In a world where everything is red, it sure is hard to explain blue. And so it is with liberty. In our world today where government has assumed so many roles and responsibilities, it is sometimes very difficult to explain a world where true liberty, void of government intervention, could exist.
Today’s political toy of the minute is the payroll tax cut. The Democrats say that we must pass this tax cut and “pay” for it with a small increase in taxes on the wealthy. The Republicans say that is fine as long as we get this oil pipeline passed so that we can “create jobs”. The premise of both arguments is all red. Red, red, red. No concept of blue. Perhaps they should not be arguing over these trivial matters of how much money they are going to take from people but should instead be arguing whether they should be taking our money at all. Red and blue.
Government does not create anything. What the government does is take from those who have created something in order to exercise power. As long as people live in a red world, they will not understand what liberty really means. The arguments we hear coming from Washington politicians is always about more government intervention in our lives, more or less taxes, more or less substances to outlaw, more or less behaviors to outlaw, more or less money to give away to people who have not earned it, more or less bailouts, more or less foreign aid, more or less social programs. Does it not occur to ask this very simple question: Should government be doing these things AT ALL? And we have gone too blue for the red world to understand.
You mean you do not want government providing healthcare? Then you must be against healthcare and want people to get sick and die. You mean you do not want government to provide education? Then you want kids to be uneducated and work in coal mines. You mean you do not want government feeding poor people? Then you want people to starve in the streets. You mean you do not want the government controlling the substances we ingest? Then you want people to be poisoned and you want everyone to be addicted to heroin. You mean you do not want the government creating jobs? Then you do not want to put Americans back to work.
You get the point.
Someone who has seen colors other than red would never be so narrow in their thinking to conclude any of the above. Long before government education, there were education revolutions and great leaps in human thinking. Long before there was government healthcare there was healthcare (and far cheaper). Long before there was government regulation of substances, people lived, survived, and prospered. Long before there was government there were jobs.
However, government has assumed so many roles in so many aspects of lives for a hundred years, most of us were born into government where we must be protected from ourselves. There are so many layers of government intervention in civil society the distinction has become so blurry most people assume they are the same. Government is not society. Government lives off of society.
Eventually, government will engulf society and the distinction is lost. So as it is today, in our red world, it is difficult to find and talk about all things blue. In fact, just the mention of liberty, in its true form, gets you labeled extreme, greedy, unpatriotic, and even crazy. Is it crazy to assume you own yourself? And by extension that you own your property? And could either of these exist if were not for your freedom? The irony of it all is that prosperity, peace, and abundance flows from liberty, but that this very prosperity leads people to forget about blue and assume that red is the only color in the world. Eventually, in my deepest hopes, the spectrum will broaden and the protection of individual liberty will again become the goal of government.