Markos Moulitsas is, according to his Twitter bio, the founder of Daily Kos and the author of American Taliban: How Sex, Sin, and Power Bind Jihadists to the Radical Right. On Super Tuesday, he tweeted something very sad:
Santorum scoffs at notion that gov't creates rights. In other words, he doesn't believe in the US Constitution
I can think of few better examples of how serious a problem we have as a country than what this tweet represents. When people responded by pointing him to, you know, the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, he doubled down:
Dear Cons, show me where in the Constitution is god mentioned. In fact, it states "we the people" as the source of the rights (Preamble)
When you look at the religious liberty battle facing the country right now, you have one side speaking in terms of government intrusion into a natural right. The other side talks about the "right to free birth control" or a "war on women."
The deeper problem, of course, is that one side is talking about negative liberty and the other side doesn't even understand the vocabulary.
I don't want to get too pessimistic here, but this is what decades of horrible public and private education have wrought: a populace that doesn't understand liberty, how rights are derived, and the very basis of civil society.
What to do about it?