Back to Basics – Equality in Liberty

Individuals get ahead, individuals fall behind; the only realistic equality we can achieve is an equal starting point.  The goal in the Olympics isn’t to have every individual cross the finish line at the same time.  The goal is to start at the same position and eventually cross the finish line, whether it is in first or last.  That starting point is making sure we have the same individual liberties provided to each and every one of us.  Everything else is secondary.

Individual liberty is the only form of equality that is achievable.  Everyone has the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.  Laws are to protect those rights.  In the words of Ronald Reagan, “The government exists to protect us from each other.  Where the government has gone beyond its limits is in deciding to protect us from ourselves.”  Our government has gone beyond its limits.  We are being protected from our own “failures.”  We live in an environment where many Americans believe mistakes should have no consequences.  They want the opportunity to chase their dream without the potential of failure.  This isn’t how the world works.  We cannot force the rest of the population to support everyone who experiences hardship.  If individuals want to help out (as most do), then they can do so.  But making it mandatory is antithetical to freedom and liberty.

We are told that the “right” lacks empathy.  How does that claim have any bearing in reality?  We believe everyone has the same rights, and we don’t try to control the results because we can’t.  Human thought and ambition are not homogeneous.

We don’t want the government to be the reason for success and failure; we want YOU to be the reason for your successes and failures.  YOU are the only individual that knows what is best for your life and prosperity.  To claim that we know your best interests, as many socialists like to claim, is blatant and self-righteous smugness.  Empowering the individual is the noblest goal we can possibly pursue.  How does giving everyone true freedom from control equate to lack of empathy?  I honestly can’t begin to answer that question.

I want the conservative message to reach as many individuals as possible.  We will have election cycles where conservatives do well, just as we will have elections where liberals/progressives do well.  What we need to be focused on is broadening our base of believers in the constitution and the founding principles of individual liberties.  And we need to be willing to promote our ideas for the long haul.

We need people that understand it is a long fight to reign in our current government and return it to its basic duties.  The support shouldn’t be unwavering, but it should be consistent.  When we see ridiculous accusations thrown around, we have to be willing to stand up and call out the nonsense.  For too long we have been quiet.

We need leaders who aren’t afraid to aggressively push, within the rule of law, for their principles.  This need is why so many libertarians rallied around Ron Paul in 2012 and why many conservatives rallied around Ted Cruz in 2016.  As we start to make progress, there will be pushback.  The idea of equal and opposite reactions doesn’t only apply in physics.  This is why we need to make sure that our base grows and becomes more and more invested into the constitution.  

We can disagree about essential spending, we can disagree about who we should nominate in primaries for local and federal office, but we cannot afford to disagree on our most basic rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness for every single law-abiding citizen.  

The world has never had a good definition of the word liberty, and the American people, just now, are much in want of one. We all declare for liberty; but in using the same word we do not all mean the same thing. With some the word liberty may mean for each man to do as he pleases with himself, and the product of his labor; while with others the same word may mean for some men to do as they please with other men, and the product of other men’s labor. Here are two, not only different, but incompatable things, called by the same name—liberty. And it follows that each of the things is, by the respective parties, called by two different and incompatable names—liberty and tyranny.

-Abraham Lincoln

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