“Individual rights are not subject to a public vote; a majority has no right to vote away the rights of a minority; the political function of rights is precisely to protect minorities from oppression by majorities (and the smallest minority on earth is the individual).” – Ayn Rand
I have to tell you, I wish that were true. I wish individual rights were not subject to the public vote. Yet, in America the government has continued to claim ever more responsibility, authority, power over the individual. Rights are indeed a function of the decisions of the ruling class – which in turn is a function of the vote.
The good news? We still have the right to vote – it still matters. In various times and places throughout human history (much of it recent), votes have been meaningless. They used to actually vote in communist countries. There was only one candidate, of course, but they would vote nonetheless.
Even Saddam Hussein held elections, generally winning with 100% of the vote. (The choices on the ballot were “Saddam Hussein” and “Rape, Torture, and Murder for me and my family” – an opponent that even Saddam was able to overcome.)
But in America, we still have the right to vote. Leaders still rise and fall based on what we do at the ballot box. Is there fraud? Yes. Has government overstepped and stolen some of our freedoms and rights? Yes. But we still have sway at the ballot box.
So get out the vote, America. People across human history have longed greatly for the freedom and authority we will exercise on Election Day. Let us not treat it lightly.
As for me, I hope you all choose freedom, liberty, individual rights. Don’t fall prey to soft condescension that says “some people” can’t make it on their own – the human spirit is a mighty thing when faced with a challenge, and people are far more capable than you might imagine.
Don’t fall prey to the rhetoric that failing to support this or that government program means you just don’t care about people. Nothing could be further from the truth. Defending freedom is an expression of great care for the people (and if these programs actually worked we might see their “need” diminish over time, but we don’t).
Don’t fall prey to the morality-based arguments for government control. You are a free person. You can choose to help the poor, needy, widow, fatherless, or immigrant in any way you see fit – in any way that God has empowered you. But, the Golden Rule would clearly dictate that you allow me to do the same, not taking the decision and the power out of my hands to help by whatever means God has given me.
At the end of this day, we will have whatever leaders we choose. Choose wisely.