Whence they came
One often hears discussion in both the religious and secular communities regarding what our forefathers meant when Jefferson put in our Declaration of Independence some of the most famous words in our heritage:
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed, by their Creator, with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.”
The religious among us try to claim this language is proof that we are a “god-fearing nation,” founded on “Judeo-Christian principles,” and insist that our rights are god-given. Unbelieving secularists often counter that our rights didn’t come from a deity, but were “granted” to us by our founding documents. Both notions are dreadfully wrong and dangerous to our liberty. Our founders would be appalled at the misunderstanding of their endeavors now widespread among their posterity.
Fortunately, the whole issue evaporates when one examines what they actually meant by their colorful language. It is a historical fact that many were not Jews or Christians, and at best were deists if not yet atheists, including Jefferson himself. Science had yet to deflate so thoroughly the notion of “Creation,” but enlightened intellectuals of their day were much taken with the notion of Deism, which posited that although some god probably created the universe, there was no such thing as a personal god that required worship or paid the least attention to the affairs of men.
Those claiming our founders were pious Christians would likely also esteem these famous lines by “Common Sense” pamphleteer Thomas Paine in 1776:
“These are the times that try men’s souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph.”
Then a few paragraphs later in this first of his “The American Crisis” series:
“I have as little superstition in me as any man living, but my secret opinion has ever been, and still is, that God Almighty will not give up a people to military destruction… Neither have I so much of the infidel in me, as to suppose that He has relinquished the government of the world, and given us up to the care of devils;…”
Yet, he was a renowned deist, and anyone bothering to read his famous work, “The Age of Reason” soon learns the utter disdain he held for the Christian bible, clergy, and dogma. E.g.:
“Whenever we read the obscene stories, the voluptuous debaucheries, the cruel and torturous executions, the unrelenting vindictiveness, with which more than half the Bible is filled, it would be more consistent that we called it the word of a demon, than the Word of God. It is a history of wickedness, that has served to corrupt and brutalize mankind; and, for my own part, I sincerely detest it, as I detest everything that is cruel.”
This reminds me of many of the things modern Christians say about the Koran. His critique of the notion of “divine revelation” was particularly well reasoned:
“No one will deny or dispute the power of the Almighty to make such a communication if he pleases. But admitting, for the sake of a case, that something has been revealed to a certain person, and not revealed to any other person, it is revelation to that person only. When he tells it to a second person, a second to a third, a third to a fourth, and so on, it ceases to be a revelation to all those persons. It is revelation to the first person only, and hearsay to every other, and, consequently, they are not obliged to believe it.
Nevertheless, he and all of our founders were as accustomed to using religious flourishes in their everyday language as many of us still are today, particularly with our epithets.
Most modern Americans invoke deities in their speech several times a day and 99% of the time, they are neither thinking about a god, nor showing any reverence for one, usually quite the opposite. Just as our lively blasphemous oaths could be made godlessly without changing our meaning, though perhaps our passion, so could Jefferson’s famous passage.
I think the sentence can be fairly restated thus:
“We freeborn Americans are sovereign individuals, each on par with King George III himself, with the inalienable right to live our lives as freemen, pursuing our own happiness, subservient to no one.”
This way no “creator” is mentioned, yet it still enshrines the classical liberal concept they were expounding, that we Americans are born as free men and women, not the subjects, serfs, or slaves of any ruling entity.
What they are
This encapsulates what I consider my rightful place in “society” perfectly. This thought provoking subject is important, and the time invested to contemplate it seriously, with an open rational mind, unclouded with ideological emotions, will bring most a new appreciation of the miracle our founders wrought in America.
Regrettably, the vast majority of Americans today do not understand what our system of government was intended to be. If you think, our Republic is a “democracy”; or that government provides us freedom and rights; or ever lament that some judge is thwarting “the will of the people,” by ruling an initiative or statute unconstitutional; you may count yourself among the deliberately deluded. Once understood, none should have the slightest reason to be shocked or offended, when I unapologetically proclaim that I am a godless and stateless American patriot.
I owe no more allegiance to the corrupted and coercive government that presently claims dominion over the land of my fathers, than I do to any church of the self-righteous, claiming dominion over the realm of my morals. Yet I am an American patriot who has sworn to “uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic” several times in my life, and would do so again tomorrow if necessary. Let me explain how I got there:
As a rational freethinker, I have an obligation to my own mind to slay irrational dragons wherever I find them. As a freeman, I have an obligation to my very being to oppose tyranny in all its forms. I shall always do both with enthusiasm. I regard my good fortune to have been born in the land of liberty and opportunity worth defending it against all oppressive ideologies, and all dogmatic ideologues, bent on enslaving sovereign Americans in the utopian fantasy of their dreams.
“If you wish to converse with me, define your terms.”-Voltaire
Voltaire, a wise deist of the Enlightenment himself, admonished us to resolve any ambiguities in our language before debating a subject. Let’s use the dictionary to unpack this founding concept by defining some terms from the perspective of our founding fathers:
“born as a free citizen, rather than in slavery or serfdom”
Thus, we were “born” with our inherent human rights, and this is exactly what our founders meant by their flowery language regarding being “endowed by our creator”; nothing less, and nothing more.
“independent – self-governing and not ruled by any other…” or “having supreme authority or power”
The only possible way for everyone to be equal, is if everyone is in fact sovereign, free, and subservient to no one. As Americans, we are each veritable kings among kings. Our government is “of, by, and for” “WE THE PEOPLE,” not the other way around.
INALIENABLE or “unalienable” means:
“not able to be transferred or taken away”
It is important to note that this is not just a convenient archaic word, but actually has its roots in English Common Law regarding property rights.
“a man who is not enslaved or not in serfdom”
For any sovereign to become indentured or enslaved would require an act of capitulation, usually to violence or the threat of it. It is in our very heritage to fight to the death for our liberty, and when thinking clearly, most freedom loving Americans would never willingly capitulate to a tyranny of any flavor, even if we agreed with its precepts. Some are easily charmed by the apparent security serfdom might promise, but thankfully, not enough… yet.
RIGHT in this context means:
“an entitlement, freedom, or privilege to do something” (often used in the plural)
“…to do something,” but here we start to get into trouble with the modern dictionary, for these three nouns mean very different things:
“the right somebody has to do or receive something”
“…do or receive something?” To our founders it would have meant, “…do something,” yet in modern collectivist political parlance it is the “…receive something” connotation that has become predominant.
FREEDOM in this context means:
“ability to act freely – a state in which somebody is able to act and live as he or she chooses without being subject to any, or to any undue, restraints and restrictions”
Here we are clearly speaking of the right to “do something,” as in “freedom of choice,” “freedom of speech,” et al. A free lunch is almost never free, and when offered by the state, the inevitable strings attached are the very opposite of freedom. At the very least, one could never obtain a “right” to “receive something,” without tampering with the freedom of choice of those being required to give it.
PRIVILEGE basically means:
“an advantage, right, or benefit that is not available to everyone”
The dictionary starts to get circular, for a “privilege” is something very different from a “right,” but most would agree to the basic connotation of “…not available to everyone.” Usually, it is permission or a license granted by an authority and always comes with strings attached.
As an example, Americans have a constitutionally protected “right” to travel; but to do so as the driver of a motor vehicle on a public road is a “privilege.” One must apply for that privilege, pass a test, and be issued it in the form of a driver’s license. Such privileges are not inalienable – quite the contrary. When abused, they can and often should be revoked.
Now, we can begin to grasp the misunderstandings invoked in political discussions of “rights.” For me, as it was with our founders, a “right” is the entitlement to do something. For some, particularly those embracing the wealth redistribution schemes of the followers of Karl Marx, a “right” is more likely thought of as the entitlement to receive something.
Our founders were bright and learned men who grew up and were educated in the Age of Enlightenment, well rooted in the thinking of classical liberalism; and thus for the most part not particularly devout or pious in their religious beliefs. One thing is certain; these revolutionaries were not about the task of creating another tyranny so soon after shedding the yoke of what they considered an oppressive monarchy.
They would have rejected out of hand the notion of establishing a theocracy. To the extent that they were considering matters of religion at all, it was to ensure that there could never be a state religion, such as those their forefathers fled Europe to escape. That Americans would always be free to worship, or not, in a manner of their own choosing, was paramount to them. They may have found it useful to attend church services, but one wonders how many were as godless as modern politicians who carefully arrange photo ops of themselves toting a bible into a church, and love to deliver campaign speeches sprinkled with pieties from pulpits.
To secure our individual liberty and protect the rights of minorities to live their lives as they wish, our founders chose a Constitutional Republic. They specifically abhorred and rejected the mob rule tyranny better known as a democracy. Their disdain for the concept can be found in the Federalist Papers and elsewhere in their contemporaneous writings. They would have agreed with the definition of a democracy as “two wolves and a lamb deciding what to have for breakfast,” and they clearly sided with the lamb’s right to skip the meal.
It should be patently obvious that they would have been equally, if not more, horrified at the Marxist notion of a socialist welfare state. Christian communes had been tried and failed miserably in the colonies a century earlier. “Liberalism” is another word much misunderstood, since it has achieved the Orwellian connotation of being a synonym for socialism. As such, it is now much demonized by those whose political persuasion it once described. In the eighteenth century, I would have worn the label proudly.
LIBERALISM to our founders meant:
“POLITICS a political ideology with its beginnings in western Europe that rejects authoritarian government and defends freedom of speech, association, and religion, and the right to own property” and;
“ECONOMICS an economic theory in favor of free competition and minimal government regulation”
When Jefferson originally penned the phrase “life, liberty, and property” (before his colleagues expanded “property” to the broader “pursuit of happiness”), he was expressing the notion of “natural rights” and the “social contract” promulgated by 17th-century philosopher John Locke, et al in classical liberal thinking. These were all individual rights to “do” something, including the opportunity to achieve and acquire property, etc. in the pursuit of one’s own happiness; irrespective of how our neighbors might prefer we spend our lives. These were not “democratic” ideas, quite the contrary.
Modern parlance has added the “receive” alternative, in the Orwellian feat of redefining the term “rights” to describe a welfare state’s largesse to the indolent, of assets plundered from more productive citizens. Nothing in our founding documents defined rights in any way beyond freedom and opportunity, and it worked very well for a hundred and fifty years. It took the cancer of Marxism, bringing class warfare, the notion of universal suffrage, and utopian dreamers, to corrupt Americans into thinking of our Republic as a democracy.
In my worldview, no one has a “right” to a decent job; a home; healthcare; a meal; an education; or a night with Farah Fawcett (to somewhat date myself), as a parasite on their more productive neighbors.
Everyone has a right to seek and compete for a job of choice; acquire a home; purchase healthcare; earn a meal; hire a tutor; and even ask Farah Fawcett for a date. She, of course, has the right to say no; but certainly, no entity has the right to coerce others into feeding or praying for her, if she denies them the affection that they think they need.
I value the free market exchange with others where all are always winners. When governments stay out of these matters, we always receive something we value more, in exchange for something we value less; and are never forced to make a trade we deem not in our best interest. I am perfectly willing to help a neighbor in need occasionally, for no more than the good feeling it gives me to do so. It would depreciate the value of my gift, if I expected anything more than appreciation in return.
Yet, none has a “right” to my charity, simply because we happen to reside within the same arbitrary political boundary. Nor does anyone have a “right” to the fruits of my labor, because they have less resources or greater “needs” than I might. I am neither a slave nor a serf; I am a freeman and I shall act like one, regardless of who might choose to call me selfish.
To examine our founder’s vision of instituting the absolute minimum government among men necessary for a self-governing society of cooperative individuals, let me explain how I view my place in it. Try to keep in mind that while my attitude toward “society” may seem radical, in the late 18th century America was populated by rugged individuals with a pioneer spirit. They took responsibility for their own lives and, like me, just wanted to live them their way, unobstructed by meddlesome neighbors and officious governments, from which they asked nothing more than to be left alone:
I am a godless sovereign. I was born with all the inalienable rights of any monarch. What I do on my own property is my business and no one else’s. I have no gods, rulers, leaders, or caretakers, and do not need or want any. When I vote, I am registering my choice for an employee, not a visionary leader, and certainly not a nanny. I am at the top of the pecking order and look up to no one. I am a freeman, not a supplicant, subject, serf, or slave. My life is my own to live as I choose. I owe an amorphous “society” nothing, and it owes me nothing.
As a sovereign, I grant all my neighbors equal status in their own domains. I have no designs of conquering or ruling them or their territory. I could care less what others do with their lives, as long as they don’t forcibly interfere with my enjoyment of my own. When I visit a neighbor, I leave my rules at home and abide by theirs. When I invite them onto my property, I expect them to leave their rules at home, and abide by mine. If they find this objectionable, they don’t have to visit. I’d like to think all my neighbors were as reasonable, and benevolent.
Yet reality and common sense dictates that not all out there are as benign, so there is good reason to enter into treaties with other trustworthy sovereigns for mutual protection. Further, to enrich my own life, there is much to be gained by free trade with my neighbors, so it is in my interest to join in commerce with them as well. Then, I am a social animal, and find pleasure in camaraderie with other sovereigns, so I am willing to join in fun and games with some of them in the commons.
This requires some form of social contract between sovereigns. The moment I choose to step off my property into the community, I acknowledge that I must abide by custom and established law, in order to function in a cooperative society. I am expected to wear clothes, not spit on the sidewalk, drive on the customary side of the road, leave the initiation of force to the sheriff, etc.
This requires that I temporarily relinquish some of my inherent rights for the benefit of participation in the community while off my property. However, nothing suggests that I have abandoned my sovereignty in any way, or that upon returning home all my rights are not fully recovered. Pooling our resources to invest in infrastructure and public services that facilitate our mutual interests in protection, commerce, and amusement makes perfect sense; and I am willing to share in the expenses to the extent that I will use them.
My natural preference would be to contract out such functions, to the greatest extent possible, to independent entrepreneurs who must win their contracts competitively, and thus provide their services as efficiently as possible with our available funds. Yet, my neighbors have no more right to assess me to fund endeavors I have no interest in participating in, than they have to force me to attend their church.
[Note: This concept is often lost on city dwellers who literally couldn’t survive more than a few days without public infrastructure and services. Yet, this little drama is played out daily across America as intractable homeowners refuse to allow their property to be annexed by expanding cities, and give up their private wells and septic tanks in exchange for public works assessments, fees, and higher property taxes. The principal, of course, extends to tax wasting boondoggles of all sorts, at all levels of government, which benefit a select group, at the expense of non-beneficiaries. It is astounding the number of sheeple who cannot grasp that government cannot spend a single dollar on them, that it did not steal from someone else; or worse, borrowed with the promise to steal it, plus interest, from some future taxpayer.]
I recognize that there is a need for an orderly administration of these public endeavors for us, and the vulgar name for it is “government.” I will concede that the manner of structuring this necessary evil, and picking those to represent us therein, is subjective and difficult to accomplish fairly and equitably for all sovereigns concerned. I would agree with Voltaire that a benevolent dictatorship, tempered by an occasional assignation, would appear to be the best choice; but that has fallen out of fashion of late.
A formal charter, compact, constitution, or call it what you will, setting out the agreement between sovereigns, seems to work reasonably well; with guardians selected by the sovereigns sworn to uphold it. Choosing those guardians, and restraining the collective power they gain from our franchise, is difficult at best.
The use of a democratic process to choose among competing candidates is as good as any other I have contemplated. The rub comes when those chosen guardians of our social contract get too far removed from their employers; find it in their own selfish best interest to please others not directly employing them; and begin to regard themselves as our visionary “leaders,” with us merely their “constituents,” rather than their employers.
It is important to recognize that no one has the right to trespass on my property, or use it in any way without my permission. No one has a right to confiscate my wealth or earnings, or force me to do anything I deem not in my best interest. All attempts to do so, even under the color of law, are acts of aggression.
All government agents attempting to coerce me intrinsically use the implied threat of deadly force. For if they are resisted, eventually big men with big guns will appear to back them up, and they will use those guns if that is what it takes, to force my compliance or incarcerate me for my contumacy. To the extent that I may choose to be cooperative with such a coercive agent, it is because I value my life and liberty more than my property, but I do not grant the premise that they act legitimately because they claim to represent “society.”
I am a sovereign freeman who bows before no god’s priest; nor any emperor’s potentate; and I’ll not substitute society’s bureaucrats for either. For the mind-numbed minions who willingly abdicate their sovereignty, and prostrate themselves before any of these, to exchange their liberty for ephemeral security, I have only pity… and scorn.
A Republic, if you can keep it
So warned Benjamin Franklin when asked, at the conclusion of the Constitutional Convention, the nature of the government they had formed. Let’s analyze our common law heritage for an understanding of what our system of government really was meant to be. Those touting our Constitution as a “living document,” in much need of revision to address modern societal changes, know not of what they speak – our founders were brilliant, and we tamper with it at our peril.
It is important to keep in mind that the authors of our Constitution were not creating a nation out of whole cloth. Freemen from Europe migrated to this continent and established cooperative communities on common law principles 150 years before our founders deemed it necessary to revolt against the oppressive monarchy claiming dominion over this land. These communities of sovereigns had long before formed sovereign counties and more recently sovereign states, which already had joined in a Union with each other under the Articles of Confederation.
Our founders, as sovereign individuals representing those sovereign states, were not about to abdicate their sovereignty to a more powerful central government. Indeed, that was what most of the disagreements were about in the process. How to make the Union strong enough to defend our shores and secure international commerce, without empowering it to meddle unduly in our own internal affairs, was the delicate balance they were trying to achieve.
The hierarchy of sovereign power in these United States goes thusly: All rights and powers belong to sovereign individuals. For the benefits of community, these sovereigns loan a small fraction of their power to their local county government, yet remain in the superior sovereign position as the employers of their county functionaries.
The counties, to secure the benefit of a wider geographical uniformity of laws, customs, and commerce for their own residents, join other counties to form States. For the same reasons, and by the same process, they loan to their State some of the limited power they received from their individual sovereigns.
Likewise, the counties remain in an upper echelon, with the States beneath them in power. It is important to recognize that these States are actually individual countries within a federation, just as the USSR was a federation of individual countries, and the European Union today is a federation of individual countries.
The States in turn, in an original free trade (think NAFTA) and mutual defense (think NATO) compact, formed a Union of autonomous countries (think EU), by passing a very small portion of the residual sovereign power they received from the counties on to an extremely limited, and exceedingly restrained, Federal Republic.
Our United States Constitution was that agreement, and the States remained above the Feds in rank, just as the counties remained above the States. Then, to make it abundantly clear, the Constitution begins with the first three words, “WE THE PEOPLE,” written in massively larger script, to insure that everyone understood that it was “we the sovereigns” entering into this compact, not a bunch of rulers of mere serfs who had no say in the arrangement.
To recap, our system of government should be viewed as an inverted pyramid. The individual sovereigns are at the top and enter a social contract with their neighbors forming local counties. The counties, as agents for their sovereigns, enter association with other counties to form States. The States, as agents for their counties, joined the Union known as the USA. The USA, as an agent for the States, deals with interstate commerce, foreign affairs, and defense from foreign aggression.
The framers of our Constitution took our individual sovereign rights so much for granted that they were not even mentioned in the original Constitution, which is all about what this weak Union can or cannot do. There is nothing regarding what its citizens may or may not do – that was patently none of the Federal government’s business. It took the good sense of some of the States’ legislatures to insist that the Bill of Rights be added as the first ten Amendments, just to make it unambiguously certain that these were off limits to the Feds, before they would ratify the agreement.
To emphasize the point, a common fiction is to refer to the US Attorney General as the “highest law enforcement officer in the land.” Hooey; that title goes to county sheriffs. Even today, very few crimes fall under the purview of the Feds. Federal agents (FBI, IRS, BATF, etc.) have no jurisdiction off federal property, without their express permission. Each year your local county sheriff must perfunctorily renew his approval for these federal agents to operate in his county, before any federal funds will be made available to his department.
As designed, our Republic was supposed to be a representative system. It was meant to be an amalgamation of State and Popular representation. The Senate represented the States and Senators were appointed by the State Legislatures. The House represented the People and was supposed to be replaced every two years by citizen legislators, who were expected to serve one term and then go back home to live among their neighbors under the laws they enacted.
The President and Vice President were chosen by a panel of “electors,” which were chosen by whatever process the States saw fit. It is noteworthy that there is no such thing as a Federal “right to vote.” The processes by which the people chose their local representatives within the States were none of the Feds’ business. Our founders were very wary of “mob rule”; they pointedly eschewed partisanship, and would surely have balked at the notion of “professional politicians.”
1913 was a particularly bad year for our Republic. Woodrow Wilson became President and, significantly, was the first ever to refer to America as a “democracy” in a State of the Union speech. The Sixteenth Amendment was (supposedly) ratified, permitting the Federal Government to tax citizens’ income directly for the first time. The Seventeenth Amendment was ratified, severely diluting the power of the States, by making the Senators selected by popular elections; thus making them more beholden to the political parties that helped get them elected, than the States they were supposed to represent.
“History records that the money changers have used every form of abuse, intrigue, deceit, and violent means possible to maintain their control over governments by controlling money and its issuance.” – James Madison
Then in a coup for the bankers, the Federal Reserve Act was passed permitting the debauchery of our currency. Most Americans don’t even know that there is nothing Federal about the Federal Reserve. It is a private bank that loans money into existence at usury and the IRS is really just its collection agency, to take money back out of circulation again. Regardless what anyone ever tells you, inflation is caused by one and only one thing – government printing presses, and it is the cruelest tax of all.
“Let me issue and control a nation’s money, and I care not who writes its laws.” – Mayer Amschel Rothschild (1790)
Our Treasury prints Federal Reserve notes to order for this private banking system, which then lends them back to the government and our local banks, at interest rates they set themselves, for their fractional-reserve banking system. To their frequent chagrin, politicians have no say whatever in the supply of money or the interest rates charged by the private Federal Reserve bankers; both crucial to the health of the economy, and thus their fate at reelection time.
“It is well that the people of the nation do not understand our banking and monetary system, for if they did, I believe there would be a revolution before tomorrow morning.” – Henry Ford
Like it or not, the bankers rule the world, and our politicians are just their toadies. The central banks can create a boom or bust at their whim, and naturally come out winners during both. To give any politician credit or blame for either is just plain silly, for such matters are utterly beyond their control.
[Note: Credit is the modern form of slavery, and shackles are now made out of plastic, which most Americans proudly tote around in their wallets or purses, and brag about their colors. The thing that most makes me uncommonly free, is that for the past twenty years I have always earned my money before I spend it. I owe not one thin dime to anyone, have no credit whatever, and have no desire or need of it. If you are part of the instant gratification “Now” generation and have never been there, you have no idea how euphoric true freedom feels. It beats any chemical “high” ever experienced. All that is required is self-discipline, and a pair of scissors strong enough to cut through a millimeter of soft plastic.]
The broad misinterpretations of the interstate commerce clause of our Constitution, along with the disastrous sixteenth and seventeenth Amendments, the Federal Reserve Act, et al, have done much mischief with the original intent and implementation of our political structure. They enabled the feds to suck tax money into Washington DC before dolling some of it back to local governments, which enables federal arm-twisting like the county sheriff matter above mentioned; but that does not change how a true sovereign should view his domain or his position vis a vis government.
Whither they go
It is no small consternation to me that those with minds wise enough to understand the evils of Marxism, and desirous of minimal government intrusion into their pocket books, are more often than not given to blind faith in their utopian religious beliefs, and thus inclined to empower government to force others to abide by their preferred moral codes. Yet those freethinkers, with minds rational enough to reject the supernatural, and desirous of minimal government intrusion into their private affairs, are more often than not given to blind faith in their utopian collectivist societal beliefs, and thus inclined to empower government to force others to support their pet social causes.
Either path is a road to serfdom. I would beseech both to open their minds and examine their beliefs carefully; and notice what would happen if they actually achieved their goals. Remember, the bankers, who gleefully finance both sides of any war, wouldn’t care either way. It is way past the time when anything could have been done to change their stranglehold on the world. Any modern credit-addicted society such as ours even attempting it, would be in for such an economic calamity that everyone would be begging for another regime change in no time at all.
Therefore, the bankers would still be running things, and manipulating the wealth to their benefit, whether the Taliban/Brown Shirts like “Enforcers” were running around wearing armbands with Christian Crosses or “PC Police” on them. Meanwhile, your opposition will not have been eradicated, only publically suppressed, and even more dangerous than before.
Whether the “Enforcers” are tormenting Marxists or Christians, and burning libraries or churches, there will always be oppressors and the oppressed, or there would be no need of “Enforcers.” Only now, whichever group feels oppressed will be secretly meeting in closets and plotting the next revolution, rather than openly striving for the tolerance of their neighbors, in a reasonably civil society that has repeatedly demonstrated the ability to moderate itself over time.
Probably because I am neither, either side winning seems disastrous to me. I have seen both refer to the other’s irrational beliefs as a mental disorder. From my rational perch in the middle, this is the one thing on which I find I can heartily agree with both. I would like to propose a third way. Call it a renaissance perhaps, because I would dearly love to revive the classical liberalism of our founders as defined above.
Whichever side you find yourself on, please review my Political Spectrum chart, where I have bent the traditional Left/Right line into a circle, and contemplate whether, for the sake of Liberty, you might find wisdom in the gospel according to Dave:
“Do right, and leave others be.”
Try to imagine a rational world based on my own utopian dream, where everyone lived by the creed, “I care not what others do with their lives, as long as they don’t forcibly interfere in my life.” Ask yourself if you could give up your need to change the behavior of others, if they would just agree to leave you alone to live your life as you wish to live it. Just think, we could almost put politicians out of business with that attitude. Utopia indeed. ◄Dave►