We Are NOT Friends
Anyone who knows me or is familiar with this blog knows that I am not one to shy away from political or religious discussions. I am not afraid of disagreements; in fact, I embrace them. Disagreements affirm our individuality. You can learn much more about a person by delving into where they stand on personal, controversial issues than you can with small talk. (Obviously.) I am an adult and am not threatened by differing opinions. They make the world interesting.
As I’ve mentioned before on this blog, my extended family is a pretty broad mix of political and religious backgrounds, and I can appreciate everyone’s viewpoint, though I may not agree with it. I consider myself to be a libertarian/voluntaryist/anarchist. (Call me whatever you want, they’re all accurate.) Are you a liberal? Cool, I’m not okay with corporations running the government, either. We probably disagree on socialized healthcare, though; let’s talk about it. Please convince me that it’s better than free market medicine. I’ll listen and give you a fair shot, I promise. Are you a conservative? Cool, I don’t like the government’s handling of social welfare programs and old age pensions, either. You favor the drug war, though? Let’s discuss. No, I don’t take drugs, but I also don’t support the drug war. Try to convince me it’s good for America and is helping crack down on the very real problem of drug abuse. Again, I’ll listen, I promise. I fully admit that I am capable of being wrong and will change my opinion in light of strong evidence.
(And this is a big “however.”) Notice I used the words “talk,” “discuss,” and “convince.” If you convince someone to agree with your position, you are using logic, reason, and evidence. You are not forcing them to agree and submit to your opinion with threats of theft and violence. If you support a government solution, you are supporting threats of violence against me, and you are not my friend. My friends do not wish me harm. As George Washington stated, “Government is not reason; it is not eloquent; it is force. Like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master.” I’ll give you a couple examples.
If you support the Obamacare legislation, that’s fine, you are free to pay for it. If, however, you support the IRS taking my money to pay for a subsidy to healthcare providers and insurance companies, we are not friends. If I explain to you, in specific detail, how the ACA has hurt my family’s well-being, our small business, and our insurance coverage, and your attitude is still one of support for the DC bureaucrats at my expense, we cannot be friends. My friends have empathy and do not side with power hungry strangers in a far-away city over people like me whom they know, presumably care for, and interact with.
If you support the NSA collecting all my text messages, emails, and phone calls, even though I have done nothing at all to warrant suspicion, we are not friends. I value privacy, and my friends respect my personal boundaries and do not snoop through my correspondence. They certainly don’t support violent criminals who do so.
If you support the War on Terror, the Iraq invasion, the occupation of Afghanistan, and drone strikes, then you are free to pay for them. I do not morally support the campaign of the military industrial complex to destroy families and property, murder innocent Afghans, Iraqis, and Americans, and create hostility for our country, however. If you think I should be forced to pay for this aggression against my will, then we are not friends. My friends value human life and abhor violence. My friends do not make me pay for murder. My friends respect my moral judgments, regardless of whether or not they agree.
If you support the failing public welfare, old age, pension, and disability programs, then you are free pay for them. My generation is paying the bill for our parents’ and grandparents’ reckless fiscal irresponsibility, and will not receive even a fraction of the benefits. The money’s gone. Should I be forced to pay for this, against my will? If you answer “yes,” then we are not friends. I wish to save for my own retirement, as I’m much more careful with my money than some politician who has never met me. This option has been stolen from me because the greedy politicians want first dibs on my labor, and what’s left for me won’t cut it. I also wish for my money to retain its value, not to be inflated away by the central bank. Is that my right, even if you disagree with me?
I could go on, but hopefully you get the point. I don’t hate liberals, nor do I hate conservatives. A disagreement doesn’t threaten me, and we can disagree and still be friends. We cannot be friends, however, if you support men with jackboots and guns coming to take me away and lock me up if I disagree with you. Your opinion doesn’t threaten me, but your support of violent, aggressive power to further your own agenda threatens my liberty, my livelihood, and my life. That I cannot abide. There are 7 billion people in the world, each with their own hopes, dreams, ideas, and plans. Why do you assume your way is the only way, and anyone who disagrees should be punished by an elite few who claim power over the rest of us? May I disagree with you and go my way in peace? If your answer is “no,” then we are not friends.
Of course, after I wrote this, I found a much better editorial arguing a similar frame of mind. However, his essay comes with better examples and is written better. Click here to read it, and check out the rest of his essays on liberty, cars, and motorcycles. If you’re a libertarian, motorhead, or libertarian motorhead, you’ll love Eric Peters.
A Disclaimer About My Politics
Thanks for reading this post, I hope I challenged you in some way. Agree with me? That’s cool. Disagree? Even better. I’m just a random guy on the internet, voicing his opinion (at the time of writing this blog post – check the date; opinions change as more facts and experience are gathered). But imagine if I had the political power and will to force you to agree with me! That would be terrible, and that’s the point of voluntarism and non-aggression. You should not be forced to agree with me. Please extend me the same courtesy.
“The word ‘politics’ is derived from the word ‘poly’ meaning ‘many’, and the word ‘ticks’ meaning ‘blood sucking parasites’.” -Larry Hardiman
Political Blog Posts
- The Democrats Don’t Deserve Your Vote
- The Republicans Don’t Deserve Your Vote
- The Libertarians Don’t Deserve Your Vote
- Democracy ≠ Freedom
- I Don’t “Feel the Bern.”
- Confessions of a Public Servant
- Leaders vs. Rulers
- Libertarianism is Better Than Progressivism
- Why I Do Not Vote (And Neither Should You)
- The Traffic Court Swindle
- Top Five Reasons I Don’t Argue Politics on Social Media
- Why Meaningful Debate is Impossible
- Dos and Do Nots for the Liberty Minded
- “There ought to be a law…”
- A Defense of Fugitive Slaves
- Conspiracy Theories are Dumb
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