The Eastern New Mexico News - Serving Clovis, Portales and the Surrounding Communities

By David Stevens

Opinion: Big government not a friend


Last updated 10/13/2018 at 11:57pm

I have leaned libertarian most of my life.

I didn’t know what that word meant until I went to work for Freedom Communications in 2001 and they sent me to “freedom school.”

That’s when I found out I was libertarian, soon after the classes began.

Basically, I learned at freedom school that libertarians believe we’re all better off with less government and more individual responsibility. That’s me. My parents and grandparents taught me that from the day I was born: We have to be responsible for ourselves, and help our neighbors when we can (when they want our help).

I think we do have a responsibility to help those who cannot help themselves, but only within our means. We have no right to take resources that don’t belong to us, even if we think we can make better use of said resources.

Theft is still theft, even if you call it taxation.

It’s been my experience that Democrats and Republicans alike favor big government. And since most government officials are Democrats or Republicans, I’m not a big fan of government.

They have different agendas, but both political parties want as much taxpayer money as they can get their hands on, and they want as much control over our lives as they can take from us.

I do not think politicians are evil. I’ve found that most of them have good hearts with good intentions. They just don’t have enough money or individual power to “fix” everything they see wrong with the world, so they join forces with like-minded individuals to try and force their will on the rest of us.

All that said, I am not the best libertarian in the world. Especially not compared to our newspaper columnist Kent McManigal, who is the standard by which all libertarians are measured.

McManigal has zero use for government. He thinks we can resolve all issues one on one, that individual freedom trumps majority rules every time.

I think maybe we need government to build roads and city infrastructure and I think we need some kind of court system, as opposed to prairie justice.

I also think government does a terrible job with its minimal responsibilities — Have you tried to drive from Portales to Clovis lately? — and so I’m not sure why there is such widespread support for either political party.

Finally, I believe what little government we have should be transparent.

Most government officials I know don’t like that idea. So we fight a lot.

None of this information is new to anyone who knows me. It is easily discernible as well through the newspaper columns I write and through the newspaper Viewpoint, which is the collective opinion of myself and our publisher, Rob Langrell.

I share these things for those who don’t know me and don’t regularly read my columns or the Viewpoint. If you only read such things when the topics interest you, then you might understandably think I am a Democrat, or a Republican, depending on the party’s position in relation to that specific topic.

Please do not be confused. I don’t fit in anybody’s box.

I realize this is confusing for those who think everyone must choose red or blue and fight on that side.

I think there is another option.

It’s called freedom from government. It’s lonely sometimes, but it feels right to me.

David Stevens is editor for Clovis Media Inc. Contact him at: [email protected]


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