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Lets really and truly talk about freedoms...
Probably, in my opinion, the most powerful word in the world.
I also feel like it can be the most misunderstood and abused word in the world.
I have always defined Freedom as
"The right to do LITERALLY what you want, until what you want to do infringes on another's Freedom"
It's my definition, doesn't have to be yours.
Sounds overly simplified right? But if taken literally, it actually helps put a concrete grasp on the concept of Freedom. You can take that definition and apply it to any situation.
Guns: Owning a gun does absolutely nothing to infringe on anyone's freedom. Right? I respect the second amendment, believe in Freedom to the core and am a Lifetime NRA member because of it.
But... I don't think some of my fellow NRA members are in it for Freedom... I think they are in it because they love guns and want to protect their right to have one. Which is fine, as long as you don't use the word Freedom in an abusive way or as a veil. If they really wanted to protect freedoms, wouldn't they be just as adamant about...
Gay Rights: Take all the ideological stuff out of it. All of it. It doesn't matter what you think of homosexuals. I honestly think you have the right to think whatever you want about whomever you want. I don't even care if you think its a choice or they are born that way or its a result of environmental conditions or whatever... none of that matters. If you believe in the concept of Freedom... they should be able to do anything they want that doesn't affect any other person's right to do what they want. i.e.Get married.
***Just a quick note... it goes both ways. Gays Rights folks are you fighting for Freedom, or just your initiatives? Either way is fine, but don't use freedom in your speeches if it's not about freedom.
Let's get into some waters that are really muddy and murky.
Do I as an American have the right to sit on my ass and do absolutely nothing all day? Is that a Freedom I possess? Yes! The answer is absolutely 100% yes. The answer is yes because that doesn't infringe on any other American's freedom. There's no debate here... it doesn't.
But... the second I get on food stamps and assistance, because I sitting around all day, not providing for myself or my family the whole story changes. Now I am talking people's money from them. I am 100% violating their freedoms to do what they want. Because you are doing something by choice that takes money from them, this is a violation of their freedom. Am I saying there shouldn't be a system in place to help those in need... No I am not.. I believe everyone that can should want to help people... but I do believe if we make folks help we are violating their freedom. I know there are millions of folks out there that have fallen on hard times... I wanna help them and I will continue to help them forever or as long as I am able... but forcing people to help them is degrading their freedom.Not paying your way through life if you are capable is violating others freedom.
Drugs: Possessing and doing any form of drug doesn't violate anyone's freedoms... ever... should they be regulated and taxed... yes, ummm... just like we do alcohol. Oh... and Guns. Think what a wonderful, logical control we have over the manufacture of guns and alcohol in this country... but we insist of infringing on private citizen's freedom when it comes to marijuana?
Let's get really crazy...
Prostitution: 2 adults can walk out of a bar and go do anything they want (consensually) but as soon as she pays him one dollar for it... no victim, no one harmed, but...it's a crime. Its an infringement on those 2 peoples freedom to enter into an agreement to do business.
Greed: It's gonna make me lose some readers... but being greedy should be protected by folks that believe in Freedom. If I want to hold on to my money and not share it and not do good things with it... I should be allowed to. As long as I got it without infringing on anyone's Freedom. Real world example: minimum wage is the government infringing on business owners rights to be greedy. A piss poor wage doesn't infringe on the employees rights... because they can leave the job. The only person being forced to do something is the employer. Free market will take care of a business that doesn't pay a decent wage. Just an fyi... all it accomplishes is forcing small biz owners to raise prices and make everything more expensive.
So why is it?
It's just as simple as my definition of Freedom... People from both sides of the aisle don't really want true freedom, they want to be selfish and dictate that people can only do what they want them to do. And the crappy thing is they hide behind the cause of freedom to accomplish their initiatives.
Right side wants gun freedoms and business owners freedoms cause they own guns and businesses. But they want to trounce all over the freedoms of homosexuals and folks that like to smoke a joint.
Left side wants to stand up for gay rights, and their right to smoke a joint in the privacy of their own home but they have no problem demolishing the freedoms of gun owners and business owners.
It's a big giant "I am right and you are wrong" instead of "Do whatcha like".
I am not claiming there's a giant quick fix cure for all of this... I know any move towards more freedoms will have some consequences... and of course with more freedom comes more personal responsibility so some folks will not like it, mess it up or just not do it... but it's the only way towards progress.