Sunday, May 24, 2020

Government likely to make itself hero

(My Eastern New Mexico News column for April 22, 2020)

What have you learned from the coronapocalypse so far? Has it changed you?

The experience has shown me where my preparedness was good and where I could make improvements. I discovered the need for some supplies I hadn't considered before. I'll work to fix those areas, but it's hard to prepare for everything when you can't know what "everything" might include. Next time could be completely different.

I have become more appreciative of the freedom to simply be around other people. I'm not excessively sociable, but I like being able to choose to socialize when I'm in the mood. It will be nice to go to a fast food place and sit inside and eat among other people again, even if they are loud.

I'm not afraid of the virus, but out of consideration for those who are-- and those who have more risk if they do catch it-- I've changed my behavior during this pandemic.

If I had any trust or faith in government, this experience would have destroyed it for good. Of course, that ship sailed decades ago, so watching the incompetence and tyranny from those who imagine they know best how to run your life hasn't affected me much.

I'm suspecting the differences in how people view government's response will further divide America between those who imagine government saved the country from certain disaster and those who realize everything government did in response to the pandemic harmed the country worse than the virus. Those in the first group will want government to have even more power over our lives from now on, and those in the second group will want to take back our rightful liberty which was stolen over the last couple of centuries.

This isn't a huge change, but the disagreements may get more heated unless one side backs down. I don't see that happening.

I've become more skeptical of the sanity of those cheering the police state tactics justified by the virus, the intelligence of those begging government to do more, and of the morals of those who became snitches, reporting anyone they suspected of not complying with unconstitutional orders.

Speaking of learning-- I'm curious how this time will look when it's history. Unfortunately, government gets to decide what the history textbooks will say about this event, so its version will be taught to generations of children in its schools. Expect government to make itself out to be the hero of this story, regardless of the truth.

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Liberty is the best path

I try hard to find cases where respecting liberty is NOT the best thing for society (by being best for individuals). And I never have. Not once.

I've found lots of cases where someone is confused over what liberty is, or is in denial because they want to pretend their imaginary exceptions are somehow legitimate. But not one of those has ever held up to scrutiny... and I give my best shot at seeing if it can.

I've been in long debates with those who are pushing their own favorite exception, and I can usually see where their feelings are coming from and where these feelings tripped them up. I've been subjected to some pretty harsh insults as a result of these debates when "my best shot" doesn't result in me adopting the other position.

Insults don't change reality, though. That doesn't matter to those who don't want to fully respect liberty. They are going to make the exceptions they want to make, regardless of anything else. It's just good to weigh and measure all their arguments for your own sake.

Who knows, I could be wrong. I'm surely wrong about a lot of things. I'd rather find out I'm wrong and work to fix it than to be stubborn. But it will take a lot to convince me that slavery is ever, in any circumstance, better than liberty. Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.


Writing to promote liberty is my job.
YOU get to decide if I get paid.
I hope I add something you find valuable enough to support.