The following was written by liberty activist Adam Bates on Facebook. I was given permission by him to reprint this material.
Comments to follow.
The way I see it, there are two groups of liberty advocates in this part of the world:
1. Liberty For Me.
These people are concerned with liberty only insofar as it affects them and others like them. THEIR race. THEIR religion. THEIR orientation. THEIR nationality. Try to get them to stand up for (or even tolerate) activism on issues that primarily affect “the others,” and you get nothing but obstruction and bile in return.
They care about taxes, and Obamacare, and guns, and the religious liberty of Christians. Why? Because they pay taxes, they buy health insurance, they shoot guns, and they’re Christians (well, in their own minds anyway).
But try to get them to stand up for immigrants, or LGBT people, or non-Christians, and they can’t be bothered. In fact, they just may be offended that you’re even thinking about it.
2. Liberty For You.
These people are concerned with liberty without regard for how it affects them personally. In fact, I’d go so far as to say these people tend to be *more* concerned with issues that don’t affect them personally, because they tend to feel relatively privileged and somewhat indignant about that privilege. They tend to feel that the surest way to achieve liberty for themselves is by securing it for the least of their brothers, because you can bet your ass that a society that extends true liberty to its minorities will do so to its majority as well (whereas the reverse is plainly not true).
On the surface, and if you never dig too deep, the two groups overlap in some substantial ways. But deep down they not only stop overlapping, they honestly can’t stand each other.
The “liberty for me” crowd thinks the “liberty for you” crowd is just a bunch of troublemakers and whiners who insist on snatching defeat from the jaws of victory and upsetting whatever schemes they have in motion. On the other hand, the “liberty for you” crowd thinks the “liberty for me” crowd is a bunch of hypocrites who are only interested in getting theirs, even if it means tacitly (or overtly) supporting the persecution of everyone who isn’t in their favored spheres.
The first crowd believes in taking what liberty they can get, and if that means prioritizing the privileged and powerful over the weak and vulnerable, then so be it. The second crowd believes that if we’re not willing to fight for the least of our brothers, then there’s no point in fighting at all. The powerful will always get theirs in the end, that’s not what we’re fighting for.
As for my own sympathies: in my warped, crazy little mind, the people like us who have their lights turned on upstairs have a moral obligation to take the hits for those who are constantly targeted and oppressed. You want to “compromise” or pander, fine, but if someone has to suffer for it, let it be us. Not the poor people, not the Muslims, not the gays, not the immigrants. If we’re really going to accept “the world is an imperfect place” as a justification to stop aspiring toward utopia, then so be it. But let *us* bear the cross then, not pawn it off on whomever doesn’t have the political power to protect themselves. That’s what really REALLY sticks in my craw about this. I’ve been thinking about it for a long time now, and I think I’m finally beginning to articulate it in a way that makes sense haha.
Every time I hear this “we have to compromise” argument, or any of its many relatives, inevitably the people who get compromised are the weakest and most vulnerable. We won’t compromise on ObamaCare, or guns, or tax hikes. From our cold, dead hands! When we compromise, it’s always the gays who get shafted, or the Muslims, or the poor people, or the Mexican immigrants. It’s always somebody who doesn’t have the political power to be represented in the discussion to begin with. You can only sit there and watch that so long before you conclude that it’s not a coincidence. We are repeatedly faced with a choice between sacrificing OUR liberty and sacrificing the liberty of others, and every single time these “compromisers” choose to save US and sacrifice THEM. We’re willing to sacrifice our morals and our ideology, but we’ll sell everyone else in the world down the river (or to the drones) if it means not having to sacrifice our bank accounts or our superiority complex. Well off, educated, straight white guys like me will be relatively fine no matter what happens. That’s not who I’m here for, and if the extent of our advocacy is liberating people like me, then I got books to read while the hypocrites fight for my “freedom.” *
Sorry about that. Good to get it off your chest every once in a while.
So why is it that the “party of liberty” can’t seem to understand liberty?
What is liberty? Liberty is the state of being free within society from oppressive restrictions imposed by the authority on one’s way of life or behavior.
Why is it that the so-called leader of the Oklahoma GOP can’t understand this? (See Does the OK GOP Chair Understand Liberty?)
Why is it that the Governor of Oklahoma, who is a member of the “party of liberty” does not understand this?
When a person of authority imposes restrictive laws either by legislation or by executive order, they are stifling liberty. They are restricting the rights of one person or one group of people in favor of another. This is not right.
While those in positions of influence within this party have a chance to speak out against oppression and call out the corruption of an over-bearing government, others within that party conspire against them to ensure that “liberty for me” is the norm. When somebody within this party has the courage to stand up and speak out against unjust laws and against an executive that over steps their authority, others within that party have them silenced to ensure that “their horse” can continue to do whatever they want and continue to restrict the civil rights of groups that they do not agree with.
This mentality of liberty for me and my kind only has to be stopped and the idea of liberty for all HAS to be the standard. If it takes the demolition of party politics, so be it. You cannot talk about principles over party at the same time you are bowing down to those that have “allowed” you to be in your positions of influence. As they say, actions speak louder than words and you can talk the liberty game all you want but when it comes time to do anything about it, if you are simply just playing games with the enemy in hopes that eventually they will join your right (which they won’t by the way) your words mean nothing.
Liberty is not a joke. Liberty is not a buzzword for politicians to use to gain more votes. Liberty is a concept that is more important than any other concept in the political spectrum. Without liberty, without true actual liberty, nothing else matters.
As I said before. The war is brewing. Choose your side. Which school of liberty do you belong to?