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

By Kent McManigal
Local columnist 

Opinion: More in common than you think

 

Last updated 7/20/2021 at 4:24pm



Even when we seem to disagree, we have more in common than you might think. I probably want many of the same things you want.

I have no respect for those who violate private property. Even less, if possible, for those who harm the innocent. Wouldn’t you agree?

Then why would you and I ever be on the opposite sides of an issue?

Perhaps you tolerate methods of getting what you want that I can’t tolerate. I don’t believe politics or legislation is ever the right way to do anything.

If I want a car — or even desperately need one in order to survive — I know I have no right to steal yours. Hiring a professional thief to steal one for me doesn’t make it moral.

No matter what I need, or how badly I need it, having a politician impose a tax or entitlement to benefit me at your expense is wrong. I can’t have any right to ask them for this favor.

If I don’t like something you’re doing — something that doesn’t actually harm anyone’s life, liberty, or property — I have no right to kidnap and cage you to make you stop. Nor do I have the right to shoot you if you resist being kidnapped. Hiring legislation enforcers — with money that wasn’t mine to spend — to catch or shoot you on my behalf in the name of “the law,” when you aren’t violating anyone, is no better.

If I don’t have the right to do something, I can’t have the right to ask anyone else to do it on my behalf. I don’t have the right to ask that money stolen from you through taxation be spent on things I want. I don’t have the right to stop you from doing things I don’t like if they don’t violate anyone. I don’t have the right to ask others to impose my will on you as a way to keep my hands clean. My hands would be bloody either way.


I’m not going to gang up with others and vote to forbid you from exercising your rights, even when I dislike what you do. Not even when this is seen as legal and called a civic responsibility or imagined to be a right.

There are limits to what I have a right to do, even when others refuse to respect those limits. I’m not willing to do wrong — to use politics — to get what I want.

Farwell’s Kent McManigal champions liberty. Contact him at:

[email protected]

 
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