Monday, February 22, 2010

Uncle Sam or Father Sam?

This being my first Blog, I would like to introduce it by calling it my outlet for Saor Smaointe [seer smeencha] Gaelic for "free thoughts" (Intentionally named for the dual meaning). For those of you who know me, you are aware that I am seldom free with my thoughts to those I am unfamiliar with, and those who I am familiar with seldom wish to hear all of them. Like my unicorn collection or my fascination with melodramatic humor, (that was at one time, in my childhood, not humor) or how I irrationally romanticize the IRA. This Blog is for the ones that get lost in between and become sojourners in the abyss that is my psyche.

One such vagrant that has been staying with me of late is the never ending fight against governmental involvement in our personal lives. I apologize in advance for the intensity of this particular entry, future posts will doubtless be more light-hearted. But like I said, they get stuck in the abyss and when they come out it's like in Dr. Who when something comes back from a rift in time/space, or in Buffy, when Angel comes back from Hell, It's wild.

When did it become the role of the government to tell us what we can and cannot do with our personal property? Our personal property, being our body and anything we own (and yes, that includes my mace, a girl has got to defend herself!). The government should be there to protect the rights and property of its’ citizens, not to infringe on them. Consequently, the only time the government should be able to violate the rights of a citizen is if that citizen is violating the rights of someone else. And as far as rights go, one persons rights stop where the others start (punching for instance: rights of the fist vs. rights of the face). Problems arise when the government tries to outlaw certain personal practices. The outlawing of vices such as drugs, prostitution, and gambling creates an underbelly of crime. Next thing you know they will outlaw unhealthy food (If they take away my Oreos it's war!). This also, as a result, inhibits healthy competition in, what would be, legitimate businesses. Suddenly the simple everyday personal choices in life become illegal, taking up law enforcement resources that should be spent on crimes like murder, rape, and others that actually have victims. Does anyone want to see a chef being arrested for illegally importing trans fat from Uzbekistan?

When passing these laws does not prevent people from continuing these practices, what is the use if it does more harm than good? It is almost as if those voting for the laws are washing their hands of the larger societal problem. Instead of dealing with the moral solution to such problems they “do their part” and simply vote to make them illegal and are thus absolved of all guilt. If the majority of voting individuals condemn specific practices they should teach their children that such vices are wrong, not make them illegal. Uncle Sam is our Uncle, not our Father. Do you want him raising your children?

"Live free or die: Death is not the worst of evils."

-Gen. John Stark