It is extremely revealing that the topic of civil rights and liberties is all but absent from the campaigns of the Democratic and Republican party presidential candidates. Concerned citizens will search in vain for any serious discussion of the issue on the websites of Barack Obama and Mitt Romney. Indeed, neither campaign has bothered to address the issue in their speeches, interviews or informational materials, except, perhaps, insofar as extant rights and liberties might hinder their plans to “enhance” the power of the state at the expense of those rights and liberties. Of course, given the ongoing bipartisan “war on civil liberties” being waged by the Democratic and Republican parties, this is only to be expected from their candidates for president.
Fortunately for concerned citizens, however, there are alternatives such as Libertarian Party candidate Gary Johnson and Green Party candidate Jill Stein. For Libertarian Gary Johnson, the importance of civil liberties is clear enough. The candidate’s website places the topic of civil liberties on a equal footing with issues such as the economy, education and foreign policy. On civil liberties, the Johnson campaign states:
Today, government has created for itself sweeping powers to monitor the private lives of individuals and otherwise intrude upon our daily activities, our households and our businesses. The extent of the government’s reach today would be unrecognizable to the Founders.
Johnson thus calls for an end to the “assault on privacy” through the repeal of the so-called Patriot Act, respect for Habeas Corpus, and the establishment of rational security measures and procedures in executive agencies such as the Transportation Security Administration. He further states that government must remain neutral regarding personal beliefs, including such issues as abortion, stem cell research and marriage.
Civil rights and liberties also feature prominently in the platform of Green Party candidate Jill Stein. The Green Party’s platform, known as the Green New Deal, places its discussion of civil rights and liberties under the rubric of building a functioning democracy. Among other things, the Greens call for the explicit establishment of the right to vote for all American citizens strengthened by the creation of a Voters’ Bill of Rights. Stein also calls for the repeal of the so-called Patriot Act as well as those provisions of the National Defense Authorization Act that would allow the government to indefinitely detain citizens engaged in the exercise of their constitutional rights.
Stein furthermore states that the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security must be expressly prohibited from conspiring with local police forces to suppress the rights to freedom of speech and assembly. In a recent interview with Kevin Gosztola at FireDogLake, Stein stated:
There’s reasons for all of us to be standing up and fighting to restore our civil liberties, now fighting for all they’re worth, because they continue to be stolen out from under us in a way which is extremely dangerous and does not bode well for the future. . . . It’s really critical that we stand up now to take back our civil liberties, including just across the board our right to First Amendment, to free speech, to protest, to petition government for redress of grievances.
What are your greatest concerns regarding the issue of civil rights and liberties as we head toward the November elections?
Join the discussion Please be relevant and respectful.
This movement belongs to the blacks,, it is theirs,, they fought for this and rightly so,, but since the radical gay and lesbian liasson has adopted it,,it has lost its power as a movement for the blacks who were really deprived in many ways,, not so the gay -lesbian movement that is bent on destrying everything that is decent and right for the rest of us,,, tHey [ gay-lesbian] can be on their own stand not stealing a movement that belongs by right and birth to the black community!! amen
Indefinite detention,police setting policy rather than enforcing laws,drones ,surveillance cameras all over the place,police brutality,prisons for profit,should I continue?
Ron Paul on national CSPAN this weekend spoke extensively on civil rights, to the roaring approval of his supporters. Paul spoke of opposing the PATRIOT Act, of opposing the indefinite detention provisions of the NDAA, of opposing presidential-ordered assasinations, the racist Drug War, censorship and free speech zones; and as for being for the Bill of Rights (all of it), for whistleblower protections, and specifically called Bradley Manning a patriot, and said Jullian Assange is no traitor. Civil Rights issues are being discussed inside one of the mainstream parties (the GOP), it is just that the mainstream media is doing its best to ignore this in their hope to get the neocon corporatist Mitt Romney elected. So much for the media's supposed liberal bias. Well, only if you define liberal as equal to national socialism as equal to neoconservatism.
How to stop the corruption and take money out of the election process. Making uniformly fair rules for all Fed elections.
now, now boys, don't let the doomsayers steal your minds, the republican party is in it's death throes. why do you think all these nutcases, including mitt and jughead, are saying all these stupid things and alienating everyone, and causing the marginal republicans thinking that they will be the new party, and all the defections from the convention and all the republican endorsements for obama all signal the death by suicide of the republican party as we know it where I hope it will become a moderate conservative party not like I would like which is a return to the party of lincoln. republicans started out as liberals and democrats started out as liberal too. I wish that all of you sent messages to obama telling him you will vote for him if in writing and pronouncement he declares he's a liberal instead of right of center in all of his policies except the ACA. well something like that,; I'm tired from all my work last night.
While our civil unrest is broiling, the Real Enemies of the US will strike, sweeping all those B@$turds aside and the USA will be no more.
Women will not easily give u p the strides they've made. Not every one has the private physicians Paaris HIlton does to take caref of her "mis-steps". Back-alley/room abortions will sweep the nation, blacks will be lynched, poor white people will be treated like blacks, and the poot will just die of starvation and/or disease.
GOP assails voter rights at every turn. Our Constitution has been torn asunder and anarchy looms ahead. The nasties manipulating the masses is steering us to conflict over rights previously won. Obama is afraid to endanger the Middle Class White vote by acknowledging there is a HUGE civil right war looming. Whomever is staging for a two-class society: The Wealthy and their "serfs". They hope to steer blacks back into slavery, Mexicans back across the borders, and all the other peoples of color into camps ~
What the government has done to take away our liberties is of great concern, but the talk of drones flying over our skies are terrifying. First the drones, and what are they doing in foreign countries, killing "suspected terrorist". Will "suspected criminals" be next. We need to be very concerned.
It is certainly true that both parties ignore civil liberties, but there is actually a difference between civil rights and liberties and political rights. The right to vote is a distinctly political right rather than a civil right, like association or free speech.
Yeh, but I would argue that both parties have lost sight of "civil rights" issues. The irony is that the people that usually talk about them are the "far left" and the "far (libertarian) right". If they formed an alliance over social issues they would make a powerful force.