BY SHARON MARTIN
Do you believe a woman has the right to choose what to do with her own body? If so, steer clear of the personal freedoms crowd. They would prefer that your legislators decide for you.
Do you believe in the right to choose your own religion or to choose to practice no religion? If so, be careful for whom you vote. There are those who think your religious choices should be mandated by the government.
Do you believe that you have the right to choose your own spouse? There is a vocal crowd who would like to narrow your choices for you.
Do you want Social Security protected? Social Security is insurance. You pay into it; you draw from it when you reach a certain age. The keep-government-small crowd would like to renege on your insurance contract. They think you have the personal freedom to starve in your old age, and they have the freedom to default on the program into which you paid all your working life.
Personal freedom is the freedom to choose what you do with your own body. If you want to drink or smoke, that should be your choice so long as you pay the taxes due to the government for the regulation of said alcohol, tobacco, or other combustible. If you choose to abuse your body, however, it’s not the government’s role to feed and house you.
We certainly don’t have the right to harm others in pursuit of our freedoms – no second-hand smoke, no driving under the influence, no using dirty equipment for tattooing. We can row ourselves right down the river, but we can’t send our children, neighbors, or strangers over the falls.
Personal freedom is not freedom from taxes. If we want roads and schools and the National Guard, each citizen must pay his or her share of the bill. But we all should be free to make our own way the best way we know how without some 50-cent politician telling us he knows better than we do what we should do with our bodies, our lives, or our futures.
The next time you hear a politician spouting about personal freedoms, you’d better find out exactly what he or she means by that before you vote. You might not like their definition of freedom if it means they are the one free to make your choices for you.
– Sharon Martin lives in Oilton, OK and is a regular contributor to The Oklahoma Observer