Thomas Jefferson, Author of the Declaration of Independence
Liberalism is defined by its opponents.
The Imaginative Conservative
Why the Bill of Rights Is a Failure
by Bruce Frohnen
Bruce P. Frohnen is a Senior Contributor at The Imaginative Conservative. He is Professor of Law at Ohio Northern University College of Law and the author of Virtue and the Promise of Conservatism: The Legacy of Burke and Tocqueville, The New Communitarians and The Crisis of Modern Liberalism and editor (with George Carey) of Community and Tradition: Conservative Perspectives on the American Experience.
... The liberal insistence that rights are abstract universal principles with no basis in or proper limits set by either history or their own internal logic was founded on an obsession with individual autonomy fated from the start to end in political cannibalism. Autonomy by definition cannot abide restraint. When it becomes the essential value for which political forms and structures exist, those forms and structures will atrophy or, more likely, be torn down in the name of autonomy...
If Conservatism means denying that mankind be endowed by its Creator with certain unalienable rights, among which are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, I cannot be so called, for the Declaration of Independence makes ontological claims: there be a Creator and such Creator endow mankind with certain absolute rights.
I do not like labels, such as Conservative and Liberal, but in the present age, if sign posts are needed so in the kingdom of the blind, I take sides with the Creator and the benefits which flow there from, for the so-called conservative casuistry that is exemplified by Mr. Frohnen is the slippery slope leading to the poisoned well of tyranny.
If some wit find fault with my use of the subjunctive above, the use is the subjunctive potential, not some future-contrary-to-fact mumbo-jumbo.)