What is Behind the Death of Individual Liberty in America?
The “individual liberty” question inevitably becomes tense and faction driven in America. Any question about it, such as the “is individual liberty dying?” question, almost immediately devolve into partisan bickering. That is sad because liberty should not be a partisan issue. Republicans and Democrats alike have contributed to its demise. Many Republicans are for some reason ok with the government surveillance and restrictions of liberty that came with the PATRIOT Act after 9/11. In my opinion, that Act was just one of the more recent steps in a long progression of the death of individual liberty.
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Some Republicans are also in favor of restricting individual rights in the name of morality and national security. The PATRIOT Act was a good example of that, as were long-standing restrictions on gay marriage. The drug bans described in Narconomics: How to Run a Drug Cartel are also good examples.
While I am sympathetic to many of those restrictions because I understand and generally agree with the underlying opinions behind them, I think they are dangerous because they represent the death of individual liberty and go directly against the principles outlined in both The Federalist Papers and the Anti-Federalist Papers.
Republicans need to learn that individual liberty cannot be constrained just because we find some behaviors that individuals might engage in disagreeable. I agree with them that those behaviors are disagreeable and evidence of moral decay in America. But, that is an issue for citizens and churches to handle. Not the government.
If you are a Republican and think that your friend or neighbor is acting immoraly, tell them yourself and try to change their mind. Do not demand that the government regulate that behavior; government intervention in the private lives of its citizens is the path to tyranny and is what is behind the death of individual liberty. We Republicans need to avoid it at all costs.
On the other side of the aisle, Democrats also seem to be hastening the death of individual liberty. E-cig bans, such as the one in Michigan that I wrote about. Bans on certain types of weapons just because they look scary, despite the fact that death by assault weapon is rare and AR-15s are protected by the 2nd Amendment.
The left’s attacks on individual liberty are much worse, in my opinion, than the threats to it posed by the morality-focused right. Conservatives want to ban certain activities because of (mostly correct) beliefs about morality. Leftists, on the other hand, are attacking our very basic individual rights.
The most egregious example of that is the left’s attack on private property. Our ability to own property and know that it is safe from confiscation by the government is one of the most sacred rights in America. But the modern left, driven by socialist ideas about redistribution of wealth and its innate desire for control, will do whatever it takes to start seizing private property for the “public good.”
Whether that seizure of property is called a “wealth tax” or something else, it is immoral and unconstitutional. Our Founding Fathers intended for our private property to be safe and secure from the prying hands of the government. We can’t let the leftists take that away. It’s just a sign of the times and emblematic of the death of individual liberty that we are even considering the concept of an unconstitutional wealth tax.
In short, individual liberty and restrictions on it are not a partisan issue. Both parties seem to be working towards restricting liberty in the name of the greater good. The Democrats might be far worse about it, but both parties and their Big Government beliefs are behind the death of individual liberty.
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That is dangerous. Who decides what the greater good is that liberty should be restricted to protect? Some bureaucrat in Washington that wants us to wear a mask to combat the Chinese Flu?
No person or group of people is knowledgeable enough to know what should or shouldn’t be restricted. That is ridiculous. Many of the things they want to ban are harmful in one way or another. Gun violence is a problem, albeit not in the way many of those bureaucrats think it is. Similarly, E-cigs and drugs are probably bad for you.
But the role of government isn’t to decide what is healthy or unhealthy, dangerous or safe. It’s to protect individual liberty and natural rights, both of which are bedrocks of the traditional American system. The death of individual liberty has been sped along by the convenient dismissal of that once well-known principle.
So, I encourage you to stand up for individual liberty. Don’t let it be eroded away to nothing by sometimes well-meaning, but often evil-minded, bureaucrats in Washington. Otherwise, we’ll end up with evil people like Che Guevara in charge.
Young conservatives, most of whom are libertarian-leaning, are America’s best hope for reversing the death of individual liberty. We need to start fighting back so that our liberty is preserved.
By: Gen Z Conservative