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Liberty is Liberty

Posted on Thursday, June 20, 2024
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by AMAC, Robert B. Charles
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20 Comments
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Headlines broadcast “Far Right” victories in Europe, as if a shadow is falling. In the US, terms like “far right,” “radically conservative,” and “Christian nationalist” are used to deride liberty-loving citizens, as if we are seeing mid-20th century fascism. That is pure hogwash, a deception.

Deception? Yes. Here is what is going on, and why constitutional conservatives, traditionalists, people of faith and conscience, and those who respect history, biology, selfless sacrifice, and what the Founders called a Republic, need to start speaking up, not accepting this drivel.

In short, the idea that politics can be described on a continuum, “left to right,” is not a bad way to think of how people differ, but mischaracterizing others’ views to create fear of liberty is wrong.

Broadly speaking, conventional wisdom holds people on the left end of the continuum count themselves, as collectivists, prioritizing equality over liberty, government decision-making over individuals, and seeing things through the lens of immutable groups, classes, races, economic sectors, and the like. They see differences as someone’s fault, and they see government as the “fix.”

Those on the “left,” by their own admission, tend to view government power as good, calling greater concentrations of it socially responsible, socialism, democratic socialism, and what used to be communism, although they do not like that label, as it reminds people of Soviet and Chinese oppression, one empirical end-state of concentrated power.

Those on the left see greater state control as preferable, not trusting individuals or the private sector to make good decisions, even with a “safety net,” tax policies that encourage family and faith-based support, regulations, or spending priorities promoting public safety and health.

Rather than seeing life as one’s responsibility, something that improves by virtue of work, opportunity, and trust vested in the individual – what we have always called The American Dream –they tend to promote dependency, assuming material well-being is the big thing.

This idea, that government is the answer to what ails humans, flies in the face of centrists and the right end of the decision-making continuum, since that end sees happiness as dependent on self-development, and responsibility for life decisions, not on government. The right end thinks “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” is up to the individual, and amounts to a self-evident, God-given right.

While those on the “right” see government as necessary for national defense, catastrophic response, and facilitating individual decision-making, thus important for military preparedness and deterring wars, and for creating a national highway, airport, communication, and energy grid, they do not think the centralized government makes better decisions for the individual than the individual.

If all this seems obvious, things get tougher. History – all periods – demonstrates persuasively that the more power is centralized, the better it gets at aggregating power. In other words, to borrow from Lord Acton, “Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely,” or more government creates more government, gradually bleeding away individual liberties, until stopped.

Physics is similar. A small log jam on a river accelerates into a bigger jam; a magnet collecting metal shards magnetizes them, increasing the power of the magnetized mass to pull in more shards; gravity attracts mass, which creates an object of greater mass, which has more power to pull mass.

In political terms, the corrupting or individual liberty-stealing aspect of concentrated power has long been known by the greats, Aristotle and Plato to Leibniz and Locke. It was known to our Founders, those who created a Constitution to limit government and preserve personal liberty.

None of this should be controversial, which brings us to now. Labels in human experience, especially in political jargon, tend to get reused in different ways since words are malleable.

The word “liberal” used to mean “open-minded, freedom-focused, liberty-centered,” and inviting of every idea under the sun. “The academy,” places of “higher learning,” were viewed as “classically liberal,” just like Rousseau, Locke, Jefferson, and Madison.

Not so today. Today, power concentrators have taken that word, and used it to describe policies that concentrate power, reducing individual decision-making.

So, what about traditional, liberty-loving conservatives, less government, more liberty, being called power-concentrators “fascist,” “authoritarian,” or “far right?”  The answer is: Makes no sense. In an honest, historically grounded world, no one would call those who love liberty opponents of it.

Moreover, those of Christian, Jewish, Buddhist, or Muslim faith, or just of deep conscience are not anti-liberty. In fact, the reverse. They are typically the promotors of others’ freedom of worship, speech, self-protection, and the chance to live out dreams because they wish to do the same.

The reality is this: Our government has grown powerful, far bigger than our Founders wished. It has, in the process, started to push power concentration over limited government, something our Founders deeply feared, and expressly wrote about.

In short, the political spectrum has shifted left, making what was the center now seem right or far right. People who believe in liberty are still historically grounded, and those who want concentrated power are self-interested. Some things are simple if you think about them. The idea that liberty is “far right” is pure hogwash, a deception. Liberty is still liberty.

Robert Charles is a former Assistant Secretary of State under Colin Powell, former Reagan and Bush 41 White House staffer, attorney, and naval intelligence officer (USNR). He wrote “Narcotics and Terrorism” (2003), “Eagles and Evergreens” (2018), and is National Spokesman for AMAC.  

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Max
Max
24 days ago

RBC, good article. Your last two paragraphs are on the money. About religion, the Islamic faith is taught that it is the ONLY FAITH to be believed. Other religions are tolerated by Islam, but those believers MUST PAY HIGHER TAXES or LOSE THEIR HEADS (which happens once they are done with you). To stay alive — FORCED CONVERSION TO ISLAM. There is no HEADS or TAILS in their game.

Rob citizenship
Rob citizenship
24 days ago

This article describes ideas that shape some beliefs vital to the spirit of being able to live responsibly and just live right , respecting the idea of independence. Liberty is something great. to be valued , to be honored. . The sentence you wrote Robert — “In an honest historically. grounded world no one would call those who love liberty opponents of it .” — that is an important thought – something that helps to preserve ,to defend the language from being corrupted . Those who lack a sense of ethics will do what they can to change the meaning of words for political gain, in order to control as many as possible . Truth and Liberty are very closely connected. To respect all that is ethical , respect the principles that hold the Nation together — that will be in the interest of the will of God, and that will help to defend Liberty. Well Done with this writing Robert. With respect.

Melinda
Melinda
24 days ago

This article has all the important points for a discussion of liberty. I only hope I can remember them all!

anna hubert
anna hubert
24 days ago

Liberty and independence go hand in hand It would make a self responsible citizen Where does that leave the Big father in Washington who loves his children and knows what is best for them Not to mention all his little elves

R Anthony Botti
R Anthony Botti
24 days ago

I’ll simply say when I said in my Facebook status update Tuesday night (18.06.2024):
The more the Left champion insane ideas that don’t work and dismiss sane ideas that work as “far-right” thinking, the farther to the right the People will migrate politically. The Left have only themselves to blame: by declaring sane ideas that work “far-right,” they make the same declaration about everyone who WANTS sane ideas that work.

stella
stella
23 days ago

Bill O”Reilly had a edited out NANCY PELOSI , filmed by her daughter ALEXANDRIA PELOSI , where NANCY in the back of her limo takes full responsibility for JANUARY 6TH ! Look it up . Why isn’t that all over the news & Why are those J_6 people still in jail ?? Donald Trump ordered 10, to 20 thousand national guards . Nancy wants to know why they were not there ? Who then canceled the guards ?

Myrna
Myrna
24 days ago

I have personally known a person who thought government control was to be preferred. Her parents were Republicans. I wonder if leaning one way or another is humankind’s way of trying to balance America. If so, we can understand, but this does not make it right.

John C
John C
24 days ago

If liberty was liberty then why are so many in MAGA trying to ban mRNA vaccines made by Pfizer and Moderna? They have killed zero people and the only major side effects have been rare cases of myocarditis. I take the vaccine twice a year as a senior to lessen the chances that I will get severe covid.

I was never for vaccine mandates by the way but an outright ban is ludicrous.

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