Sunday, November 22, 2009
Thoughts on Liberty and Civil Discourse
I spent some time on liberal leaning political blogs the past few days and it was not surprising to see there are many on the other side of the political spectrum that love the concept of liberty just as conservatives and libertarians do. It also struck me that there is as much rancor, no strike that, more of the rancor and name calling going on at liberal blogs than I typically see on conservative political blogs.
One only has to visit a few to believe it representative of most liberal political blogs. It seems almost as though while some liberals love the concept of liberty, they are locked in the thought that liberty means believing precisely as they do on all issues. There are certainly some conservatives that are guilty of this, there simply seems to be more liberals that are guilty of it.
Thinking about this had me jotting down some thoughts on liberty, what it means, and how best to preserve it. For the most part it has been a constant thread through most of my posts since beginning Rational Nation USA on June 30, 2009. However, the liberty thoughts have been part of my beliefs, well before FOX News became the influential network it is today.
The liberty thought list begins with the quote from Benjamin Franklin at the top of this post.
2) Liberty is the ability of the individual to make free choices in his/her life.
3) Liberty is the ability of the individual to work and create security for oneself through private owership of property.
4) Liberty is retaining the right to use, distribute, spend, grow, and pass on the security that one has created as they see fit without government stealing a portion of it.
5) Liberty requires government to be a servant to the people in that it remains limited and thus under control.
6) Liberty is best preserved when the people limit the governments ability to tax their efforts freely, and then spend the fruits of that effort as it chooses. (Wealth redistribution)
7) Liberty will be best preserved when the corrupting influence of money, flowing from huge corporations in the form of campaign contribution to candidate for the purpose of buying favors is stopped.
8) Liberty is insured when the wealth of a nation is first used to increase the security of its own citizens, not that of the rest of the world through misguide foreign aid.
9) Liberty is insured when a nation retains its productive capacity and manufacturing base in large part within its borders. Something we have failed to do.
10) Liberty is strengthened and insured when individuals accept total responsibility for their livelihood and economic welfare. Those who are infirm, unable either physically or mentally to provide for their own welfare the use of tax dollars is then appropriate. This includes limited unemployment benefits. However, runaway entitlements threaten not only individual liberty put national fiscal health as well and are irresponsible.
11) Liberty is safeguarded through the maintenance of a strong, highly trained and effective civilian armed force for the defense of our nation against outside aggression. The only appropriate use of force is in response to an act of aggression on our nation and people.
12) Liberty is preserved through the proper education of our populace in the disciplines of science, history, philosophy, and civics. Not through a system overseen by a huge federal bureaucracy known as the Department of Education but rather through state and local efforts and oversight.
13) Liberty in America will survive in so long as we retain our language (English), our culture (Anerican), and our borders (against uncontrolled and or illegal immigration) for if we fail to do this we will eventually lose our uniquely American heritage.
There is more than can be and should be added to this list. Please feel free to add your own. It is quite likely there are those who will criticize and attack this list and the values each points of thought represent. To do so is everyone ones right, and should be respected.
However, it is quite possible that if those who disagree with the values embraced by this list have their way, we will all lose our liberty, and thus our pursuit of happiness will be affected as well.
Now, back to my premise that civil discourse seems to be more commonly found on Conservative blogs. Perhaps some would find it a bit of a stretch. Maybe it is, but the point is this, civil discourse and discussion leads to growth. To characterize a politicians views and philosophy as one sees them is fine. Personal attacks are not, and it just seems the left is more proficient at it than their conservative and libertarian counterparts.
Just one mans opinion, what's yours?