Sunday, November 05, 2017

Liberty an unappreciated necessity

(My Eastern New Mexico News column for October 4, 2017)

It's a human tragedy that most of us lack real appreciation for life's necessities.

We don't appreciate things until it's too late.

Water is overlooked until you have to scrounge for every drop. I've been thirsty enough to sip water from a rotten stump's hollow, filtering it through a bandanna against my mouth to avoid swallowing mosquito larvae and globs of algae. I've been thirsty enough to drink water, peppered with rabbit pellets, from holes in rocks.

Yet, even I can take for granted that when I turn on the faucet, good water will come out. Occasionally I remember the times water was scarce, and feel appreciative.

You won't appreciate heat, light, or cooked food until you don't have the option of flipping a switch. The appreciation for those modern conveniences grows stronger when you've made every fire by rubbing sticks together.

Do this a few thousand times over several years and it will help you feel gratitude for technology-- even lighters.

In the same way, you'll never value liberty until you've had it and lost it. Almost no American appreciates liberty because they've never actually experienced it. They've been taught to believe Americans are free, and questioning the truth of this statement is labeled "ingratitude".

It's not. It's recognizing reality and demanding better.

Until you are free to live as you see fit, as long as you're not harming anyone else, your liberty is being violated. Until you are free to travel, trade, and protect your person and property without seeking permission from anyone to do those things, liberty is imaginary. If you are required to get licenses and permits to go about your life and business, you aren't free.

No one has the right to require the licensing of driving, carried guns, or businesses. No one has the right to take your money, using the excuse of taxation or fines. No one has the right to prohibit or regulate any part of your life until you tread on the equal and identical rights of others. It is your unrefusable* responsibility to not violate people by restricting their rights, and nothing can change that.

Those who support the violations and celebrate them as "freedom" are lying to you.

Yes, it could be worse.

I'm grateful for the liberties still allowed. I crave the return of those which have been criminalized through the error of allowing government to grow.

If you are grateful too, show it by defending liberty even when everyone around you would rather you didn't.

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