Freedom is really pretty simple. If you get to make your own decision about an issue, that is freedom. If the government makes the decision for you, curtails your choices, or imposes penalties on you for making a choice the officials disfavor, that is a denial of freedom.
If we look at our lives and the lives of all citizens in our country, our freedoms have been shrinking as government control of our lives is dramatically escalating. We cannot live in a nation without any rules. Perfect freedom is anarchy just as total control is totalitarianism.
But we were never intended to live in a 50/50 balance between freedom and control.
Every thing about our history, heritage, and the life experience of all Americans until very recently was that the scale should tip strongly in favor of freedom.
Our Constitution was intended to give limited and enumerated power. Of course Covid has provided the opportunity for the warp-speed growth of government control of our lives. And it based on the flimsiest of grounds. Expert opinion.
There are almost no truly established facts that are being used as an excuse to regulate our businesses, our jobs, our ability to experience public life, and much more. What we hear every day reminds me of my trip to the Soviet Union in 1988. The radios in our rooms were on—in English. We were treated to stories on a wide variety of topics and the mainstay of a great number of stories were “the opinions of Soviet experts.”
Opinions, no matter how expert, are not facts. Even facts should not generally be employed to control the lives of others. The facts should be shared with all and each person should generally be free to make his/her own decision based on the facts.
Expert opinions carry far less weight than facts and, in a free country, should never be the basis for regulating the lives of others by fiat. It is a hallmark of a totalitarian state when government experts get to regulate your life on the weight of their opinion.
While the Soviet regime controlled even more of the citizens’ lives than we currently experience, the trajectory is all in the wrong direction. Elections are coming in November and the number one issue is simple: Do you want more freedom or more government? You can’t have both.
Michael Farris is the former President & CEO of Alliance Defending Freedom. He served in this capacity from 2017 until 2022.
Before joining ADF, Farris was founding president of both the Home School Legal Defense Association (1983) and Patrick Henry College (2000) and continues to serve as chairman of the board of HSLDA and PHC and is chancellor emeritus of PHC.
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