The surest way to take liberty from the people is to declare war on something or to promise them safety. Sadly, we willingly give up our freedoms to government when this happens.
Examples of “Wars” declared by our government that have resulted in the loss of freedom?
- The War on Poverty – The resultant welfare state has removed enormous sums of money from the general population and created massive debt that will tax future generations, without representation, to the point of potentially ending our way of life.
- The War on Drugs – An unwinnable fight that law enforcement has embraced because it brings in huge sums of federal money and allows for the confiscation of private property in complete violation of rights guaranteed under the Fourth Amendment. For the record I don’t use drugs, never have, and have taught my children not to use them, but what someone else does is not a violation of my rights whether I like what they are doing or not.
- The War on Terror – The resultant fear mongering by the government has resulted in Americans willingly giving up freedoms and rights guaranteed by the Constitution in the interest of safety and security.
Declare war and we all line up like good citizens without thinking of the long-term costs to liberty.
Poverty is bad. No one should be poor, so let’s take from others whether they are willing to part with their property or not, because we, “the Group” are kind and generous and better and have a better idea.
Drugs are evil and hurt people. Drugs are not good so we should make sure that no one uses them, despite the fact, that preventing drug use is a hopeless effort, doomed never to succeed. Along the way, we can confiscate property from suspects, without benefit of a trial and apply for lots of government money to fund police departments. I say this as a former law enforcement officer, who is very supportive of those who put their lives on the line to protect the rest of us while we sleep.
Terrorists want to kill us. That scares the hell out of us so let’s give the government the power to eavesdrop on all of us in the interest of safety and security, ’cause geewillikers I don’t like being scared. I need Big Brother to protect me.
What in the world has happened to us? When did we become so weak, self-indulgent, self-centered and narcissistic? What happened to an America full of people who are willing to shoulder the responsibility and accountability for their own actions and needs without infringing on the rights of others, whether we like what they do or not?
People, your freedom depends on the freedom of everyone else. As long as another’s actions do not infringe on your liberty, let them do as they wish, however misguided you may feel they are.
That is Liberty.
Best – Glenn