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In the Hands of Strangers
Are you an American, like me? It doesn't really matter if you are. You could be British, or Australian, or a New Zealander, or a citizen of any of the nations of the European Union. It doesn't matter. What matters is that you think you're safe. You think that because you live in a democratic nation you need never fear losing your property, your freedom, or your life to some arbitrary act of government.
I have very bad news for you. You're wrong. Everything you value is in the hands of strangers. Your entire life is up for grabs.
Take a look around you. See all the people around us? Your life, liberty, and property are in their hands. How, you ask? It's simple. Every so often, every adult you see around you is given the right to vote in elections. Most of them vote for politicians who promise to solve everybody's problems, but neglect to mention the cost involved. Most of them will vote for politicians who are willing to build their vision of Utopia with your money.
What's that you say? You don't believe me? Fair enough; I haven't yet proved my case, have I? Let's start from the beginning. Do you know what the word "democracy" means, and where it came from? It's a Greek word that means "rule by the people". It sounds pretty good, right? Rule by the people, and not a king or the priesthood or a dictator.
Let's take a closer look, shall we? When "the people" rule, a means of discerning the will of "the people" is necessary. Every person, therefore, gets to vote. Whichever side has the most votes is said to represent the will of the people. That's the basis of majority rule.
What happens to the minority, you ask? That's a good question. In a republic like that originally implemented in the United States, the majority rules but the rights of individuals are protected by the country's highest law, the Constitution, particularly the first ten amendments. However, not all democratic republics explicitly codify the rights of individuals and limit the powers of the government. Furthermore, politicians have been working to subvert the Constitution for decades, if not centuries.
What is the result, you ask? Tyranny. But instead of the tyranny of a king, or a dictator, or a priesthood, you get a tyranny of the majority. The majority rules, in an unfettered democracy, and the minority has no rights save those the majority choose to recognise.
Where does that leave us? Take a look around you, and allow me to point out some examples. Do you see that dignified gentleman coming out of the church across the street? He seems respectable enough. He's a God-fearing man who does his best to adhere to the moral code he's accepted for himself. If you asked him point-blank, he'd tell you that he never tried to force his beliefs on anybody else. Unfortunately, he's wrong. You see, he votes for politicians who claim to share his beliefs and espouse Christianity. He votes for the kind of politicians who talk about "traditional family values" and "morality". That man votes for politicians who in turn vote to legislate Christian morality.
Now, take a look at the jalopy parked to your right. I'm talking about the beat-up Honda Civic. Now, take a closer look. See all the anti-capitalist and anti-free trade bumper stickers? Is it just me, or is there something contradictory about plastering "Buy American" and anti-capitalist bumper stickers all over an imported car? Here comes the car's owner now. He's young; if he's more than a few weeks past his eighteenth birthday then I'll eat my copy of The Fountainhead. I've talked with him too. He doesn't know it, and doesn't want to know it, but all his anti-capitalist rhetoric means that he's biting the hand that feeds him. He'll probably vote for leftist politicians who talk about social conscience and the need to "protect the environment". These politicians will, in turn, enact policies that take your hard-earned money and give it to people who either cannot or will not work to support themselves.
What's this you say? What if you don't want to support such people? Unfortunately, you're outvoted. That's how majority rule works, my friend. The only choice you get is to either give some of your money to the government (for the good of society, of course) or lose all of your property, your freedom, and several years of your life.
You're getting angry, aren't you. That's good, but don't let it blind you. Don't hate the people I pointed out to you; you'll only waste energy on people who don't understand the implications of their actions. Don't forgive them because they don't know what they're doing, but don't despise them for it either.
What can you do about it? Do with others what I have done with you. If you see somebody who may be receptive to the truth, sit down with them and tell them the truth. When people know that their lives are in others hands and that they hold the lives of others in their own hands, by virtue of their right to vote, people are often more careful in the manner in which they exercise their right to vote.
Who should you vote for, you ask? Who should you tell others to vote for? Well, if you want to keep your property, your freedom, and your life, then you should vote for people committed to limited government, individual rights, and personal responsibility. You should encourage others to do the same after you've shown them the true nature of the right to vote and the responsibility that right brings.
And what is that responsibility? As a citizen, you should not vote away your own rights or the rights of others by electing politicians who seek to increase the power of government. Such politicians are on both sides of the political spectrum, so don't let labels like "liberal" and "conservative" fool you. Let nothing fool you, least of all a 30-second advert financed by some political committee you've never heard of.
Know what you value, get the facts, and then vote in accordance with your values and your knowledge. Vote for freedom whenever you can. Vote for yourself.
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