Thoughts on liberty and Alabama

The Alabama constitution of 1901 Article 1, Section 35 states, “That the sole object and only legitimate end of government is to protect the citizen in the enjoyment of life, liberty, and property, and when the government assumes other functions it is usurpation and oppression.”  I would agree that is a pretty good view on government.  Maybe Parker Griffith, a congressman from Alabama, was thinking of this when he decided to defect to the Republican party over disagreements about the expansive approach the democrats were taking to government, particularly healthcare.

What scares me is how much of our society does not seem to value liberty today.  I suppose that the defense of liberty has always been a rare quality.  Lord Acton recognized it when he said: “At all times sincere friends of freedom have been rare, and its triumphs have been due to minorities…”  He doesn’t mean minorities in the sense of a racial minority but that the defenders of freedom are the minority.

It amazes me how little regard our current government holds for individual liberty.  Barrack Obama, Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, and many others in power believe that they know what is best for America.  They think they know how you should run your life.  And the astonishing thing is that so many people are content to let them!  They are content to allow legislation that mandates the purchase of healthcare.  They are content to allow them to usurp the rule of law and take advantage of bondholders, giving preference to unions in the bankruptcies of GM and Chrysler.  They are content in the massive expansion of government in our personal lives.

That is, they are content so long as they are not being directly impacted by these gross violations of personal liberty.  Can you imagine what most people would say if congress passed a law that created a new tax that was directly funneled to union members?  The unions would be ecstatic and everyone else would be outraged.  That amounts to what occurred with the bondholders; but since most people did not recognize it they were not outraged.  Or what if congress passed a law requiring every person to purchase and consume at least 3 servings of vegetables a day?  How tyrannical must our government become before the people rightly stand up and demand their freedom?

I hope that as we begin a new year that you will consider the many freedoms that you enjoy today and consider their great value.  If you are a progressive then I urge you to reconsider your position.  Think of the cost of liberty and what the loss of it truly means.

If you do happen to recognize the great treasure that we have in liberty, stand up and fight for it.  Oppose those who would strip our liberty.  There are many things that you can do today.  You can advocate political candidates who stand for personal freedom and liberty.  You can spread the word of what liberty is through a blog and talking with your friends.  Make your voice heard.  Don’t let your liberty go without a fight.  It will make this country better for us and generations to come.

I always admire institutions who fight for liberty and I try to support them financially where I can.  This is another way you can fight for liberty.  Several that I like are the Cato Institute, The Fair Tax, and, of course, the Libertarian Party.