Are there reasons to Vote for Romney over Obama?

I’m constantly deluged, from my Libertarian leaning friends, with lists of things that Obama and Romney have in common.

Okay fine.  I won’t argue against the point that they have more in common than I’d like.  But, I remind them that while apples and oranges are generally round-ish, have seeds, grow on trees, and may have many more things in common, it is the differences I focus on when choosing between them.

Obama vs RomneyBefore I go further, for perspective, I want readers to know I voted for Ron Paul in the primaries and, years ago, voted for Ross Perot, so I know what it is to support a 3rd party candidate.

Here are what I consider the top 4 reasons to vote for Romney over Obama even if, like me, you think Romney is far more of a Big Government Republican than you’re comfortable.

1. Supreme court justices:  Even if you’re deeply disappointed with the bottom line decision supported by Roberts in the Obamacare case, a read of the opinions by Roberts as compared to Ginsburg, Sotomayor, and Kagan, within that ruling, make it crystal clear that we can’t afford more Obama appointed justices.

Here are a couple quotes from Ginsburg, who’s opinion was joined by Sotomayor and Kagan;  for examples:

  1. “at the time the Constitution was framed, to ‘regulate’ meant, among other things, to require action.”
  2. “the Commerce Clause authorizes Congress to enact the minimum coverage provision”

In short, Ginsburg supports the notion that the Federal government really should have no bounds where it perceives need to act.

We truly cannot afford more Liberal justices like Ginsburg, Sotomayor, and Kagan.

2) Debt: Even with all the spending Bush did at the end, he “only” (there’s an ironic word) added about half a trillion per year to the debt. As awful as that was, Obama has added at over twice that rate (about 1.25 Trillion per year). Obama has added more in 4 years than Bush did in 8.  While there can be no guarantee, I just don’t believe Romney will spend at anywhere near the rate Obama has.

Our country desperately needs to slow the rate at which we’re taking on debt until we can implement real and major reforms.

Did you know that if we completely eliminated the military and the government, the entitlements plus interest on the debt is still more than we take in with taxes each year?  See here.. that’s a scary fact!

3) Obamacare:  Simply put, constitutional or not, Obamacare is bad law.  Key issues like tort reform and common sense solutions for pre-existing conditions have been proposed and can be put in place upon the repeal of Obamacare… which we simply can’t afford.

4) Energy:  I’m all for alternative energy but there’s no reason to kill our economy by attacking coal and oil before alternative energy solutions are more mature.  Obama will continue to attack American oil producers, even while supporting drilling for oil in Brazil.  If he cared about the environment, why is drilling for oil to be supported in Brazil?  Romney will support American energy production which will help our economy and create hundreds of thousands of jobs.

The bottom line…

If everything else is the same between Obama and Romney, the above are reason enough to vote Obama out this year by voting for Romney.  Even if you don’t agree with all of the above, if you agree with some of it, a vote for Romney is the logical choice.

To be clear, a Romney win is a small step in the right direction but is not the end of the fight.  Everyone should be contacting your local liberty groups like Libertas, Tea Parties, Ohio Liberty Coalition, etc. to learn about how to get involved in your local precincts to reform the Republican party from within and work toward a future where small-government candidates have a chance.

Please help remove Obama from office and give fledgling liberty groups a chance to grow, hopefully with your help, before we are buried in debt and unbridled government growth.. vote Romney.

The Bring Jobs Home Act… Really?

You will no doubt hear big news about how Republicans supposedly don’t care about American workers because they blocked the “Bring Jobs Home”act.

But, I believe this legislation was poorly written and never really intended to pass.  There’s a very common formula for making your opponents look bad on a popular issue and it goes as follows.

1)      Craft some legislation with a title that clearly supports a popular issue.  Near everyone would like to see less outsourcing, so let’s have a bill titled “Bring Jobs Home”.  What American could oppose that, unless he was some greedy jerk, right?

2)      Next, make sure the legislation is poorly written with obvious downsides, loop holes, and ways it can be abused

3)      Next, count on the fact that your opponents will oppose the legislation, re step 2, and ensure that your side all votes for it even though they know it will fail (foreknowledge of failure means they won’t be blamed later when the legislation is proven to have been poorly crafted).

4)      Conduct the vote in such a way as to ensure the failure.

5)      Blame your opponents for not wanting to “Bring Jobs Home”, or whatever the item of the day.

How many times have we seen this?

By the way, people often confuse outsourcing with off-shoring.  Outsourcing is when a company, say Dell, contracts with another company, say in Arizona, to hire US employees to perform their call center activities.  Off-shoring is when that call center is in another country.  Another way to remember this is that when you send your kids to daycare, you have chosen to outsource childcare.  If you shipped the kiddies overseas for this, that would be off-shoring.

Like it or not, many of our companies have to compete globally.  Their global competitors have no obstacles to being able to hire cheaper waged employees in other countries.  You can easily do the math and figure out what happens to an American company that must pay 3 times the wage of their foreign competitors.  For many global companies, their choice is to off-shore some jobs and stay in business or go out of business and lose all the jobs.

I’m not going to argue here that all off-shoring saves American jobs as in the example above.  But, I will say that people should be careful not to paint all off-shoring with the same brush and assumptions of padding profits.  Legislation like the so-called “Bring Jobs Home” act could easily have forced some American companies out of business… and that’s bad legislation.  It appears that the Republicans did the right thing here.

For the record, I was laid off from a job of 20 years when my assignment was moved to India.  So please don’t tell me I have no perspective on this.

Meanwhile, as typical, the AFL-CIO and Democrats keep their blinders on and only advocate for their own individual interests without looking at the bigger picture.

The fact remains that if Democrats cared about employing American citizens over non-American citizens, they’d work on deporting illegal immigrants.  But, since they think that would cost them votes, they vilify and grandstand regarding off-shoring while ultimately really doing nothing about it.

And, if Democrats really cared about poor non-American citizens (their supposed reason for not enforcing immigration laws), they wouldn’t mind off-shoring, much of which provides good (in relative terms) income opportunities to poorer people in other countries.

He Lies Again… So much for change!

It seems to be a common practice among politicians to make say what they want to say and then tack on some explanations at the end that can allow them to deflect criticism.

I believe the whole “You Didn’t Build It” situation is an example of just that practice.  Now that Obama’s ad, claiming his words were taken out of context, has been making the rounds, I want to visit this topic one more time.

Obama’s new ad says (emphasis mine):

“Those ads, taking my words about small business out of context… they’re flat out wrong.  Of course Americans build their own businesses.  Every day, hard working people sacrifice to meet a payroll, create jobs, and make our economy run.  And, what I said was that we need to stand behind them as America always has, by investing in education and training, roads and bridges, research and technology.  I’m Barack Obama and I approved this message because I believe we’re all in this together.”

Really?  Let’s look at the original speech in its entirety.

He begins…

“So, I’m gunna reduce the deficit in a balanced way.  We’ve already made a Trillion dollars worth of cuts. We can make another Trillion or Trillion Two.  And, what we then do is ask for the wealthy to pay a little bit more.  And, by the way, we’ve tried that before.  A guy named Bill Clinton did it.  We created 23 million new jobs.  Turned a deficit into a surplus, and rich people did just fine.  We created a lot of millionaires.”

Okay, aside from the debatable claims about who created what jobs, by this point in his speech he has clearly established the topic as being about having wealthy people give more back.

He continues…

 “And you know there are a lot of wealthy, successful Americans who agree with me, because they want to give something back.  They know they didn’t”

He pauses here and then continues after apparently deciding to reword his approach.  Given how he continues, it appears he was going to say “They know they didn’t get there on their own” or something to that effect.

He continues…

“If you’ve been successful, you didn’t get there on your own.”

Huge applause here.  He’s playing to his base.  And they clearly don’t like the rich and love any talk that appears to take the haughty rich down a peg.

He continues…

“ … I’m always struck by people who think, ‘Well, it must be because I was just so smart.’  There are a lot of smart people out there.  ‘It must be because I worked harder than everybody else.’  Let me tell you something.  There are a whole bunch of hardworking people out there.  If you were successful, somebody along the line gave you some help.  There was a great teacher somewhere in your life.  Somebody helped to create this unbelievable American system that we have that allowed you to thrive.  Somebody invested in roads and bridges.  If you’ve got a business, you didn’t build that.  Somebody else made that happen.  The internet didn’t get invented on its own.  Government research created the internet so then all the companies could make money off the internet.”

From the beginning of the speech to here, it is clear that he has made his point that the rich should be expected to give back because they could not have achieved what they did without others.  Therefore, these others deserve, some recompense.

Moreover, his base loves this message and has cheered enthusiastically up to this point.

Here’s where I believe he purposely waters down the message from one of clearly telling his base they deserve to receive money from the rich, to an innocuous message about how we all just need to remember that we’re part of an interconnected community.

He continues…

“The point is that if we succeed, we succeed because of our individual initiative but also because we don things together.  There’s some things just like fighting fires that we don’t do on our own.  Imagine if everyone … ”

Well, he goes on to talk about if we all did our own fire fighting etc.. clearly rambling at this point as he tries to dance his way out of what he has said.

Were his words taken out of context… No!

Was he making a plea for infrastructure… No!

Is he effectively lying in his rebuttal commercial… Yes!

I believe it is clear that Obama believes in the collectivist view that since no one exists alone, and cannot achieve without some form of participation by others (even if only providing labor or buying your products), then profits are to be divided amongst all.  He all but said so here, before watering down his message to provide himself with an out.

 

The Problem with Obama’s Statement is One of Reality, not Just Context.

This is a follow-up to my blog about Obama’s “You Didn’t Build It” quote.

I find it necessary to take an opportunity to not just include aspects of the reaction to Obama’s statement but also to take a more comprehensive and deeper look at this subject which I think may be appreciated by others, like myself, who see this as a microcosm of a key issue.  For that reason this blog is much longer than I would normally allow myself.

There has been a lot made, in the last few days, of the Obama quote mentioned above.  Perhaps even more has been made, particularly in the MSM and on Liberal leaning blogs, of the notion that Conservatives are misquoting Obama by taking his words out of context, or that we are simply being ridiculous in asserting that people really do somehow accomplish things completely on their own… in a vacuum, as it were.

Context: Semantic vs. Pragmatic Meaning

Is this entire controversy simply contrived by Conservatives who have taken Obama out of context?  Many of his supporters are stressing that Obama did not say that people didn’t build their own businesses but only said they didn’t build the roads and bridges.

I, personally, admit that I wasn’t comfortable with the abbreviation of his speech.  That is why, when I added the quote to my prior blog, I purposely typed in the entire quote, replaying the video several times to make sure I didn’t miss anything.  Also, of course, I linked to a site with the full video.  That said, I did all this not because I believed the abbreviated quote was really misleading, as you will see, but because I’m dedicated to supplying full context and did not want to provide reason for doubt among detractors.

Having carefully listened to what Obama has said, I will concede this point on semantic grounds.  That is to say, I agree that Obama may, likely, have meant to say that the people who created the business did not, also, create the roads and bridges.

The above point is ultimately moot, however, because Obama’s pragmatic meaning remains the exact same.  In full context, I believe it is clear that what Obama meant is that, since the business owners did not build the bridges, roads, internet, etc., which he sees as having made their businesses possible, these business owners, therefore, did not build their businesses “on <their> own.”  Given that the point being made by Obama really isn’t changed by the abbreviated context, the context argument is refuted.

Is Obama Making a Valid Point or is He the One with the Context Problem?

Meanwhile, among those who aren’t questioning whether Obama is being misquoted, many are flatly saying, “Well, duh.  He’s obviously right!  We don’t achieve alone!” and are wondering how it is that any of we Conservatives who are taking issue with this statement can possibly be so deluded as to think we accomplish anything by ourselves.  What monumental egos we must have!  What unrealistic perspectives!

So, are we Conservatives saying that people really accomplish things, all on their own, without any benefit of influence or infrastructure that has been provided by others before us?  Of course, not!

In fact, we both acknowledge and rejoice in the fact that we are the lucky beneficiaries (by the fortunate circumstance of our births in, or legal immigration to, America) of the tremendous opportunities afforded by living in the greatest country on earth!  … and we want to keep it that way!

Further, we freely acknowledge, and grant as a given, that government investment in infrastructure, having been made possible by tax revenue from private industry, benefits us all greatly in all of our routine, leisure, and revenue generating activities.

(As a brief aside, I should think Obama and others would do well to remember that the internet of which he spoke was not only funded by tax revenue from profitable enterprises but was a military project.)

I accept that some truly believe Conservatives are crazily trying to argue that people achieve in a vacuum.  However, I’m confident that many others know better than this but are simply engaging in the common sophistry of refuting the obvious, unintended, point (that we believe we somehow achieve in a vacuum), while pretending the non-existence of the deeper and core truth (that Obama is making a populist, collectivist, point in support of entitlement).

It is the latter group, who already recognize that context is their problem.  And, context, like facts, is a stubborn thing.

Let’s remove, for a moment, the context they would like to ignore and pretend the president only said the following, as I’ve re-spliced to make clearer his point as they see it:  “If you’ve been successful, you didn’t get their on your own” and “if you’ve got a business,”…“somebody else made <the roads and bridges> happen” and it is “the American system… that allowed you to thrive”.  Okay, given just this, I can see where that could easily be construed, particularly by someone sympathetic to Obama, as just being a sort of “kumbaya moment” where he’s saying we all achieve more because of each other… or something like that..

However, that is not all he said and I believe the point of Obama’s comments is actually made clear prior to the 40 second mark, where he prefaces his other remarks by saying “…what we then do is ask for the wealthy to pay a little bit more … There are a lot of wealthy, successful Americans who agree with me, because they want to give something back.”  I contend that the rest of what he says is all intended to provide the reasons for why he believes it is right to expect such a sense of indebtedness from successful business owners.  As previously described by me, his point was to say that since (even if we allow that he believes people did build their own businesses) business builders did not do so without the help of many others and, by implication, therefore, are obligated to give back to those others (i.e. the collective community).   { I encourage anyone who says this was not his point to explain what they think he was really trying to say.}

So, ironically, as it turns out, it is actually only by leaving out the context provided just prior to the quote commonly being distributed, that any credence can be given to the pretense that his statement was not about justifying entitlement of the many, to the profits made by the few.

Obama’s Problem is Not Only Context, but Reality Too

In response to Elizabeth Warren’s comments, of this exact same nature, back around September of last year, (also well attended here) I can recall writing in a post or email, with some of the following points acknowledging how I understand that I did not get where I am on my own.  Never minding credit to my parents for their part in making my very existence possible, what measure of success I have achieved, in my journey from poverty to a very comfortable living is, in no small part, much to the credit of various “evil” corporations.  After working my first year out of high school, making minimum wage from a relative with a small business, I was encouraged to find a job at a large company with tuition reimbursement which I did so that I might go to college which neither I nor my family could otherwise afford.  It was while at this first large corporation, and at their expense, that I earned an Associate’s degree in business administration and management.  I then moved on to a second company which further provided for my education through tuition reimbursement; where I then went on to earn my Bachelor of Sciences in Information Systems, completing my transition to geekdom, not to mention improved salaries.

Further, at each of the above companies, and that at which I now work, I have been afforded the opportunity to leverage the business acumen of the executive leadership, and the business opportunities they created, to gain much greater value for my skill set than I could have achieved on my own.  This last statement cannot be over stressed.  Were it not, for example, for the ideas, risks taken, and hard work of the founder of the company at which I work, not just myself but hundreds of us would not be able to take advantage, as we currently do, of the opportunity to work at this company and earn as much as we do for our skills.  What percentage, I wonder, of how much I earn each year is really attributable to the value I get by working where I work?  How much of this is a consequence of my company’s founder’s efforts?  While he makes much more money than I do, I know he earns, for himself, a fraction of the total money that is earned by others, in aggregate, because of him.

So, I’ve established and agreed that I didn’t get here alone but what about this point of obligation to “give back” as could be laid at the feet of the founders or executives of the corporations for which I have worked, as described by Obama?

Let’s think about this.  As I’ve mentioned, I believe I earn far more money every year, given my own skills (oft paid for by prior employers) and being able to leverage the business knowledge, vision, infrastructure, etc. as provided by the founder of my current company.  The same is true of the hundreds of others who work where I do, and the many thousands of others who work or worked at the other companies where I have worked.

I think it should be becoming clear that  these business owners, executives, and their companies have already provided employment opportunities, benefits, and greater income capacities for their employees than we could earn alone as well as great products and services to their customers…  not to mention the direct and indirect tax revenues that help us all to bear the cost of government… you know… for  roads, bridges, the internet, etc!

How much more do they have to give back before they no longer owe us?

When Obama spreads his populist entitlement message, he conveniently overlooks the reality that successful businesses, as evidenced by their ongoing existence, give back every single day!

Do Laws and Agreements Still Have Meaning?

This notion that no one accomplishes anything alone and, therefore, the earner owes some “social” debt, also ignores the concepts of free will, contracts, and the rule of law.

In order to credit, for example, myself and other employees for the success of my employer, and to imply that this credit represents a debt on my employer’s part, we forget that I and the others have already been compensated, as we have agreed, for our services.

Given that there is a contract with offer and acceptance that outlines my employment agreement, what right do I have as an individual or a member of the community to expect more?  By virtue of the fact that I may create something or provide a service which, ultimately, yields profit for the company, does that mean I have a greater right to the company’s profits than set aside in my employment contract?  Do I have some moral right, beyond my contract, to expect whatever I may some day decide is my “fair share”?

If the company has paid the taxes that have been legally asked of it, what more does it owe the government/community?

If the company’s customers have purchased its products and services for a mutually agreed price, what more can be said to be owed to or by either of them?

The answers to all of the above questions should be obvious… No and None!

What About My Fair Share For the Roads, etc., I Provided for These Companies?

If one says that my taxes helped build the roads that, for example, facilitate Procter and Gamble’s ongoing success, I would argue that my taxes are for our mutual benefit and that I have already enjoyed access to the same roads used by P&G.  Further, I have enjoyed the ability to purchase products from all over the country, and the world, as afforded by the infrastructure of our country.  Hence, my taxes were not paid for the purpose of, nor taken advantage of for, the use and profit of P&G or anyone else.  P&G owes me nothing… not as a tax payer, not as a member of the community, and not as a customer who has freely engaged in commerce with them by purchasing their products.

One Last, Broader Look at Context…

Context, ultimately, goes beyond what is said in a given speech or on a given day.  While we must be careful not to over interpret presumptions available to us in such broader context, this should be considered.

There will still be some that say Conservatives are overreacting even if they acknowledge that Obama is trying to justify higher taxes on the wealthy by invoking some sort of civic duty or indebtedness.

I have already mentioned Elizabeth Warren’s speech where she discussed an unwritten “social contract” whereby a successful company supposedly has an obligation to “pay forward” for others. What she seems to forget is that the company, and the employees it pays, pay taxes for those roads, etc.

(I’m setting aside, for the moment, the fact that companies are actually pass thru entities for taxes and that employees, owners/shareholders, and customers actually pay those taxes, but that’s for another blog)

I also made clear in my last blog that this same type of argument was present in Ayn Rand’s day when or before she wrote Atlas Shrugged as published in 1957, by virtue of it appearing in that book.

A few searches found other quotes along these lines in support of Socialism, Communism, etc.  Among these was a comment on a blog found here, as follows:

“On the contrary, we need to call the bluff of the upper tier talk of their own productivity (“productive class” and so on) by explaining the fundamentally SHARED AND COLLECTIVE nature of production in a complex modern society. No one produces anything alone. Every human being born has an unconditional right to a fair share of the goods”

Conclusion

In short, Obama meant what he said and he said exactly what he meant.  There is no context that saves his statement from being what it was; a populist rationalization for looting producers to benefit his idea of the collective community.

Those with a Progressive/Collectivist/Socialist/Communist bias conveniently overlook things like context, free will, rule of law, contracts, taxes paid by the profitable, and benefit already provided to employees, customers, and society as a whole, when they spout their “Progressive” ideas that somehow, just by existing or doing our jobs for which we were paid, we are all entitled to some greater “fair share” of what is produced by others.

Freedom has a Tax!

It is with mixed emotions that I celebrate this “Independence Day”.

Our U.S. Supreme Court has, with the Obamacare ruling, now essentially said our government has a right to tax not only our purchases and property, but our choices.  We can now be taxed for choosing not to purchase something.  It seems government may now simply tax any action or inaction it does not like.

Those who are rejoicing the above decision are, apparently, forgetting that they would not have liked Bush to have such power and that they may well not like who has it in the future.

We are in the midst of a fight for the heart and soul of this country and Independence is at the center of this fight.  The question is whether we return to standing for Independence or whether we move “Forward”, as Obama and his supporters would like, to a land defined by Dependence.

Their side has just one a major battle.  Just like with cigarette’s and booze (and probably soon sodas and candy), our government heavily taxes what it doesn’t like and what it wants people to have less of.  That’s why now, thanks to the Obama aministration,

Meanwhile, the Department of Homeland Security apparently believes that people who are “reverent of Individual Liberty” are terrorists.

But, we must not give up.  We must continue to stand for Liberty and the principals upon which this country was founded.  I urge you to join, and be active in, your local Tea Party, or other Liberty group.  Standing for Independence does not mean standing alone!

Obama’s Strategy is to Ignore the People, not “Just” the Laws!

The Politico, ran a piece in response to Obama’s de facto Dream act, titled “Obama’s policy strategy: Ignore Laws“.  But, if you extend the logic, you’ll see that it is, in fact, the people he is ignoring.

The Politico article explains that “Rather than pushing news laws through a divided congress” he’s taking unilateral action.  I’m sure Obama’s supporters will say he has no choice. Since congress is divided (no doubt the fault of Republicans), this is the only way he can make any “progress”.

But, why is congress so divided?  Who elected congress?  The answer, of course is that the people elected congress and if congress is divided, it is because the people are divided.  If the people are divided, this means we’re still working through the issues and still have not reached a consensus.

But, apparently, Obama is not satisfied with waiting for the people to decide what we want.  He thinks that he knows better and, therefore, it is okay to bypass our representative government to do what he thinks is best, or what he thinks is most politically expedient for himself.  I seem to recall that there’s a word for a leader who concentrates the power in himself, without the voice of representation by the people… and I’m pretty sure that’s not compatible with the American form of government.

Just remember, when you see a story that Obama has bypassed congress, just remember that it is YOU that he has really bypassed.

There Oughta Be a Law!!… Or Maybe Not.

How many times have you heard, thought, or said, “There oughta be a law!”?

Did you or the other person saying this really mean it and think it through?

Personally, I believe the following statements should help guide liberty-minded political thought.

1)       Something I think is good may not be good to compel by law

2)       Something I think is bad need not, necessarily, be against the law

Even though I firmly believe the above statements to be true, and I consciously think about this, I still sometimes catch myself saying, or just thinking, “there oughta be a law”… before I think better of it.

Everyone has heard of the Westboro Baptist church’s protests at military funerals.  I think what they do is awful…. Period.  When I first heard about this, I thought “there oughta be a law” to prevent this activity.  But, remembering the above, I reconsidered.  You have to think of it this way… Do I really want to create a law, for example, to limit free speech within a certain proximity of a funeral?  What if the free speech is incidental to the funeral?  And, even if so, what basis do I use?  Do I say the law is just because the speech was disturbing someone?  Do I say the limit is fair because someone’s feelings could be hurt?

“Danger, Will Robinson!”  Once we stray from banning speech that presents a clear and present danger (reference the old yelling “fire” in a crowded theater example), it is a very dangerous and slippery slope that can have us watching as our freedom of speech is continually whittled away.  How many speech limiting laws could “emotional distress” justify?  Personally, listening to the drivel of just about anyone on MSNBC causes me emotional distress.  I’m sure others feel the same way about Fox News.  But, illegal?  No.

Already, there are many, otherwise democratic nations where many forms of speech that others find offensive are becoming chargeable offences just because someone may be offended.  Examples include racist, anti-Islamic speech, and more.  While you or I would disagree with and may find such speech offensive, it should not be illegal.  This should never be the case in America.

Let me give a simpler example that affects me personally.  I’m a non-smoker.  My wife has never smoked and really can’t be around the stuff.  Smoke in restaurants used to limit our choices of where we could eat.  We now enjoy going to any restaurant we want because Ohio has banned smoking in restaurants.  Yet, I oppose the smoking ban law and favor repeal of the ban.  In my view, a property owner (e.g. restaurant owner) should have the right to allow smoking or not.  My wife and I, in turn, have the right to avoid restaurants that do not adequately accommodate those with smoke sensitivities or who otherwise want to avoid it for health.  Another restaurant owner, similarly, has the right to cater to those who prefer to stay away from smoke, providing for a lucrative business differentiator.

Okay… so ask yourself a couple questions when considering legality relative to your personal preferences.

1)  What if everything that anyone in the country thought should be illegal, was illegal?  These things could all be illegal if some people had their way:

  • All alcohol, including beer,
  • High calorie foods
  • Eating meat
  • Driving SUVs
  • Protesting against a war
  • Any statement that disagrees with someone else’s political views
  • Any statement that disagrees with someone else’s moral or religious views
  • Any action or statement that makes someone else feel “hurt”, no matter in how vague a sense.

2)  What if everything that anyone in the country thought everyone else should do was made into law such that everyone was compelled to do it?  We could be compelled to…

  • Go to church weekly
  • Get marriage counseling before marriage
  • Serve 2 years in the military
  • Serve 2 years in the Peace Core
  • Some, as you know, think everyone should have to buy comprehensive health insurance even if, say, you have enough money to self insure for small items and have catastrophic coverage in case anything major happens.

Okay, you get the idea… Whether you or I agree with these things or not, there should be no such laws.

Here’s a pithy little slogan for you:  “Don’t be a ‘fair weather friend’ of liberty.”  That is, don’t just oppose liberty limiting laws that hurt you, while supporting or simply ignoring liberty limiting laws that don’t affect you.  And, don’t favor liberty limiting laws just because they may seem to benefit you (at least in the short run).

For your further consideration, a friend of mine, Chris Littleton, recently wrote a blog on a similar topic.  I wanted to treat this separately, here, because I had a slightly different take and wanted to establish here, on my blog, some of the core principles on which many of my views are based.  Chris’ blog entry, titled “Are you a Socialist Conservative” is found here.