Liberty and personal are two sides of the same coin; you can not pretend to keep heads when you throw tails away. Liberty
While I have devoted a great deal of time in these posts to matters of economic Liberty - jobs, taxes, energy, health care, monetary policy, fiscal policy, and trade – it is personal Liberty that is the defining American virtue and the greater loss when the coin is stolen from us.
You have heard me say it many times:
Liberty is the absence of government in choice, and Government is the absence of in choice. In Liberty , your choices are governed by your own conscience and beliefs; in government, choices are made for you by others. It is our choices that define us as persons. Liberty
Volition – the capability to form moral choices and act upon them - is what separates us from the beasts. Therefore, constraint of volition by force or fraud is inherently de-humanizing; it does not matter whether the constraint is imposed by individuals, corporations, or government, it is wrong.
A principled belief in personal
is quite simply stated: government has no legitimate authority to regulate private personal behavior - period. It only becomes complicated when exceptions are made and we attempt to explain the contradictions that arise. Liberty
Too many of us demand
for ourselves, while insisting that it be denied to others. We demand that government leave us alone in matters of keen interest to us, while insisting that government prevent others from doing things we don’t like. We demand freedom from coercion while insisting that others be coerced. Liberty
None of us has the right to impose our values and beliefs on another against his/her will. As a practical matter, criminalizing private behavior doesn’t get us less bad behavior anyway, just more criminals. Victimless crimes do not exist in reality; only in bad laws. Laws which are selectively enforced, prosecuted, and sentenced.
Most of us want government to protect our rights; not to protect us from our rights. As long as our choices do not infringe on the equal rights of others, we should be free to live as we see fit, not to live under the yoke of mob rule.
Libertarians, as our name implies, hold
as our first principle. Our strict allegiance to both heads and tails of the Liberty coin is what separates us from modern-day Conservatives and modern-day Liberals, who choose their favorite side when it serves their purposes and disregard the other when it becomes inconvenient. Liberty
means, by necessity, that we must tolerate all sorts of personal behaviors and choices that we do not condone, endorse, or approve of. Annoyance is a trivial price to pay in order to live free. Liberty
In my generation, tolerance was taught as a virtue. We were raised to “mind our own business”, to “live and let live”, to “judge not, lest ye be judged”. In political terms, the virtue of tolerance is embodied in a position of neutrality on social issues.
When it comes to the social issues - abortion, drugs, welfare, guns, religion, lifestyle choices - the proper role of the federal government is to keep its Interstate bridges in good repair. Head down, eyes closed, mouth shut – leave all that stuff to communities and states as the 10th amendment instructs.
Whether you choose to work three jobs, pray all day, or take drugs and curl up on the floor, you will be sufficiently rewarded – with prosperity, piety, or addiction - to self-regulate. There is no real need for the government to add its own punishments to the consequences of your choices.
Our Creator endowed each of us with Free Will, a gift so precious it was withheld from the angels. If He did not deny it to us, who are we to deny it to one another?
Tim Nerenz is the Libertarian Party Candidate for
U.S. House of Representatives from 's 2nd District. To support Dr. Tim's campaign, please visit the campaign website at www.timnerenz.com. Wisconsin