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The Five People You Meet In Politics

in Liberator Online by Morgan Dean Comments are off

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The Five People You Meet in Heaven was written by Mitch Albom. It was published in 2003 and sold more than six million copies worldwide. It follows the story of an amusement park maintenance man named Eddie. Eddie recently died trying to save a young girl from a freak ride accident and is now in heaven.

PeopleThe reader follows Eddie’s journey through heaven as he meets five people that have in someway influenced his life. This is a journey similar to what we experience politically.

For most, politics and civics isn’t introduced until later in one’s life. People do not begin their lives being political. Children do not argue about politics on the playground. They aren’t yet exposed to the talk that can monopolize the lives of adults. As they get older, they become exposed to politics, which usually begins at home.

This starts a political journey that lasts a lifetime. Along the way, we meet five people that impact our political decisions.

The first people you meet on your journey is the first person you hear the political opinions of. For me, it was my Republican parents. For others, it can be another relative, a teacher, or even a friend. This usually kick starts your first set of political opinions. For years, I identified as a Republican.

The second person you meet in politics is someone who believes the same things you do. This person is easy to get along with, they agree with you on most, if not all things. They very well may be your new best friend.

Here is where things start to get tricky: the third person you meet on your journey is someone who challenges you. This is someone who doesn’t agree with you on anything political. It could be a family member, friend or professor. They argue with you and challenge you to look at the world from their perspective.

It isn’t until later on that you realize the importance of this person.

The fourth person you meet in politics really shakes things up. They believe what you believe. They are in the same political party as you, but there is a problem. They aren’t a very good person. Your hear them say something awful about another person, or perhaps you find something unfavorable about the way they treat people. Either way, you question if you truly believe in the ideals that you have clung to for years. The answer is often times complicated.

The fifth and final person you meet in politics is the most important. That person is yourself. Not just any version of yourself. This version comes after all the self-doubt, exposure to new things, people, places, and ideas. This is the person that you become after all that. In my experience this is never the person you were before.

Just like The Five People You Meet in Heaven, the five people we meet along the way change us. They make us reconsider things we thought we would never change our minds on, but in the end, it’s all for the best.

What are rights?

in Conversations With My Boys, Liberator Online by The Libertarian Homeschooler Comments are off

What are rights?

This article was featured in our weekly newsletter, the Liberator Online. To receive it in your inbox, sign up here.

Editor’s Note: This was written to introduce the idea of rights to the Young Statesman.

What are rights? There are two types or rights: Negative rights and positive rights. If you’ve ever heard the Ten Commandments, you’re familiar with Negative Rights. Thou shalt not…. Negative rights make you refrain from encroaching on the person or property of another.

RightsThou shalt not kill. Thou shalt not steal. Or as Libertarians like to say: Do not encroach upon the person or property of another. Simple, no? These rights don’t require you to Do anything. Only to refrain. A negative right essentially protects you from the encroachment of another person, a group, and the State. The negative right tells you that you can expect not to be subject to violence or coercion.

Negative rights are based on the idea of ownership. You own yourself and you own your property. No one has the right to infringe upon your life or your liberty or your property because they properly belong to you. For a negative right to be violated, one person, group, or State must encroach upon another. (Thou shalt not kill apparently doesn’t apply to tornadoes or earthquakes so if you’re killed by a tornado we don’t say that your rights have been violated.)

If you’ve ever heard someone argue that all people have the right to healthcare, education, food, shelter, or clothing they were making an argument for Positive rights. Positive rights make everyone responsible for providing one another with goods, services, and resources. Positive rights negate the principle of ownership. Every single argument for Positive rights without exception, no matter how kindly intended or reasonable, is an attack on self ownership and property.

Positive rights are based on the principle that we do Not own ourselves nor do we own our property. Therefore access to the property and person of another without their consent–theft and servitude–is fair and reasonable.

Positive rights require that you Do something. This is a violation of the principle of self-ownership. If I own myself, I am not required to Do anything at the behest of another. A Positive right guarantees the encroachment of another person, a group, and the State against your person and property. You will be subject to violence and coercion if you violate the right of another to your labor and property.

Constitutionally, the preservation of Negative rights is the purview of the State. Negative rights are ancient and history has shown that despots violate them first by claiming the ‘general welfare’ or ‘common good’ is being served and after establishing that the people will tolerate their breach they will do away with them in all but name.

Life is About People

in From Me To You, Liberator Online by Brett Bittner Comments are off

Life is About People

This article was featured in our weekly newsletter, the Liberator Online. To receive it in your inbox, sign up here.

“Life is about people, not rings. Rings collect dust.” – Coach Mark Richt

In the context that he was quoted, at his final meeting with the football players at the University of Georgia, he meant that the developing those he coached into fine young men was a greater accomplishment than the rings he won with those young men on the field of play.

peopleLife is about people.

The first part of his quote is something that I observe many omit as they live their lives. I also observe that many libertarians omit this when they work to win hearts and minds to the principles, the ideals, the philosophy, and the lifestyle of libertarianism.

When it comes to Liberty, I don’t want it just for myself. I want it for everyone. I want it for the person struggling to ends meet that has the entrepreneurial spirit to be prosperous and to add value to the lives of others. I want it for the child with a learning disability that is getting left behind in school who is an amazingly talented musician. I want it for the international student here on a student visa that will cure cancer.

Too often, we get caught up in the latest news story, political issues, and the rhetoric when having a “political” conversation, but our efforts are for naught if we forget that the people we live among are what our lives are all about. Other times, we project our desires onto others. Sometimes, we just don’t listen to their concerns. 

When we stop getting caught up in those hurdles, we can connect to the people around us and have a real conversation. That conversation will help us to see how to address their concerns and desires and discuss our love of freedom to help open hearts and minds to Liberty.

They Want Hate Between You

in Conversations With My Boys, Foreign Policy, Liberator Online, Middle East by The Libertarian Homeschooler Comments are off

They Want Hate Between You

This article was featured in our weekly newsletter, the Liberator Online. To receive it in your inbox, sign up here.

BA(10): I wish I knew why those terrorist did that.
Me: Would it comfort you to know why?
BA: It would help me if I understood why.
HateMe: Well, they murdered those people so you would hate Muslims. Like Al (a friend who is Muslim). They want you to hate Al.
BA: I would never hate Al. Why do they want me to hate him?
Me: They want you to make Al feel hated and attacked. They want you to work for them and make Al feel attacked. Like you are his enemy. They want you to hate Al and attack him so he has to defend himself from you.
BA: Why would they want that?
Me: They want Al to feel persecuted by you and they can’t do that job. They have to make you do that. They want hate between you. They want Al to hate you and they want Al to join them.
BA: I would never hate Al.
Me: It doesn’t begin as hate. It begins as fear and distrust. When you fear and distrust your friends and neighbors you are doing the work the terrorists want you to do. You are working for them.
BA: If I hate anyone I hate the terrorists.
Me: That also serves them. Hate is like a little pile of burning matches. You can not put out that little burning pile of matches by adding your own burning match to it. You must quench hate and more hate does not quench hate. Do you see?
BA: Yes.
Me: When there is great hatred like there was last night in Paris we are being called to great love and compassion. We are called to love the people who have died and the mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, sons, daughters, and friends who are heartbroken with grief. Love quenches hate. Do you see?
BA: They want me to hate and be afraid.
Me: Yes. Do you remember those people who came to our church to frighten people?
BA: It’s like that. It’s the same thing. Only they didn’t kill us they just tried to scare us.
Me: Yes. It’s hate. They want you to hate. When you hate, you are on the side of those who hate.