Conservative Examiner Anthony G. Martin
Gradually this nation has forgotten the basic principles of human liberty, culminating in our present quagmire of being held in the grip of an Administration and Congress that no more respects the Bill of Rights and our Constitution than the speeches of disgraced Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich.
Perhaps we are overdue a timely reminder.
The following are seven declarations of liberty from a concerned Patriot (me) who is on a mission to help save his country from tyranny.
1. Liberty and the desire for it is an innate, human characteristic with which we are born. Government does not ‘grant’ liberty any more than Obama, with the wave of his magic wand, can grant you blue eyes. Government can either squelch and suppress liberty, or it can affirm and protect it. Our Constitution was written to affirm and protect it from government restriction. In the end, however, the ultimate longing and desire for liberty will arise to the surface no matter how feverishly tyrants wish to squelch it. Note the courageous Chinese students at Tienanmen Square in 1988, who faced down the ChiCom army and tanks. So powerful is the natural, innate push toward human liberty that our Framers referred to it as ‘God-given.’
2. Liberty means we are free to succeed, or free to fail, all on our own. A dangerous concept has arisen of late that assumes a free nation is compelled to prevent failure. But if we are truly free, then that means we are free to fail every bit as much as we are free to succeed. Not only is everyone afforded the very same opportunity to apply themselves in the pursuit of life, liberty, and happiness, but the downside is that there are numerous pitfalls that afford us the opportunity to make very bad choices that lead to pain, heartache, and failure. This is the nature of liberty. And when we fail, we are free to get back up, dust ourselves off, and start over again. Goldman-Sachs, Citigroup, General Motors, Chrysler, and many others obviously have forgotten this lesson. So has our government.
3. In a society based upon absolute individual liberty, government is never viewed as a rescuer to prevent pain or as an enabler of continuing failure. Government does not exist to prevent me from experiencing the ultimate consequences of my bad decisions, not does it take on the role of an enabler, rewarding my continued destructive path. Citizens are expected to grow up and become adults, in every sense of the word. To expect government to remain the ‘nanny’ or ‘Big Brother’ is to remain stuck in a state of perpetual dependence, which is NOT a mark of adulthood and maturity. An extremely important principle to remember in the present political climate is that if government must take something from me in order for you to have it, then you have no entitlement to it and you have just negated MY liberties! Stealing on the part of government in order to give to someone something that they don’t normally have does NOT constitute a ‘human right.’ This is why NO ONE has an ultimate right to health insurance.
4. ‘Extremism’ in the defense of liberty is no vice, and moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue. Longtime Arizona Senator Barry Goldwater aptly made this declaration in 1964 while running against Lyndon Baines Johnson for President of the U.S. When liberty is under attack, sometimes extreme measures must be implemented to defend it. This was the firmly held belief of the Founding Fathers. It was Thomas Jefferson who declared, ‘The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.’
5. Liberty means I don’t have to agree with what you do or say but I must defend to the death your right to do it or say it. Censorship of any kind in a free society is dangerous. Of course we can teach our young that it is entirely inappropriate, say, to tell a dirty joke in front of the church ladies. But to mandate such a thing through laws is an affront to personal, individual liberty. This is one of the reasons that my mentor, William F. Buckley, Jr. believed in the legalization of drugs. Simple possession hurts no one but the user, and our crowded prisons need the space for the incarceration of the violent criminals. I may not believe that it is a good idea for a 30-year old man to be spacing out every evening on opiates, but as long as he is non-violent, who am I or government to tell him can’t?
6. The larger government becomes, the more it intrudes into the private lives of individuals, mandating certain behaviors that should be no one’s business but the individual citizens’. Did you know, for example, that in European nations the EU has mandated that garbage cans be monitored for ‘appropriate levels of unrecylced trash?’ Did you also know that citizens in those European nations didn’t get to vote on this nor elect the bureaucrats who enacted such oppressive legislation? Liberty-minded persons in Great Britain, for example, are not only outraged over what they have allowed to happen on the continent, but they warn that this is precisely what’s coming to America with our present unaccountable system of czars, bureaucrats, shadow advisers, and so forth, who are forcing an agenda on the populace without our consent.
7. The ideal for maximum human liberty is small government, low taxes, individual freedom, and a policy initiative that allows capitalism, free markets, and entrepreneurship to thrive. This is how wealth is created in a society. Government does not create wealth. It only confiscates it from the citizens. This oppressive practice of government is clearly NOT the philosophy delineated in the Constitution. Government that is big enough to do everything for you is big enough to take everything you have away from you. In order for a society to be a fertile breeding ground for the maximum creation of wealth, government must get out of the way and stay out of the way. The current practices of government in micro-managing formerly private corporations is a sure-fire way to insure their failure. And we are already witnessing that very thing as talk of yet another massive bailout is being whispered on Capitol Hill.
This my understanding of the basic principles of liberty. Of course, there are many more, but these at the very least form the basis of the concept of human freedom.
For commentary on other issues, visit my blog at The Liberty Sphere.
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