The Federalist: Opinion: Fred Cole: Sometimes You Have To Question This Whole Freedom Thing
This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on Blogger
I read both sides of the political spectrum, all the way from the far left to the libertarian right to the far right, and of course the center left, where I am, as well as the center right and anything else I might not have mentioned, so please do not get dizzy from reading this. I'm sure people who read my blogs probably do not like that and perhaps wish I only read articles on the Left and probably wish I was a hell of a lot more partisan as a Democrat as well. I do this because I like to know what people are thinking, especially those who disagree with me, but it also helps me as a blogger to see what the rest of the political world is thinking about.
I mention this for a couple of reasons. I am very liberal and do not want government controlling people's lives, and based on that, I see plenty of articles from the far left and far right about new ideas and proposals to control people. This year alone, I read three posts about Thom Hartmann wanting to repeal the Second Amendment, an article in the far left magazine Salon about nationalizing the news media because of the success of FOX News, and an article from the far right blog The American Thinker proposing to outlaw tobacco. I am sure alcohol is not that far away either.
In 2012 alone, there were proposals from the Mike Bloombergs of the world (former mayor of New York City) arguing in favor of outlawing junk food and soft drinks. The notion behind these proposals is that government (or a select few and elitist individuals) knows best how Americans should live, even Americans they've never met or heard of and know nothing about. These elitists know best because they are attended school in the Northeast or West Coast or Ivy League, and anyway, Americans are basically dumb and can't make these decisions for themselves.
Left or Right big government is too much government because it is government trying to control people and protect them from themselves, whether by prohibition of alcohol, food, and tobacco on the far left or outlawing pornography, premarital sex, adultery, abortion, and homosexuality on the far right. Being human is the ability to live, and part of that is about making mistakes, because, of course, none of us is perfect. By then learning from those mistakes, we can do better the next time and not repeat them.
Personal freedom and responsibility as well as opportunity are what my politics and ideology are based on, and that means individuals have the freedom to control their own lives. That means that property rights extend to people's own bodies and that we have the final say in what we do in life as adults as long as what we are doing is not hurting others. We are then held personally responsible, for good or bad, for our own decisions.