Question on policy roots.

1. The government's right to rule is derived from the consent of the governed.

2. The government must be constructed in a way that prevents a tyranny of the majority

3. Therefore individual liberty is supreme, only curtailed so that one does not impinge the rights of another

These three points should not cause much division as a basis for a political philosophy, at least not in the culture of the United States. What causes division is the definition of rights. 

What are we entitled to by being human? What are we entitled to by being citizens?

Many things are nice to have, we should want people to have, and we should help people to have, but that does not make them rights. In addition, being able to afford a privilege for an extended period of time should not turn that privilege into a right. Likewise, just because abdicating a right will not affect your life today does not mean you should abdicate it to gain a privilege. And just because a right has been repeatedly trampled does not make now an improper time to reclaim it.

The distinction between a right and a privilege is difficult even for the most principled. Defining and debating which is which is the first step to establishing sound policy. Rights must be upheld first and foremost. Only then should we debate the merits of handing out privileges.