Do you ever want to scream at the government: LEAVE ME ALONE! I think about this topic whenever a twenty-four-hour news cycle leaves me with a crushing sense of oppression from the Obama regime’s current soft (but getting harder) tyranny, which, lately, is daily. It’s a feeling I get as if government has lifted the roof off my house with one large, calloused hand and, with the other, is reaching into my wallet and fiddling with my cupboards, medicine cabinet, trash bins, etc. Hell, government’s hand is even changing my light bulbs.
The problem comes from people who simply won’t leave other people alone. Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis famously said, “They: The makers of the Constitution: conferred, as against the government, the right to be let alone — the most comprehensive of rights and the right most valued by civilized men.” Does this imply that those who abridge such a right are uncivilized?
Some people simply do not believe in letting other people alone, and they are more than willing to use government to force other people to live as they believe is proper. In fact, there are many political doctrines based upon antithesis of letting people alone. Not only do these people wish to live their lives in a particular manner, which is their God-given, American right, they won’t rest until everyone also lives their lives in a liberal-government approved way. Some like to talk about never letting a crisis go to waste; well, this interference in American liberty–liberals refusing to “let people alone”–is, indeed, at crisis levels.
When considering which political concepts to adopt, one should reflect on just what one is asking (or commanding) of ones fellow citizens. The libertarian belief is that people should be left to their own peaceful devices so long as they do not infringe on other people’s liberty to do the same—in other words: to let people alone.
Good government exists to protect Peter from Paul, not to protect Peter from his own peaceful decisions in the name of some political and ideological moral superiority. Proper constitutional government’s role is to protect people from injury, theft and fraud perpetrated by criminals. In essence, this means people should let others alone unless they injure, steal or defraud.
Sadly, there are people today who stretch the meaning of “injury” in order to promote their invasive ideology. Take, so-called, man-made “Global Warming” or its catchall relative “Climate Change.” I am now guilty of “injuring” my neighbor if I drive an SUV, eat a hamburger, use incandescent light bulbs or leave those lights on when I leave the room. The term “injury” has been kidnapped, manipulated and extrapolated to within an inch of its definition by liberal word contortionists. In the vein of a 1984, Orwellian conception: you control the language; you control the argument.
As a pertinent aside, I was watching comedian Dennis Miller last night on a news commentary program. He offered an interesting analogy: He saw Al Gore and his climate change cohorts as akin to those pious and patronizing prelates who were responsible for the infamous, Salem Witch Trials. Sure, those women were cavorting with Satan. And if one didn’t believe the witches had been lewd with Lucifer, then one could be deemed a witch too.
Today, we’re seeing ever-increasing examples of some political leaders, along with their media allies, who are treating opposing political and personal opinions as “hate speech.” Recently, two Seattle police officers were suspended, had their guns and badges taken away, and the apparent incendiary incidents seem to have been some off-the-cuff, Facebook posts. Some of the post may have been, inartful, to say the least. However, the comments essentially amounted to political and personal opinions.
The argument is not in the merits of the posts themselves, as it is perfectly fine if one considers the comments to have been, at the very least, inartfully delivered or even to be offended by them. However, what does the First Amendment protect, the freedom to speak only inoffensively? Free speech means I have the right to offend you, and you have the right to respond to that offense and, perhaps, to offend me in return. Speech one disagrees with is not in and of itself, “hate speech,” which is a subject of its own worth exploring.
As I’ve mentioned often (perhaps, too often—no, I’m not over it yet), a few years back, Seattle’s upper echelon of politicians, police officials and media attacked me as a racist, baton wielding, badge wearing thug (I was even awarded the dubious distinction of a Schrammie by the late Ken Schramm). Why? For having the nerve to write a series of articles in the Seattle police guild newspaper stating my opposition to the indoctrination of police officers in liberal, political ideology disguised as police training.
There was nothing backhanded or ambushing about the articles. In fact, I’d contacted city officials for comments during the research phase for the series, and city hall receives that newspaper monthly. No one complained until the ultra-leftwing newspaper, the Stranger, took offense at the articles. This did, however, demonstrate that, while the folks in city hall read the leftwing, the Stranger, apparently, they do not read their own cops’ newspaper, The Guardian.
The right to be let alone is a precious one and one that merits protection by liberty loving peoples everywhere.