Won't pretend a weed isn't a weed
(My Eastern New Mexico News column from June 14, 2017- posted in its entirety now that the paper's exclusivity has expired)
I am completely in love with liberty. My own, yours, and everyone else's. I want more people to understand it, love it, and live it. I am not afraid of you having and enjoying liberty to the fullest extent humanly possible.
Freedom is not the same as liberty, although many confuse the two. While freedom can seem nice, it can also be a problem. Freedom is doing whatever you want to do, and some people want to do terrible things. Some even want to govern other people! While everyone is free to do hurtful things, limited only by their ability and the ability of their intended victim (or a rescuer) to stop them, no one has the right to commit aggression or theft.
Liberty, on the other hand, can never go "too far", because it is self-limiting; limited only by the equal and identical liberty of everyone else. You can never have the liberty to violate other people.
This is why I love liberty, and try to scatter seeds of liberty whenever I have the chance. I appreciate the efforts of everyone who does the same. Most liberty seeds will wither and die, but a few sprout. I've watched it happen, and it's a beautiful sight.
I will do my best to water and fertilize the liberty seedlings I encounter. Sometimes I run across liberty sprouts which were sown years ago by persons unknown. Yet, there they are, struggling for life in someone's mind. I want to help them thrive.
Sometimes this means having to pull some weeds which took root in the garden; noxious weeds which were mistaken for liberty. This is my least favorite part of spreading liberty. Most people love their weeds, and often they design entire gardens around them. These weeds come in the form of historical documents, respected politicians, revered institutions, and laws they want imposed on people they don't like. These deceptive weeds need to be exposed and uprooted wherever they grow, otherwise they will continue to strangle and kill liberty.
People can grow whatever they want in their garden, of course, but they need to know what it is they are nurturing. When it's not real liberty, it's not going to produce the fruit they expect. If a person is shown they are cultivating a weed, but they choose to keep protecting it, that's their business. I'm still not going to pretend their weed is liberty. You can choose your beliefs; you can't choose your reality.