Friday, November 6, 2015

Freedom's Implications

In the comments to my post requesting writing topics, Marla wants me to do this: “[E]xplain your reasoning for your [political and social] positions from an ideological standpoint.

Well, I’ve done that before, but, since then, here’s something I’ve noticed: many people who call themselves conservatives don’t really know what that means. They like the outer trappings of “conservatism” and instinctively understand that “liberalism” (better: Leftism) is bad.

But many do not understand or even perceive the basis for conservatism. So I’ll try to help.

The basis for “conservatism” is freedom. And one problem with some so-called conservatives is that they don’t get the implications of freedom. Here’s one: freedom implies that the other guy is free just as you are; he is free to say and do things you don’t like as long as those words and action don’t impinge on your freedom or those of others. And he is free to hate you for your race…and to say so.

Perhaps an example is in order. Remember the Nevada Rancher Cliven Bundy and the standoff he had with the US government? Sure you do. I have close to 1,600 Facebook friends, hundreds of which are black conservatives, and most of them were standing with Bundy, until it was alleged that he made some public statements that were racist. As it turns out, Bundy said little that is different from what many black conservatives say, including yours, truly. 

However, when the slinging of the Racist Cudgel occurred, a few decided to publicly abandon Bundy’s cause, saying that the government should be allowed to seize Bundy’s property and that Bundy should be fined and/or imprisoned because of his words. And when I—and many others--asserted that this was a tyrannical opinion, we got called “Uncle Tom,” “coon,” “buck-dancers for the white man” by conservatives. Black ones. Of course, with it being Facebook, I got blocked when I responded to one of these temper tantrums. It was fun!

But the tantrum itself was an indication of something more troubling—that the notions of tyranny go mentally and emotionally deeper than we generally acknowledge and that our political opinions are too often self-centered, rather than morality-centered and/or logic-centered.

The desire to impinge on the freedom of a person who has said something insulting is immoral and anti-freedom. And, when someone else is legally censured for his opinions, your censure isn't far behind. Here’s what I said in the link above:

[T]here should be a legal method of outlawing mandated segregation without mandating integration of any sort. But, doing that would require a politically educated populace, rather than a politically-indoctrinated, emotionally-charged one ready to scream RACIST!!! at the drop of a hat.

Check your indoctrination. And your premises. Love your (possibly offensive) neighbor's freedom as your own.

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