There’s a reason the founders loved freedom

Craig Hall, Publisher
Craig Hall, Publisher

To paraphrase Groucho Marx, I just don’t want to be part of a club that tells me I need to be a member.

That doesn’t mean I won’t join a club or organization voluntarily. Doing that tends to be a good thing for most people, including me. I’ll pick my church, my service club, my groups on Facebook (thank you very little all you auto-adders), my kids’ groups and organizations, who I donate to, where I volunteer and everything else under the sun in my life as I see fit for as long as I’m allowed under the law. And that’s the sad part. Because the politically active folks I see today, either you’re in or you’re out. Never a good thing when they win elections.

This column began forming in my mind when an attempt was made to basically badger and coerce me into jumping into the political fray. All under the guise of “we have to be collectively involved as Republicans” to stop the Democrats or other people we tell you are evil from imposing more taxes, doing bad things and destroying the country. Which, when you think of it at its core is true. But it’s only half true. Because when you look at the Republicans at their core, don’t they kinda do the same thing to other Republicans during their primaries? And isn’t what I just wrote used by the Democrats to have people join their party? So the only logical conclusion that can result from this kind of thinking is simple: Both parties are destroying the country.

If we were honest with ourselves, the fear wouldn’t be only that someone like Bernie Sanders is running for president or he will turn the country fully socialist. The fear should be how did we become half or more socialist as it is? The fear shouldn’t be why is Donald Trump so popular, the fear should be why in the world can a crony capitalist, eminent domain abusing character have such standing with voters? I know why Sanders and Trump are popular. It’s because of what they say. But that’s not my point. My point is that while they have every right to say it, they don’t have the constitutional right to enforce it on the rest of us. That so many people think they do should be our real fear.

I also get the inevitable questions of, “Why don’t you run for office?” or “What is your solution?” My answer is always the same. I don’t want to tell anyone what to do. And I hope everyone’s God-given rights are respected along with folks obeying criminal laws. I know that doesn’t play in politics, but how good would things be in this country if that was everyone’s solution?

This brings me back to my conclusion. I’m not joining any of them. Nor am I endorsing any of them. Nor will I work for or volunteer for any of them. I also have the constitutional right to never be bothered by any of them. You also have that right. Just as you have the duty to not obey the unconstitutional laws they demand that are passed by their parties. Yes, even laws upheld by the Supreme Court. As Dr. Martin Luther King stated when paraphrasing Thomas Jefferson, “One has not only a legal, but a moral responsibility to obey just laws. Conversely, one has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws.”

We live in a country based on individual freedom, the rule of law and God-given rights. Yes, I use God-given, but you can drop in any name you wish for your version of God. It’s why the Declaration of Independence was written the way it was. It offers the only version of diversity and inclusion of which I’m a big fan All the modern ones seem to violate individual rights as people are coerced into “joining” and “accepting” a group. Because to not do so would be to break some made up civil law. And as the Good Reverend said, those laws fall under unjust as they violate individual rights. As for criminal laws, there isn’t much arguing when it comes to murder, robbery, rape and other crimes. But even then lawmakers try to tweak them, which is wrong.

Before you go all Civil Rights Act on me, kindly remember that Dr. King and many blacks and whites used their moral responsibility in civil disobedience to fight Jim Crow laws the Supreme Court ruled constitutional. This is why politicians who run for office based on telling folks they know best are always a danger to the republic. Because they’ll create civil laws that benefit, hurt or discriminate against people. And based on how you vote, you’ll be on the bad or good end of them — based on who got elected. And that is exactly what I see when someone tells me I need to join the “party.” Just look at the infighting in every party at the national, state and local levels. It happens there before the general elections. So even in the party, you can be on the wrong side.

Where does all this leave me? Apparently on the outs according to some. To me, even though it’s fading, I’m still a free individual living as I believe while telling the stories about the great people and businesses in our valley. Right where I belong.