My good friend recently posted this on Facebook, and i was utterly speechless. All i had to say was “win”. So i decided i’d share it with you all!
Nearly four centuries ago, in the year 1620, a large group of Englishmen left everything that they ever knew and everything that they ever had. They got their kids and their wives, and they set sail. These people may not have had high-paying jobs, the most decent houses, or the straightest teeth (besides the fact that they were Englishmen), but they were not stupid. They knew Europe, and the basic governments and benefits of Germany, France, Ireland, Italy, etc. They knew about Asia, Africa, and Australia. They knew for a fact that these places did exist, just like we know that they’re there today. They could have gone to any of these places, but they didn’t. They went to the fabled Americas.
It being discovered just a century before, people at this time, especially of their social class, didn’t have any hard evidence that the Americas even really existed. For all that they knew, all of these voyagers could have just sailed out of sight and then made a b-line for some tropical country that they already knew about, bringing back false proof of their endeavors. The only two things that they really knew about their journey were that the Atlantic Ocean was a living, breathing monster, and that their exact destination was… west. Regarding all of this, they still left. The journey was violent, sickening, and risky. They were sailing against the wind in the deepest part of the most violent body of water to get to a place that they weren’t sure existed and the fear of what was there if not there Americas.
These 13th century travelers are known, not as pilgrims, but as Pilgrims; a proper noun, implying the Pilgrims. Why, though, is the question. I’ve scratched the surface of the situation… barely. Well, it’s quite obvious that they were looking for something, and when something is lost, nobody looks where they know it isn’t. So, what were they looking for? Liberty.
For all the big-government lovers out there, think about this; These people had a big government, growing bigger under the tyrant King James VI. They left all of that, not just for a smaller government, but no government. They saw and experienced first-hand what kind of damage can happen. They wanted freedom; freedom to religion, speech, and writing. Sound familiar? These make the basic foundation of liberty, and the foundation of our great country.
Here’s an interesting question that I found myself asking on Thanksgiving Day last year: What would they think now? If they went into the future for even five minutes (and assuming they didn’t go crazy from the dramatic cultural change), would they say that this is what they wanted? What if they came in the 1920’s, with facist President Woodrow Wilson in charge, who had people who spoke out against him arrested? I don’t think that they would be thinking to themselves, “Oh, this is just what we wanted to come out of our endeavor!”
It seems that our country has been slowly loosing the liberty it was founded on since the Civil War. Look at prohibition, for instance. The progressive extremists didn’t like to drink or think drinking was right, so they illegalized it. Well, what about the people who did like it? The every-day people who either liked the taste or found it a way to escape the stress of their stressful jobs and lives (drunk-driving was not an issue at this time, especially with cars going only to the super-rich and topped out at amazing speeds of 8mph). If you are Hindu and you don’t believe in Judaism, that’s one thing. If you decide to take legislative action against it, that is something completely different: fascism.
Another one that may have been one of the most controversial topics in the past 50 years is smoking. In about 1954, an announcement was make that smoking, something that people young and old had done for hundreds of years, was actually bad for you – really bad. To put this in perspective, it would be like Coca-Cola today (yes, Pepsi too, nitpickers). The news spread fast to everyone around the country. Legislative action starts kicking in. They wanted to ban smoking, demoralize it, and make it so nobody would want to smoke by making it sound a lot worse than it is. Not much has changed in 50 years when it comes to this. Guess what? People are STILL smoking! Why the nerve of these people! Maybe they don’t know how bad it is! Maybe they don’t know what they’re doing to themselves!
Here is a news-flash: everybody who smokes knows about the dangers of smoking – especially in these days, when the government schools act like it’s blasphemy to God to glance at a pack of cigarettes. People keep thinking that we need to spend more money to teach the smokers about the dangers, when they do, in fact know it. Some don’t like smoking, and there is nothing wrong with that. The smokers still want to smoke. “Why” is their own business, and a question that is completely irrelevant. These people have been taught by the schools, and (more importantly), their parents about the dangers so that one day, they can make the decision for themselves. This, my friends, is the essence of liberty! If people want to smoke, who is anyone else to tell them that what they’re doing is “wrong”? What good would passing any legislation do? None at all.
Marijuana is illegal, and yet a lot of people still do it – as a matter of fact, a huge amount of people to it. I would go as far as to say that it has only caused bad things – government spending for enforcement, crime, cartels, and pointless deaths. It isn’t the government’s place to control what we, as individuals, do to ourselves, and the Constitution will support me on that.
What I am trying to say is that liberty, the very thing that this country was founded on, is starting to be condemned. If someone’s next door neighbor is lighting up in his own house, is he hurting him? If a group of friends go camping and smoke a bit of weed, are they effecting anybody else at all? When thinking about these things, one should ask themselves, “Is it physically hurting anybody else or affecting their rights?” if the answer is “no,” then there isn’t any reason to make a big deal. That is their private business and nobody else can tell him differently.
The Oxford English Dictionary defines liberty as, “The power or scope to act as one pleases.” Is it really a big deal if a few 18-20 year-olds get drunk on a weekend night? Should a man who smokes weed once in a while be treated like a murderer? What if I said that the young-adults were responsible enough to just stay at that one place all night until they were sober enough to drive home? And that the other man just smoked weed seldomly and at a time distance from his work-hours that wouldn’t affect his performance? People aren’t idiots just because they do things that others may deem unmoral or unhealthy. Most are responsible people who also contribute to the country. Like Thomas Jefferson said, “It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg.” Throw out all the nanny-state laws and obvious warning labels; I know my Klondike bar is fattening, but I still eat it. Sue me.
In conclusion, we are in the great country of the USA where liberty is a privilege AND a right. If somebody is eating a sextuple McFatty with cheese, nobody is making you eat it. Smoking isn’t good for you, coffee is hot, and some people believe different things than you. People need to recover this lost art called, “leaving it alone.” Like Mr. Jefferson said, “It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg.” If that is the case for what’s bothering you, just leave. We need to restore liberty in this country, before we turn into the very thing that our founding fathers were trying to avoid.