Cops, teachers, religion, gays, drugs, television, video games, bad parents, spoiled kids! They all get the finger of blame pointed at them when people discuss what’s wrong with America. Of course individually each have flaws but they aren’t what’s wrong with our country. It’s certainly not the Russians. If you are looking for a group to blame (and blaming groups is popular) then you’re in luck! There actually is one group of people deserving of the finger of blame.
At fault are the law makers.
Taxes, immigration, treaties, regulations, budget, energy, education, whatever you name is screwed up because of the law makers. They either created the problem by passing a law or they refuse to change a law to fix the problem.
I remember when the media made such a big deal out of what they called “gridlock” then they sputtered and spat over the government shut down. I rejoiced at these things because they meant congress wasn’t passing anymore laws. When congress “doesn’t get anything done” you and I get to keep our freedom for one more day. Laws take away freedom, that’s their job, they either prevent a behavior or force a behavior.
Though this problem is largely at the federal level with the US Congress it can also occur at state and local levels as well. Take states that have photo radar for example. Those systems exist because someone in your state or town voted to put them there or authorized their existence in one way or the other. If you don’t like them, don’t blame the cops, don’t blame the company that made them, blame the law maker that either demanded them or doesn’t pass a law prohibiting them.
You Need Protection, From Yourself
Take seat belt laws as another example. Many of you are probably about to stop reading. “He’s against seat belts! What kind of platypus is he?” If that’s what you read into it then you’re the kind of person law makers take advantage of. You see, I wear my seat belt. I want to. I’ve experienced first hand how they save lives. But what gives the government the right to force me to wear one? People let them get away with it because it’s for safety, because it seems logical that everyone should wear one. But why is that your choice to make for someone else? If the guy next to you isn’t wearing his seat belt it doesn’t step on any of your fundamental rights. They can drive off without affecting you or your life. You can shake your head and think “that stupid man should wear a seat belt”, you could even roll down your window and give them that advice, “Hey fella’ you really should wear a seat belt. I’d hate to see you get in a wreck and die because you didn’t have one.” He could then give you the bird or put on his seat belt and thank you depending on his temperament. But the choice is still his. The only thing passing a law has done is made him a law breaker.
One of my all time favorite quotes comes from author Ayn Rand.
The only power any government has is the power to crack down on criminals. Well, when there aren’t enough criminals, one makes them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for men to live without breaking laws.
When seat belt laws first became a thing in the US back in the mid 80’s it was what’s considered a secondary enforcement law. Meaning an officer couldn’t use it as a reason to pull you over. If he pulled you over for some other reason and you weren’t wearing the seat belt a ticket for it was fair game but if that was the only violation he couldn’t. Of course as Rand points out above, there are an awful lot of laws and it’s very easy for an officer to find one. But as time went by it became a primary enforcement point. That was all an officer needed to pull you over. Remember, you aren’t speeding, changing lanes cutting people off, or driving without brake lights. You could be driving very safely and responsibly but are still subject to being stopped because you aren’t wearing your seat belt. Not performing an act the government says you should.
Most laws are prohibitive. The shall nots if you will. Take a moment to think about a law that is a shall.
A shall is a law that demands you perform a behavior. You are being told what to do. The reason? It’s for your own good. It’s just a seat belt, something you probably would wear anyway because you agree with the safety aspect, so you don’t think the law is a big deal. You might even get a little angry when people suggest the law is bad because you think the reason is good seat belts save lives. What kind of jerk doesn’t support seat belts?
So I wonder, if you are a person who supports seat belt laws – let’s lay it on the line – what gives you the right to force another adult to behave?
Back to the law makers
They are a group of men and women who hold the power to tell you what you have to do or let you alone. Instead of carefully deciding which shall nots are vital to protect our rights they spend a great deal of time making laws that tell us how we are to behave. Not because we pose a risk to society or to the rights of others.
You shall behave. If you don’t know what’s good for you, they do. They are the masterminds. They are smarter than you, better than you, more careful than you, and clearly they have your best interest at heart. If you don’t believe those things are true about them, if you believe they are just people who today hold a particular job and tomorrow won’t, who hold no special power of cognition or precognition, then does it seem right that they demand you behave a certain way?
“Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame, With conquering limbs astride from land to land; Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame. “Keep ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she With silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!” – The New Colossus by Emma Lazarus
We are still yearning to breathe free. Aren’t we?