How Much Freedom Do You Want?

We tend to think of politics along one spectrum running between conservative and liberal. I would suggest that better labels are ‘more free’ and ‘less free,’ and that we can gauge these along two scales: social freedom and economic freedom.

If we look at different issues, we see that some issues are more about social freedom, whereas others are more about economic freedom, and that many people who want more freedom on one scale, want less on the other.

If we break the political scale down based on this, we should have four, rather than two, parties.

Party A would want a high level of economic freedom, but would demand government control over custom and tradition.

Party B would want freedom in terms of custom and tradition, but would want the economy centrally planned – they would be against free markets.

Party C would want high levels of economic freedom, as well as high levels of freedom in terms of custom and tradition.

Party D would want government control over every aspect of human life.

Note that on this graph, the ‘Party’ labels cover the entire quadrant and not just the extreme end of the quadrant. Party C is the upper right quadrant (lots of both kinds of freedoms), Party A is the upper left quadrant (only economic freedom), Party B is the lower right quadrant (only social freedom), and Party D is the lower left quadrant (no freedom).

How many of us are honest about politics? It turns out not very many of us. Democrats claim to be Party B (high levels of social freedom but with central planning), but most Democrats have very little tolerance for social conservatives. Really, most (not all) Democrats have a pretty good idea of what they think society should look like, socially speaking, and they have no tolerance for other views. These people think they want social freedom only because their view of what society should look like is very different from how society actually looks, but theirs is still a very regimented social vision.

There are Democrats in Party B, but the growing part of the party – the party of AOC, Bernie Sanders, and Elizabeth Warren – is clearly Party D.

Do you know who else believed in little or no economic or social freedom? Stalin, Mao, Mussolini, and Hitler. People like AOC like to tell us that libertarians are right wing extremists, like Hitler was (they increasingly make that comparison), but in reality libertarians believe in high levels of both economic AND social freedom, which is in the upper right quadrant – directly opposite of where Hitler would have been. The notion that Hitler wanted to expand freedom is absurd.

Now I’ll grant that the political left has different social views than Hitler did, but just like Hitler, they want to control the social views of society, and if you compare the DNC platform to the Nazi platform of the early 1930s, in terms of economic policy, the two platforms are almost identical.

I’m not going to tell you that Joe Biden is a Nazi, but he is a fascist. He is a fascist in the spirit of Francisco Franco.

Where does Trump fit? Trump is all over the map on social issues. He really does not care about social issues and tends to pander to whomever he is speaking to. That’s not to say he waffles all over the place, so much as he searches for areas of agreement with different groups.

Overall, Trump is for more – not less – social freedom.

A lot of people accuse Trump of being anti-LBGTQ++, but the only things Trump has done that have anything to do with the LBGTQ++ community is to leave questions of who can serve in the military to the Pentagon (where it becomes a question of military readiness), to remove executive orders that allowed for example trans women who have penises to sue gynecologists if they refused to examine the vaginas these people do not have, and to restore the rights of people who do not agree with the LGBTQ++ agenda.

On economic matters, Trump wants more economic freedom within the country and less in terms of free trade with other nations. I disagree with him on free trade, but I’m all about more economic freedom.

What I do not think the LGBTQ++ community understands is that they are placing their right to live their lives as they see fit, against the rights of other people to do the same. When you try to increase your rights by restricting the rights of others, you are not expanding freedom, but are enforcing your social views on others.

I am all for social freedom, and am happy to stand with the LGBTQ++ community whenever and wherever someone wants to try and restrict their right to live their lives as they see fit, or to love who they love. More power to them!

But if someone does not want to bake you a cake, I stand for that person’s freedom too. There are other bakeries…

There are those who say I am an extremist. Well – if that is so, then our Constitution and our Bill of Rights are also extremist, and if I must be extreme in something, let me be extremely for the rights of other people. ALL other people.

If you want to oppress other people, whether it is on an economic scale or a social scale, I stand opposed to you. I stand for freedom.

That. Incidentally, makes me opposed to anti-racism. Why? Because allowing basic freedoms to abhorrent groups is a basic cost of having those freedoms. As such, I support the right of abhorrent groups to peacefully assemble, and to speak, while also opposing the things such groups say. The solution to abhorrent belief is to speak against it – not to prevent it from speaking. The power to decide what beliefs are acceptable and what beliefs are not – that is not a power any government should ever have.

People point to Charlottesville, and it’s really a great place to point. White supremacists and nationalists worked for over a year to make that the biggest rally they possibly could, bringing people not only from all over the United States, but from all over North America. They got about 100 people. Even if we ignore the fact that some were from outside the United States, that’s still just two people per state.

There are ten million people in Michigan. Need I tell you what percentage two people represents? You want to restrict the freedom of speech because two guys who fit in a smart car might show up in Lansing?!? Really?!?

Let me put that another way… If you want to take the freedom of speech away from ten million people in Michigan (and 330 million people nationally) because you do not like what two people might say, I oppose you. If you think mine is the extreme view, so be it. I disagree on that too.

I am firmly in the upper right quadrant, and I’ve got to tell you – freedom is great!

The best thing about the upper right quadrant is that when the government for the most part leaves you alone, it does not matter much who the President is. The fact that people get upset about elections is a clear indicator that our government has too much power.

I invite you to join me in working to reduce it…