Sunday, October 26, 2008

Liberty & Security

Both of these abstract concepts are important and emotional. We spend a good deal of time debating the strength of different public policies, using the ideas of liberty & security as 'yardsticks' to measure the projected success of those policies. These concepts are highly subjective, though, and i suggest we beware of anyone who tries to use either security or liberty (or both) to promote an opinion. We can all agree that a successful society has a 'healthy' balance between the two concepts, yet we can never agree what that balance ought to be. Politicians use this fact against us to gain votes, sway the public discussion, and increase their control of the cultural reins. Unfortunatley, so does the media. We have to stop believing anyone who tends to bend every discussion towards these highly emotional and subjective concepts. It is rare to find anyone who completely agrees with you on both subjects, so it follows that it is more important that we preserve the right to disagree on these concepts.
America has always been a place where disagreement is allowed and respected and I hope this will continue to be the case. If you have an opinion on something, from gay marriage to the color of my drapes, please do not invoke freedom or 'the enemy' in expressing it. Let me give you a simple fable which I hope will help illustrate my thinking:

There are two cows walking together in a pasture, Liberty and Security. Upon reaching the fence line, they notice that there is an opening between two posts. Liberty continues to wander on, crossing the fence line, and Security turns back towards the rest of the herd. The next morning, the rancher rounds up all the cows for transport and notices Liberty is missing. With the folks down at the slaughterhouse waiting for his delivery, the rancher decides to finish loading up Security and the herd. The ride to the slaughterhouse is always a rough one, and this one is especially tough because on the way, they pass Liberty's mutilated carcass on the trail.

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