Who is better on the Bill of Rights, Trump or Clinton? The First Amendment is about religion, speech...

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Who is better on the Bill of Rights, Trump or Clinton?

The First Amendment is about religion, speech, the press, and association. On religion, both favors punishing people for their religious beliefs (Clinton in terms of health care, Trump in terms of restricting/surveilling Muslims). They both act against the ability of the press to do its proper job (Clinton lies and doesn't give much access, whereas Trump actively bans them if they don't do their job well, in his eyes). Clinton is worse on the freedom of association (she opposes Citizens United, and favors many labor laws that restrict employers and employees), and she is worse on speech itself (favoring, in some cases, so-called "hate speech" laws). So I give the First Amendment, very narrowly, to Trump.

The Second Amendment: unless Trump is lying, he is clearly better than Clinton, though it is far from clear how strong a protector of the Second Amendment he'll actually be. Like Obama, Clinton rarely gives specifics on what she would do to curb gun violence, handwaving at literally useless ideas like "universal background checks" that will not make anyone safer. Most of her problems with guns, other than silly rhetoric and useless proposals, currently center around her dismisal of due process in removing the right to have a gun, although Trump has similar problems (more on that under the Fifth Amendment). Narrow win for Trump.

The Third Amendment: no direct evidence, but I can envision Trump forcing us to quarter troops, and I cannot envision Clinton doing it. Maybe it's just my imagingion, but I can see it. So, Clinton wins.

The Fourth Amendment: Clinton has a big problem here. Even though I cannot think of a time when she has encouraged violating Fourth Amendment rights, she herself has obstructed investigations that were under proper legal warrant, which tells me that whatever respect she has for the role of proper legal warrants is conditional. On the other hand, as with the Third Amendment, I can see Trump not caring about proper legal warrants, either getting them, or obeying them. But since neither has a history I can think of for encouraging violations of the Fourth Amendment, I'll call it a draw.

The Fifth Amendment: we have Trump encouraging action against unconvicted Muslims and illegal immigrants and businesses who send operations out of the country, and encouraging unlawful takings of private property for his own personal use. We have Clinton who thinks there is a "right to be believed" if you're an alleged victim of sexual abuse, and who -- as with the Fourth Amendment -- blocks attempts to apply due process to herself. And we have both of them encouraging the use of a list that does not adhere to due process requirements, as a means for taking away rights protected by the Second Amendment. Both of them, however, are strong advocates of the right against self-incrimination. We're all losers here.

The Sixth Amendment and Seventh Amendment: I can't think of Clinton or Trump favoring violations of our right to a fair trial. Draw.

The Eighth Amendment: Clinton and Trump both seem to be in favor of what I would call excessive fines for civil violations. Trump is also in favor, in some cases, of using what most people would call "cruel and unusual punishment"; e.g., torture. Technically, torture isn't punishment, but a means of extracting information; but I think it's still safe to give that point to Clinton.

The Ninth Amendment: it seems clear to me that both Clinton and Trump are completely uninterested in recognizing the rights of the people that aren't explicitly enumerated in the law. A very unfortunate draw.

The Tenth Amendment: I have seen a lot of evidence that Clinton simply disregards the Tenth Amendment. Indeed, this is one of the biggest divides between Democrats and Republicans: Democrats believe that there are literally no limits on what the federal government may do, as long as "the people" (meaning, the elected officials) support it, and the Constitution does not specifically prohibit it. Republicans believe -- as the Constitution clearly says -- that the federal government is significantly limited, allowed to do only what the Constitution says it can do. The Republicans are correct, obviously, and we see this play out often -- though imperfectly -- in areas like ObamaCare and entitlements/welfare and taxes and labor laws and guns and drug laws and gay marriage and a plethora of other issues.

In fairness to Hillary, Trump has no serious record of supporting the Tenth Amendment's principles, except when it aligns with his view. But his record of proposals that violate those principles is much smaller. Point, Trump.

So if we tally it all up, I get 3-2 in favor of Trump. Of course, you can't quantify things like this; and even if we could, the First Amendment would count a lot more than the Third, and maybe Trump would only win the First 60-40 and it's worth ten times as much as the Third. So tallying this up really isn't useful.

The real point is that both of them are pretty awful. G+

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<pudge/*> (pronounced "PudgeGlob") is thousands of posts over many years by Pudge.

"It is the common fate of the indolent to see their rights become a prey to the active. The condition upon which God hath given liberty to man is eternal vigilance; which condition if he break, servitude is at once the consequence of his crime and the punishment of his guilt."

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