Liberty is the AnswerSubmitted by More_Liberty on Wed, 11/07/2012 - 17:09
On election night, my wife and I monitored the returns come in with guarded amusement on our IPad. We didn’t watch the talking heads on cable news prognosticate the end results – we already knew. The loser was once again freedom along with its close cousin liberty, no matter which candidate won. This reality makes many voters uncomfortable as their party likes to embrace the word because it sounds good. But for the most part, that is all the two parties embrace when it comes to freedom and individual liberty. The average American doesn’t pay attention, nor are they really informed about the all out assault on our liberty that has taken place within the last fifteen year. Our loss of freedoms at the expense of governmental power has been an ongoing fight but let us focus on recent times.
As it stands, right now, the president can selectively and indefinitely detain any US citizen on US soil under a provision in the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). Politicians love to talk about “bi-partisanship” and “working across the aisle” and when congress passed this law they did just that, and our President signed it into law at the end of 2011. Of course the media didn’t report much about it because they felt you had too much to worry about and let’s not forget that the Kardasian’s reality show was on. It wasn’t important enough to inform the private citizens that the executive power can now ignore the 4th and 5th Amendments to the US Constitution when some government official calls you a “terrorist” and they aren’t even required to give evidence.
Like frogs in a pot set to slowly boil, we haven’t acknowledged our dire situation. Back in late fall of 2001 politicians on both sides of the aisle held hands together as they passed the Patriot Act. This law gave the federal government unprecedented surveillance and monitoring power against the individual in the name of “security.” In 2011 President Obama, once a critic of the Patriot Act, expanded its power even further. The initial salvo against liberty, relatively recently, also included the creation of federal airport screeners. Now for your safety and security, the federal government requires that you submit to a dose of electronic waves and/or submit to molestation all without reasonable suspicion or probable cause – there is that pesky 4th Amendment again. Maybe we should change the name of that statue out in New York harbor from the Statue of Liberty to the Statue of Security – it seems that was the trade off.
The day following the election I smiled in disgusted amusement as Republicans wondered what happened. Mitt Romney, the former Governor of Massachusetts, had lost, although only by a slim margin of the popular vote. For me, I didn’t vote for Mitt Romney, nor did I vote for President Obama. Like a small segment of our society I saw the same agenda – more of the same. While there are limited differences between these two men, the end state would be identical – more debt, more endless international interventions and worse yet less liberty. Both parties, for the most part, support gross violations of our constitutional rights in the name of security, both support an endless increase in our debt, both support corporate bailouts as well as corporate welfare. Don’t listen to their rhetoric; look at their actions and votes. All of this does nothing but attack the private individual.
The GOP pundits, following the loss on Tuesday, assume to have the answer – use the same policies but package it around some minority like Senator Rubio from Florida. But they are wrong – this won’t change a thing. If the GOP wants to survive in a changing America – let’s not fool ourselves its changing – they need to promote the ultimate minority. They need to promote the individual, and support that individual’s rights against the assault by a growing and powerful government that has the force to take your property and lock you up.
For many Republicans, and Democrats, supporting the right of other free and independent adults to do as they wish, as long as their actions don’t violate the liberty of others, is scary and frightful. Some “conservatives” believe that if they allow others to do things they wouldn’t do themselves it somehow means that they approve of such actions. But this is silly. Freedom of the individual should be viewed as much as we once viewed free speech – I don’t agree with what he has to say but I support his right to say it. Not surprisingly, the government has even started chipping away at this, but we will save that issue for later.
Let’s take gay marriage for example, personally I don’t understand homosexuality nor do I understand polygamy, but it’s not mine to understanding. However, I support free and independent adults to live their lives as they see fit as long as those actions don’t violate my liberty. The force of government shouldn’t be used to deny such actions as long as both individuals or groups of individuals are consenting adults. Now try to bring this issue up with liberals and instead of gay marriage replace it with polygamy. You’ll quickly figure out how much they detest freedom.
In our modern politics, the politics of identity are very powerful. The media and politicians love to break down every individual into various groups. Black, white, Hispanic, Asian, gay, straight, veteran, rich, poor, middle-class, republican, democrat, left, right and the list goes on. To the media, and politicians, we are nothing but a member of some group. Never mind that each and every one of us has our own desires, dreams, our own failures and accomplishments, our own families, history and experiences. Every one of us is as unique as a finger print. But no, we are thrown into some obscure group to be used in their demographic tests. The ultimate minority is the individual, and the Democratic Party is extremely resentful and suspicious of the individual.
If you want to see how much the DNC hates the individual simply ask them their position on treating individuals as equals regardless of their designated group. At first they would agree, but when you probe further, they believe the group identity is more important. For example, true equality would mean that all individuals would pay the same percentage in income taxes – not the extremely unequal system of progressive taxes. If the government truly treated all as equals, then a person making 100K and taxed at 10% would mean that a person making 10K would also be taxed at 10%. The individual that makes more money will pay more taxes, but the same and equal percentage. But no that’s not the system we have, as it is the government takes more of a percentage from one person compared to another. That’s not equality nor is it equal protection.
As a veteran it saddens me to say but America is not the home of the brave, and certainly not the land of the free. When the government can force you to purchase the product of a private company – or pay a toll – we are not free. When the government takes more of a percentage from one individual over another that is not equal protection. When the government can assassinate an American citizen without any due process then that is a tyrannical government. When the government takes your hard earned money and gives it to corrupt regimes overseas – the same regimes that openly denounce our country – that is not a government of the people, by the people, for the people. When a president, and members of congress, openly vote to stripe you of your 5th Amendment right to due process, and your 4th Amendment right of unreasonable search and seizure in the name of fighting terrorism, then that my friend is a government that has lost its legitimacy. We, as human beings, have inalienable rights - rights that come from the fact that we are humans and not given to us my some government - and we defend those rights. We look on as men talk of admitting Puerto Rico into our union, do men not have the right to secede from the union in the same fashion?
There are plenty of topics and areas that the GOP can uses to legitimately gain voters of all colors and ages – all sorts of individuals – if the GOP realizes that the only way to regain power is to embrace individual liberty.