“Personal liberty” will be the death of a lot of us

The idea of personal liberty in the United States is held tight by a whole bunch of folks, many of whom are way too proud of their guns and, ironically for such liberty-lovers, way too into controlling what other people do with their bodies and way too eager to lock people up in cages.

But the fact is that liberty is going to be the death of us. Of a lot of us, anyway.

And that liberty could also signal the end of the United States having any kind of future of prosperity, influence or honor for that matter.

Now, don’t twist it up—I’m not saying I’m against liberty or freedom. I like both very much. But nothing in life comes without limitations.

Freedom of religion? Cool. I’m Christian. Love it. Love that freedom on behalf of all my agnostic, atheist, pagan, Muslim, Buddhist, Jewish, etc. friends and acquaintances. But would you say that someone sacrificing humans should be protected because of Freedom of religion? Didn’t think so.

Freedom of speech? Great. I don’t want to be persecuted or punished by the government for speaking my mind about something or sharing an unpopular opinion. But at the same time, if I falsely accuse someone of a crime and get caught doing it, I will be punished and rightly so.

Right now there are people screaming for the economy to reopen and many of them are doing it while being heavily armed and confrontational. They are demanding their haircuts and their ability to be seated to eat at Red Lobster and their freedom to buy crap on sale at the LocalMart.

They are screaming that having to have limitations that temporarily mean they can’t dine in is an attack on their freedom. They are screaming that not being able to get their hair or nails done or go to the gym is denying their liberty. They are screaming that wearing masks in public is an affront to their autonomy.

They are full of crap.

I’m sure y’all have seen the “No shirt, no shoes, no service” signs before, right? Those aren’t jokes, unless maybe they’re posted at a beachside business. They are literal. Come in here without shoes and you will be shown the door. It’s because in a place like a restaurant that’s gross and unsanitary.

Plenty of these “personal liberty” people have gone to bars where the rule is no hats, no hoodies, and no gang colors. They aren’t protesting that. They never have. Because to them, that’s protecting them from some probably just imagined threat. They are fine with having someone else’s personal liberty limited—or even their own—if they get what they see as a benefit.

Well look here: Not having an entire infected nation and maybe not ending up with 100,000 or maybe even 300,000 deaths in a matter of months (and maybe multiple millions total by the end if we don’t watch out) from this new virus is a benefit.

Wear your masks. Stay home where you can. We aren’t past this thing yet.

Stop crying out that your “personal liberty” wins out over the collective health and safety of an entire nation. We can’t all have unlimited “personal liberty.” That’s basically having a nation of spoiled toddlers who are handed every toy and snack and whatever they demand. That’s called madness and chaos. And I know that a lot of the “personal liberty” folks out there don’t let their kids get away with much of anything without a beating. Those kids don’t get to say, “You’re messing with my personal liberty.” They get told to do what’s right for the family or the parent or what is within the family rules.

If we all just look out for our own wants and don’t think about the needs of the others around us, we aren’t about personal liberty. We’re just about supporting oppression and abuse from small numbers of highly vocal and unrestrained people. Oh, and also the uber-capitalist overlords and billionaires who are herding them as their personal infantry in the war to convince us that rampant consumption and working tirelessly for a rich person are what make us truly American.

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