TAMPA, October 31, 2012 – “We’ll have to agree to disagree.” When uttered in a political context, there is no passive-aggressive cliché that I detest more than this one,
Invariably, this is the rejoinder offered by the statist who has painted himself into a corner while trying to justify his invasion of the life and property of others. Unable to honestly answer the question, “Aren’t you advocating the initiation of force against your fellow man?” the statist will end the conversation with this insipid bit of anti-reason, usually with condescending sanctimoniousness.
The problem is that one side of the argument is agreeing to refrain from invading the property of anyone else, while the other side claims doing so is his right. There is nothing either fair or civilized by “agreeing to disagree” under these circumstances.
Of course, the problem isn’t that the statist holds this opinion.
It is his right to hold any opinion he wishes and to express that opinion freely. The problem is what happens next. Informed by his opinion, the statist then goes into the voting booth and votes himself the life and property of other people.
Worse yet, according to the bizarre principles presently governing American society, he is then provided with the ill-gotten gains by the politician.
To be fair, most Americans commit these crimes out of ignorance. Bombarded with collectivist ideology from birth, through school and throughout their lives, they are unable to recognize that what they do is immoral. As the good book says, “Forgive them father for they know not what they do.”
However, it is another thing when the presumably ignorant statist refuses to even hear the arguments against his position. This is just what the majority of American voters will do before voting next week to elect the next facilitator of the ongoing American disaster.
Most of those who are even aware of the November 5 debate between Gary Johnson and Jill Stein will refuse to take an hour out of their lives to watch it. Yet they will still claim the “right” to vote on how the life, liberty and property of 300 million other people will be disposed of.
Even big government proponents should find something fundamentally wrong with this.
The presidential election isn’t supposed to be this important. It isn’t supposed to determine what the government does. Supposedly, that’s all defined in the Constitution and can only be changed by a constitutional amendment. The only question that is supposed to be decided by voters is which candidate will best execute those defined and limited powers.
That’s how it is supposed to work, but we all know that it doesn’t work that way. Presidents not only exercise powers never delegated to them, but they for all intents and purposes dictate their legislative agenda to the Congress. This is mitigated somewhat when the opposing party has a majority in at least one house of congress. However, to say that the legislative power still resides with the people and that the president merely executes it is good cause for one to be laughed out of the room.
Constitutional government already stretches the word “consent” farther than salt water taffy on the Atlantic City Boardwalk. That a majority vote to grant power to the government over any individual somehow constitutes that individual’s consent requires greater willing suspension of disbelief than a Harry Potter movie. Supposedly, though, this is the best we can do.
The bare minimum required to hold this system together is for all individuals to at least have a chance to be heard and for anyone planning on voting to listen to their arguments, whether they ultimately agree with them or not. It’s not at all unreasonable for those who reject the Republican-Democrat duopoly to demand that voters at least watch the debate before heading into the voting booth to exert power over the formers’ lives.
In July 1775, the American colonists sent the Olive Branch petition to King George, hoping to avoid an all-out war and reconcile with Great Britain. The king refused to receive the petition. He did not disagree with the petition. He refused to even listen to those he presumed to rule without their consent.
We all know what happened next.
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Tom Mullen is the author of A Return to Common Sense: Reawakening Liberty in the Inhabitants of America.