Inalienable rights for me, but not thee

Craig Hall, Publisher
Craig Hall, Publisher

I’m beginning to wonder. What stories will our kids tell their kids?
Will it be ones of the butcher, the baker and the candlestick maker? Because these days it feels more like the baker and the red hen faker.

Is this really the point we’re at in our country? While you might have a differing view of exactly what that point is, I’ll give you mine. We’re at the point author Ayn Rand feared the most — the one where we run to politicians, judges and committees to determine who’s allowed to do what with their property, mind and business every time we don’t like what happens.

Rand wrote: “When you see that in order to produce, you need to obtain permission from men who produce nothing. When you see that money is flowing to those who deal not in goods, but in favors. When you see that men get richer by graft and by pull than by work, and your laws don’t protect you against them, but protect them against you. When you see corruption being rewarded and honesty becoming a self-sacrifice. You may know that your society is doomed.”

And that, my friends, is a dangerous place. While we tend to quickly point out the specks in the eyes of others with whom we disagree and happily put their fates into the hands of such people as Rand describes, we fail to see the logs in our own eyes and in the eyes of those in the bureaucracy we demand dole out justice to meet our outrage.

Worse, we fail to see the government and egos of many of the people in it are all too happy to be the sole arbiter of what’s morally right or wrong for any and every person in our country — a role so relished they will do anything to keep that kind of power. And as media and politics swirl hurricane-like to whip our frenzy, we willingly hand over that power to those who would infringe our rights. Just remember, one day those same power-hungry folks will kick in your door as surely as you’re happy to have them kick in the doors of those with whom you disagree today.

Just look at how the losing side overreacts and perceives everything President Donald Trump or one of his supporters does as an attack on their rights or some special interest of their making. This is what happens when you demand special power for the government when your side is in charge. The other side eventually wins and now has that power. And your fear about who’s doing the kicking goes into overdrive. From what I see, there’s little going on to support that way of thinking. It seems our president has less concern about your doors than our nation’s open windows — and he’s certainly not kicking in doors.

Which brings us back to the biblically challenged baker, the mother-clucking restaurateur and the nation’s selective outrage.

Both made decisions well within their property rights as business owners. You, I and the government should have nothing to do with it. And no, it matters not what we would have done in their positions, because we weren’t in their positions. But that’s not how this works anymore. If someone is offended, where do they run? To blatantly unconstitutional anti-discrimination panels to seek redress — and more important, hugely disproportionate punishment upon those they perceive to have an immorality with which to deal.

That’s what all this hubbub is about: who’s morally superior. Yet, we run to the least moral place to find it and force it — the opinion of someone in government.

We all choose friends based on how they treat us or others, have a point at which we say I’m no longer going to help friends based on their decisions or behaviors and know other groups of friends who treat others horribly. What do we do? We befriend, unfriend or don’t friend. That works in our daily lives. But if we looked at friends in how we treat businesses, how soon before we have the government deciding who we befriend or don’t?

I’ll run almost any ad and publish almost any letter to the editor, but not all. I have a wider opinion berth than most, But I still have limits and the right to say no. But with the baker and restaurateur, we argue “deeply held beliefs” based on how we feel and then, worst of all, demand only the government determine who has these beliefs and who doesn’t. I don’t know about you, but upholding a business owner’s right to say “no” seems a lot easier — and smarter.

If a business posted a “no minorities allowed” sign, how long do you think that business would last? Exactly. The market would fix it post haste. And if it wasn’t for Democrats, we’d have gotten to that point sooner. I think the bigger fear to some comes in the fact that not serving some special interest wouldn’t hurt a business, and that’s what’s really unacceptable to them.

To serve, or not to serve. That is the question. And it’s none of your business to answer. It’s also a decision for which a business must accept the consequences of its answer.