I am a lover of liberty, no question about it. I do not feel that it is the government’s place to restrict personal freedoms unless the exercise of those freedoms presents a clear and present danger to others. Two areas not previously discussed where this is relevant are equal rights and the surveillance state.
For the former, I will state unequivocally that I support equal rights for all Americans, regardless of race, ethnicity, national origin, sex, gender, sexual orientation, or age. Discrimination must not be tolerated in public institution or the workings of the market. If someone wishes to hold prejudiced views, that is their business, but when they express those views in ways that harm the lives and opportunities of others, a line has been crossed. We do not currently allow businesses to refuse service on the basis of race – so why is it permissible to do so on the basis of gender or sexual orientation? Freedom belongs to all Americans.
For the latter, I am on the record as opposing all aspects of the surveillance state. NSA spying scandals, the USA PATRIOT Act, unaccountable no-fly lists, and many other intrusions into the lives of the American populace must be repealed and prohibited. Law-abiding citizens have the right to go about their lives without worrying that their communications are being read, their friendships being studied, and their consenting recreational activities making them subject to prosecution. The state has no business enforcing a particular moral code, or treating people as though they were criminals and terrorists without clear evidence of such.
Photo by Ted Mielczarek, Courtesy Flickr, – CC BY-SA 2.0