I sometimes chastise myself because I get so caught up in my political discourse sometimes. It’s easy to get carried away, especially when you get better at it and begin relishing in the challenge of pressing your ideas against someone else’s and then press to learn better how to express yourself and as you learn to posture your approach and maneuver into a better argument than your opponent.
When I was younger, I wasn’t what you’d call a politico. I might have been rather black and white on things, but that was due to a lack of education and a southern approach to the Bible. Today my faith is much expanded and deeper, though when it comes to building a faith, there is no bottom to its depth.
My mother was into politics, and I got my root from her. Today we differ on a number of things, but we still maintain the same foundation that freedom is integral to society, especially to our own. We’re both conservative, but whereas she remains Republican and pro-majority, I’ve moved Libertarian, which contrary to popular belief is not center, where there might be significant compromise to please the two dominant parties.
Instead, think of Libertarianism as a third point in a triangle, pointing the way toward the solutions that please everyone, except for any requiring control of other people by force. That’s the crux — force. Libertarians recognize that no one, individually or in group, has the authority or moral right to force other citizens to live as we choose to live. We can’t think something is best for everyone — be it war or healthcare — and then force everyone else to support and or fund it through taxes.
It sounds funny, doesn’t it? I wasn’t a fan until I truly began thinking what it meant. As a Republican, I wanted conservative and Christian values running the government. But even though that would make one party happy, I realized that it would oppress someone else’s right to smoke pot, bed someone of the same gender, or perform any number of other activities that the Republicans publicly frown upon — though many of them still commit.
But if a Democrat took power, it would infringe on someone else’s freedom not to pay for what they didn’t support, and living by copious amounts of laws designed to “help” people who didn’t need the help, they just needed to be left alone.
So if not Republicans or Democrats, who then? Some strange third party fellow as likely from a cult as the local klan, right?
Or perhaps not. Perhaps someone who doesn’t want to build up power, but tear it down. This abhors everyone, but has anyone thought about what building up so much power entails? Like digging diamonds out of the ruff, consolidating power cannot be plucked from thin air. It requires that some surrender their own power so that others may build upon theirs.
That’s like each person is born with a small firearm. If everyone ever only has one firearm, then no one could ever really get up on anyone else, so long as everyone takes a little bit of time to train themselves on the proper use of it. But when a few begin offering their own small handguns to one of their own group to smelt and forge a cannon, their group — now known as a party — has suddenly created a dangerous and unfair advantage.
Is life ever truly fair? Of course not. Might as well assume the laws of nature imply that all physics and chemistry will beget a perfectly uniform form of matter and energy state. But when it comes to freedom, the only truly way to be fair is to first uphold the principle that every individual is capable of finding his own way in life. This exclusion holds to those born with mental and physical handicaps, but short of something completely debilitating, people could find a way. Today, people without legs, arms, sight or even hearing can still lead productive lives.
We should help each other voluntarily, to live and love through the value of choice, not the empty charity of control.
I like politics because it is the root of government and the expression of culture. You see, government and culture are not necessarily bound. You can have a government that serves the needs of everyone without a culture dominating. If progressivism wants to fight out the culture war of helping people through direct intervention while conservatism counters through indirect help, let it be without each party trying to control the other. If a group’s ideas aren’t good enough to garner voluntary support, then they aren’t good enough to be used to force others to a particular behavior which might be counter to their belief system.
Why do I like politics? I like ideas. I like moving to the root of an action, not merely its outcome. Politics is discussing the roots, though sometimes we get caught up on hot-button issues while either trying to obscure the real root or actually just not knowing it. I like to move to the root and define the real need, not merely the politically correct or publicly well-known one on bookshelves.