Individual Freedoms

Our country was founded on individual freedoms. Citizens were free to go about their business as long as their freedom did not interfere with others’ freedoms. An old saying “your rights end at my nose” was widely accepted.

Our Bill of Rights were added to the constitution to guarantee individual freedom from the government. Read it, each one of the articles protect the individual from the powers of government. Unfortunately, we have gotten away from the idea of individual freedom and it seems to get worse every day. Instead of individual freedom, too many seem to want to enforce another old saying “my way or the highway.”

And far too many people seem to think they are guaranteed an easy life, doing whatever they want with no consequences. They seem to think other folks owe them a living and they don’t have to give anything in return.

In the past, my freedoms were not controlled by your likes and dislikes. Don’t like guns? Don’t buy one. Don’t like eating meat? Don’t eat it. Don’t like what I say? Tell me why or walk away. Don’t like hunting or fishing? Stay at home and watch TV.

Now if you don’t like what I like, many try to use the government or mob violence to control me. Nowhere is it more obvious than with guns, but it permeates all our life.

Bill Nye, the pseudoscience guy, now wants folks like me that disagree with his true belief in global warming to be arrested for pointing out the silliness of his claims. Paid protestors try to stop folks from going to rallies of politicians they don’t like. They try to shout down anyone saying anything against their beliefs.

And law after law is passed to try to control individual freedoms. Now, if you don’t like big soft drinks, pass a law against selling them. Don’t like my opinion on guns? Condemn me as a baby killer and ban guns. Don’t like my hunting? Go out and make noise and fly drones where I am hunting to disrupt my day and ban hunting.

That is not democracy, or even representative government. People get offended by almost anything and think that gives them the right to stop me from doing anything they don’t like. But at the same time they expect me to work and share the wealth with them.

Robert Heinlein is one of my all-time favorite science fiction writers. He said something that many have said over the years in slightly different words.

“For when the people discover that they can vote themselves bread and circuses without limit and that the productive members of the body politic cannot stop them, they will do so, until the state bleeds to death, or in its weakened condition the state succumbs to an invader.”

We are at that point.