Sunday, October 28, 2012

May the force and coercion be with you...

  If you live in Indiana, and if you have access to electricity and a television or computer, I imagine you have seen the commercial where United States Senate candidate Richard Mourdock states that he likes to use politics to inflict his views on others. The Democrats that are paying for the commercial seem to be offended by his statement. I'm not sure why.

  That is the way government has worked for years. Democrats and Republicans go to Washington, create new laws and programs, which we as citizens are then forced to obey and fund. Regardless of how necessary or unnecessary each of of us feel the law or program may be, we are expected to obey and fund it. If we disobey a law with which we disagree, or attempt to withhold funding from some government program, we face arrest or fines. If we resist the arrest or fines, there is a good chance the government will come after us to inflict their views with a gun. If we resist that, there is a good chance that we will be shot. I consider that pretty inflictive.

  As a people, we have always had divided opinions. And even when we don't see eye to eye with our neighbor, for the most part we have been able to agree to disagree, and to go our separate ways. And as long as our neighbor isn't perpetrating some type of force or fraud against us or somebody else, we seem able to co-exist. We may not like that neighbor, but we somehow manage to tolerate our differences.
  Government doesn't work that way. Government as we know it is based on force and coercion. The power of that force and coercion is what creates the divisiveness we find in the Republicans and Democrats today. Neither party is opposed to force and coercion, they just want to be the party in charge of administering them.

  As a Libertarian, I take a different view of things. I figure the government shouldn't be making laws other than ones that serve to protect us from force and fraud, and I figure if the government wants to come up with some programs to help people manage their lives, then people ought to be able to decide if they want to use those programs or not.

  I know that's not how government works now, but I figure if we elected a few Libertarians, it could work like that.

  I also know that neither the Republicans or Democrats are the least bit interested in removing the force and coercion from government.

  Go figure.


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Sunday, October 07, 2012

That's the limit...

  Regardless of the number of candidates on the ballot this November 6th, we really have just two choices. We can choose limited government, or we can choose unlimited government. While the GOP and the Democrats might have some minor differences in tax redistribution, both believe that the government has a pre-existing claim to our wages and property.  They might place a temporary limit on the amount the government can take, and they might agree to cut spending on a program or two during an economic downturn, but in the final analysis, after the campaign rhetoric is over, both parties still agree that the government should have the ability to decide how much control it has over our lives.

  The fact that most of us can't name three things the government doesn't tax or regulate isn't the result of just one of those parties being in charge. It's the result of both parties increasing the scope and cost of government for the last 150 years. If we are truly honest with ourselves, we probably know neither party has any intention of miraculously changing after this election.

 On the other hand, the Libertarian Party wants to restore limits to government. Limits on local government, limits on state government, and limits on the federal government.

  Lots of candidates, lots of issues, but only two real choices. Limited government, or unlimited government. If you want a limited government, sooner or later you're going to have to vote for it.

  Hopefully sooner than later.

Monday, October 01, 2012

Double ought...

  Back at Millville Grade School, the best part of the day was usually recess, especially if the weather was nice enough that we were able to enjoy it outside. It’s not like we had a lot of expensive playground equipment, but we did have a couple of softball diamonds, although only one of them had a backstop and actual bases. The other one just had Summit Taylor’s fence for a backstop, and you had to kick a spot out in the grass with your heel to make the bases. Still, it was nice to get out of the building for a while.

  Whenever the 3rd and 4th grade teacher, Mrs. Gosspert, was in charge of monitoring us at recess, she always asked if we wanted to play softball or kickball, and when we shouted out our preference, she would somehow judge our response, and tell us which game we would be playing that day. Whenever it turned out that we were playing kickball, my old buddy Stinky Wilmont, who for some reason had a terrible aversion to kickball, would suggest that maybe some of us could step away and play something else.  Mrs. Gosspert said that wasn’t how things were done, and that we were going to all play kickball on that day, and maybe we would play something else tomorrow. She called it a compromise.

  I never did understand why I spent so many days playing kickball and softball, since I really didn’t enjoy them anymore than Stinky did. I feel the same way when politics works that way.

  I suppose there has always been a difference of opinion on just what constitutes recreation, just as there has always been a difference of opinion on what constitutes good and proper government. Every so often, we hold an election, and send some people to our county seats, state capitols, and to Washington, so that they can decide what we are all going to do for the next few years until we hold another election.

  There always seems to be a lot of different ideas on what we ought to be doing, and everybody seems to believe that everybody else ought to come around to their way of thinking. Everybody gets awfully mad at everybody else, and they spend a lot of time trying to work out some kind of compromise so that everybody gets something and nobody gets everything. Then the people that we sent to do the deciding don’t seem to be so mad anymore, but a lot of us that didn’t get to do the deciding end up pretty upset.

  I’ve thought it over, and I think the main reason people are so mad today is because the people we elect think that everybody needs to play the same game, and that the government ought to make sure that they do. I think my old buddy Stinky had the right solution years ago.

  I don’t have a bit of problem if a person or a group of persons wants the government to manage their healthcare or their retirement. And I really don’t care if somebody wants the government to collect and distribute their charitable giving. As far as I’m concerned, a person can give the government as much control over themselves as they desire. I just don’t think they ought to be giving the government so much control over everybody else.

  Whenever our government creates a program that doesn’t involve protecting us from force and fraud, everybody ought to have the freedom to decide whether or not they want to participate. Compromise doesn’t have to mean everybody loses something.  Sometimes a compromise can mean agreeing to disagree, and then simply going down our separate paths.

  I know that’s not how things are done, but I think maybe that’s how things ought to be done.

  Then maybe people wouldn’t be so mad all the time.