Being a liberal means accepting some truths that are somewhat unpleasant for us non-believers.
Plainly, they believe people should be free to make choices, unless they’re not making the right choices.
See the problem here?
Liberals believe the government ought to be the arbiter of how we live our lives. Presumably, this is the case because people tend to be bad at making their own decisions…at least that’s the way the left sees it.
On the other hand, the progressives and occupiers want more democracy, more freedom, more choice.
In true and direct democracy, the people decide nearly everything.
Representative democracy is about electing someone to represent you. It’s their job to convey the concerns of their constituents, but ultimately they make choices.
There are exceptions to this though in our representative democracy.
We call it a referendum. Not the rhetorical kind used in political posturing where a politician will say, “This election is a referendum on fiscal responsibility.”
That is a referendum in the loose sense.
In the official, government policy-forming sense, a referendum is a specific and direct piece of legislation to be voted on by the people.
Local governments use them mostly to approve tax increases for major projects like funding a baseball stadium or more teachers in a school district.
There’s something invigoratingly democratic about it.
Of course, there’s a danger as well. People can make dumb decisions, particularly in large groups.
But that’s how democracy works. We get to choose.
We chose Obama. He failed. That’s on us.
So when progressives demand more freedom, more democracy and a louder voice of the people, we assume they mean it.
Unless, of course, it produces an outcome they disagree with.
For instance, in North Carolina, the voters recently had a referendum on gay marriage. This was a vote, a true referendum to create a distinction of what “marriage,” means as it relates to state law.
In this case, it delineated the line as being between only a man and woman.
Basically, it was an anti-gay marriage referendum.
And guess what? The voters spoke.
Elections have consequences. You don’t have to agree with the outcome. That’s the beauty of democracy.
But the other beauty of democracy is majority rules. Democracy is so freeing, so fundamentally empowering because we get to pick the guidelines under which we are all to live.
It’s the very nature of the social contract: we give up certain rights to protect other rights. The rights we keep are just as important as those we give up.
For those who believe government has no business defining “marriage,” please consider that special protections, tax exemptions, and rights are granted to married couples. Very much on the contrary, government must define marriage otherwise they are left with non-specific laws.
Do I believe gay couples should have the same rights afforded to straight couples? Yes I do. But I only have one vote.
If I want to set policy, I have to be active in educating people, in advocating for a policy. I can’t just complain that a lot of people voted in a way I don’t like.
We all have to do our part to prevent the majority from making poor decisions. Our own vote is important. Helping others make an educated vote is just as important, if not more so to the fundamental nature of our democracy.
To our own freedoms.
But you can’t have it both ways like the left wants. You can’t say “Let us decide…unless the people who lose were really right.”
That’s not how democracy should work. Luckily, it’s not how our democracy does work.