My name is tom: vance i’m, a professor of education at kansas, state, university and uh. Welcome to these hearings and we look forward to a great conversation this morning. Hey everybody, uh sean arthurs here, former uh history, teacher current lawyer and teacher trainer and i’m looking forward to uh hearing what y’all have to say and having a conversation today: hello, i’m, lawana davis. I am a law professor at cumberland, school of law and welcome to the finals, and would you please introduce yourselves to us i’m aiden taylor: a junior at clay county high school i’m chesterton haynes i’m, a senior at clay county high school, very nice to meet you All my name is jayden koeger i’m, also a senior, and our teacher is mr philip dobbins, and our coach is mr mike mullins. Thank you both for bringing your students again to the national finals and we look forward to a great conversation this morning and there are a few questions that will kind of guide our discussion, and they are thomas hobbs noted that life in a state of nature is Solitary poor nasty, brutish and short, how has the human condition changed over time, and how is that change reflected in our expectations of government? Should the principles of natural rights or classical republicanism guide policy changes designed to improve the condition of all people? What are the most pressing domestic and global challenges facing americans today and in the future? What policies can you suggest to address them? You can begin whenever you are ready aspiration, growth, conflict and morality are the experiences that define human condition.
Historically in the united states, morality has been the primary conflict of numerous political, social and economic arguments, for instance the use of slavery. In contrast, many issues that have more implications exist today, such as the black lives matter, protests and time pro abortion campaigns and, most notably, the lack of access to basic human necessities around the world. Additionally, movements working to advance the rights of women, the mentally ill and disabled have become increasingly prevalent in our society’s chips that are focused on the proper treatment of minor populations. This focus on minorities has been instrumental in the procurement of basic human and civil rights for all people. According to the pew research center, only 20 of americans withheld trust in our governmental leadership to do the right thing. While this percentage is only a mere fraction of the united states population, it is agreeable that the government should uphold their responsibility to establish justice, ensure domestic tranquility provide for the common defense and promote the general welfare. As stated in the preamble of the us constitution. In support of this claim, one in one way, rights of the minorities materialize is most notably through the decisions of the us supreme court that make a point to expand minority rights. Further ways in which rights may be expanded is through the use of executive orders, as well as policy passed by congress. An exemplary example of such policy would be the passing of the medicare act of 1965, signed by president johnson to expand, affordable health care to the poor and underprivileged with a similar intent.
The way in which locke and hobbes presented the deeply influential political, philosophy’s, classical republicanism and natural life philosophy, which both sought to ensure the people are equally free, subsequently building the historical foundation and framework of our government in john locke’s, two treatises of government. He stated the essentiality of life, liberty and property. In this we see when protecting natural and unable rights through policy modification. It becomes possible to avoid the encroachment of rights and encourages the ideology of liberty for all which has deep roots found in the constitution. While most are in opposition of failure, favoring a particular guiding philosophy, creating a conflict with this, it is also evident that the key american values are withheld predominantly by the attributes of classical republicanism opposed to natural rights philosophy. Do it due to its strong emphasis on individual power, rather than our duty as a citizen conflict is beginning, is becoming increasingly prevalent in government across america, ranging from domestic to foreign issue which plague our nation. According to a research poll conducted by the pew research center, over 50 percent of americans consider health care, affordability, drug addiction, affordability of post security, education and the federal budget before it’s a quoted, very big problem, additionally, a potentially problematic occurrence and which was enunciated prior in This response is the bipartisan political system in which the us government is built on another poll of the american adults by the pew research center found that there is little partisan agreement among the major problems facing in the u.
s. Furthermore, it is obvious to research that problems with economic issues are not just a challenge for americans, but rather the world the world poverty clock suggests that nigeria and the democratic republic of congo will account for nearly 40 percent of the world’s extremely poor by year 2030. Whereas only 17 percent of republicans consider climate change a very big problem without regards to an unprecedented amount of damage costing americans 95 billion dollars as a result of 22 major weather events in 2020 alone, and which can be casually linked to climate change still yet there Are solutions to battle such pressing matters? A proposed course of action to combat these world issues will begin with human rights, amendment social welfare system, reform, climate and environmental intervention, the reversal of systemic racism, higher education initiatives. You can finish your sentence. Okay, thank you. One can propose that without these basic necessities, our democracy is troubled and every person needs shelter, wellness and health to be educated to fulfill their duty as a citizen of the united states. Thank you. Thank you, gentlemen. All right, so this fall big victory for the whos they’re, going to take down the sooners um at the uh in in the football game in college football world stupid. It leads to a super spreader event. So after that the west virginia governor comes out and says: hey anytime, you leave your house, you have to wear a mask anytime, you leave your house, you have to wear a mask now you can imagine some west virginians are not too happy about this.
But tell me about how the natural rights philosophers versus the supporters of republicanism classic republicanism would look at this law absolutely so um. First, we should evaluate the ideas of both of those philosophies. You know classical republicanism is about upholding the common good and carrying out your civic duty duties as a citizen united states, whereas natural rights philosophy, you know it gives us these god, given um unalienable rights that cannot be infringed upon. So to answer that, in short, i would say that classical republicanism um people who support that philosophy would look at it. As you know, wearing a mask is protecting the citizens of their state from you know contracting this virus, whereas someone who leans more towards natural rights philosophy would probably look at it, as you know, it’s their right, maybe not to wear a mask and to follow up With what jaden said also with the natural rights philosophy, we’re looking at it’s, not only hindering their individual rights as being that more individualistic ideas, but it’s also hindering businesses and other corporations that could potentially limit their ability to um advance their capitalistic ideas and carry on Throughout society, as they would as an individualist, rather than with classical republicanism being more about well let’s, make sure that everyone’s protected so that we can all go forward as a whole and as a citizenship. I i would add stuff, but i feel my teammates have pretty well summed it up. You’Ve mentioned shelter, wellness and health as sort of the key parts of your approach to classical republicanism.
Do you consider those to be natural rights? Absolutely. I definitely consider those to be natural rights, including access to adequate food and health care. Just because we really come down to a right should be what gives us the ability in a democracy to carry on that democracy and be a child of that democracy and carry on our government and politics. So without having those basic necessities that we would consider. Human rights you’re not able to educate yourself or to take further advancements to make a difference in your society or your government. So i definitely consider those to be essential to making sure that as a citizen, you can fulfill your duty. And to add to that i definitely feel like you know, shelter, wellness and health are some of the ideas that show how classical republicanism and natural rights philosophy intermingle with one another, as aiden stated, you know we do feel like it’s an individual’s natural right to have Shelter and to be healthy and at the same time you know we have to uphold those and help provide those for people to promote the common good. You also consider secondary education to be a natural right. Yes, absolutely um! You know in examples like that. Um we see with this civic education among um citizens. It helps them become aware of their natural rights, so it’s in a sense like something that feeds itself. I would say you know it’s your natural right to have education um.
So you know by educating yourself, especially in the realm of civics, we are able to expand um. You know our idea of what it means to have natural rights and not only natural rights but um to withhold our civic duties as in classical republicanism, also to kind of um contrast. What jaden’s saying it’s not as much the actual having education but access to education. So obviously, post secondary education isn’t right for everyone, but it should be an option for anyone and that’s important, because we see a lot through the civic education system that those are uninformed most likely um aren’t as likely to go and vote or make a vote. That really and truly um is intrinsic to their ideas and their political beliefs, so education is important to their duty. As a citizen, i agree the education. I agree that education is important and it’s a very important part of the state constitution which sums it up uh. What happens, though, if we, if we continued too far down the path of classical republicanism or too far down the path of of um of of the common good, i mean you mentioned. The line that you would draw is basic necessities. What if we made things rights that weren’t just basic necessities but we’re beyond that, for example, we don’t have a right to social security, but should we have a right to social security when, when we retire so i’m glad that you asked, and that really comes into Play when uh the ideology behind putting in place these basic necessities and providing those for the common good is that it’s kind of an investment you put in this money into the society and then um, whether we’re, paying for post secondary education? You have a society that’s.
Now college educated and they can go and pick up more jobs that then allow to increase the economy and their spending and putting more money into that economy. It kind of gives us a payback it’s, basically, an investment and we’re getting that interest. That comes off so really social security, and things like that are more of a benefit uh of putting in those social welfare programs and just like we see historically um and even currently those those and sweden’s a perfect example. They have higher tax rates, but they also have one of the lowest rates of unemployment, so being able to provide those basic necessities should provide an investment um with extra money that can provide for things like social security in the future yeah, and you know, i feel, Like it’s, not very logical to have to list a right to social security or anything that promotes the common good, really um, because then we would be listing numerous um. You know natural rights um for our citizens, so i feel like it’s important, to sort of highlight the main natural and label rights that we have as citizens, where we can. You know further look into where these areas might um be upholded by a natural right. I agree: um we’re out of time, uh sorry about that cheston. But uh time got you excellent job, uh west virginia, really, nice uh nicely done and um you know i. I really appreciated your uh kind of nuanced uh, balanced uh approach.
Uh to responding to our questions i mean uh again, you took a stance but uh you also sort of tipped your hat to other. You know there there’s there’s other sides to the story. I in particular like to be uh your distinction about uh, social security and um. You know other rights and um and you know uh. You made two arguments there. I thought which were both valid uh, which that is the you know our conception of rights, changes and evolves over time, that’s dead on that’s, true every generation gets to. You know kind of reconfigure uh. What these rights uh mean: uh, that’s, uh that’s for sure, but then you also said there’s a bit yeah there’s a little difference, uh between the government, giving you something and uh these other things that we call rights and um, and you know great argument. You know once we start listing them it’s, one of the reasons why we have the ninth amendment right because they knew hey once we start listening, doesn’t mean that there’s, not some other there’s, some other things there were that we didn’t get them all there’s. Some other things there, which i think is um, is also good. So i thought you did a really really nice job of of providing that kind of nuance and uh detail in your in your responses. Impressive west virginia, very impressive thanks, gentlemen um. I i enjoyed it as well. I wish we had more time.
There were some uh some comments in particular that where you had hinted about like broad reforms needed or amendments needed in certain areas – and i was like – i really want to dig into talking with those guys uh more about what those were um. I thought you did a very solid answer: uh on the mass question, um and we’re able to you, know, hit on some of those pensions um, and i thought it was interesting as well how you brought in pew research center data right. So the role of public opinion and how that collects and influences government and how we should approach these issues. I thought that was a unique take. So thank you appreciate it. Gentlemen yeah. I agree. I thought you showed a great understanding of various principles. Uh and mr haynes a particularly nice nuance of your understanding of state versus federal right to education, uh and where, where we’re, carrying that right to education, we found at the moment, which is not in federal constitution, uh and uh yeah. So a very, very strong stance and uh enjoyed your presentation. Thank you all right.