Most people in the United States of America do not enjoy, practice or value the freedoms inherent in real honest-to-God liberty. Most people do not have good reasons for this. Most people, in fact, are stupid. I am not stupid, and I am not happy. I am the Angry Libertarian.
Here’s the deal. Real liberty consists of the freedom to do whatever it is you’d like to do, whenever and why ever you’d like to do it. This freedom is naturally checked by one outside force: other people’s freedom to do whatever they’d like to do.
For example, if I’d like to build a 10-story nacho cheese fountain in my front yard, I go right ahead and build it. If my next door neighbor finds the stench overwhelming and so insists I tear it down, he brings this concern to my attention and we work out our differences. I bring the fountain down to one story or run it every other day or I move to a cheese-loving community that accepts me and my fountain the way we are. The point is, my neighbor and I talk with each other like the reasonable adults we are. Nobody ever has to do anything because anybody told them they had to. We are ruled by should-dos rather than must-dos.
In other words, in the real world situation of a neighborhood ordinance mandating, say, that the height of every mailbox in the community be exactly 1/24th the height of its corresponding house, disobedience is not only understandable but necessary. A proclamation like this may seem an innocuous measure, but these kinds of laws stifle people who value their freedom. Freedom isn’t warm, it isn’t cuddly and it makes no promises. Freedom is the power of choice and anything that limits the rights of an individual works against freedom.
President Bush does not understand this theory in general, but he did today when he vetoed legislation proposing an additional 35 billion dollars for children’s’ health insurance. Obviously, he did this to protect the interests of his middle-upper-class constituents, but what should be more obvious is that he’s also protecting American rights.
How can this be, you ask? Doesn’t the money come from cigarette tax money? What bastard wouldn’t want kids to get the asthma medication they need in order to play on the Fighting Tree Frog Middle School football team? Have you no humanity?
No, I have no mercy – not when it comes to stealing, which is just another word for taxation. The rationale seems to be that since you can hurt yourself smoking, and nobody should really do it anyway and since it’s just so pleasantly ironic to support little kids with the power of a nicotine buzz, let’s tax the hell out of those dang cancer sticks.
But you know what? Taking money from an American citizen without his consent and giving it to somebody else is not right. Must-dos are treacherous shadows of should-dos, and they breed only resentment and a false sense of entitlement.
Kids should get their medicine but by ramping taxation down, not up. Discounted medical care doled out to patients who qualify could go a long way toward securing pharmaceutical companies’ and for-profit hospitals’ rights to profits from medicines they developed and dispensed (wouldn’t be a bad PR move either.) It’s really a game of who’s going to put the gun down first: the drug companies with their enormous investments and outrageously overpriced medicine, or the government with its control over the length of drug patents and perverse sense of equal opportunity. Regardless, care must be payed for by the patient as a service rendered and not by a nameless, faceless impersonal organization.
I know, I know, there’s a global community and we need federal funds to build highways and protect our boarders and man’s natural life is nasty, brutish and short and no man is an island and blah blah blah. But it’s still bloody inexcusable for any individual person to have their decisions made for them. If you think that’s the only way to live fairly, that’s fine. Just don’t kid yourself that you want to be free.
(The Angry Libertarian just wants you to leave him alone. So leave him alone. And he has plenty of friends, thank you very much.)