When a person studies US history, they are bound to come across information about not just pilgrims... but puritans as well. The same struggles have existed throughout the lifespan of our nation. The struggle between those who believe in their right to live their chosen lives in peace and those who strongly desire to control others is as old as time itself.
Today in our country, the conflict continues. Everyone wants to live their life the way they choose, however there are still many that want you to live as they tell you to live. Like your body does not belong to you. Still, in the land of the free, marriage equality is a hot issue. Prostitution is mostly illegal nationwide. Drug possession and personal use of substances that others deem immoral will still land a person in prison, thus ruining your life to save your life. Even the simple act of not wearing a seat belt, a personal choice, can cost you economic losses, and if the wrong law enforcement representative sees you without a seat belt, it can even end your life.
It seems like we are all on a huge hamster wheel, with half of us wanting to live our lives in peace, and the other half chasing us around forcing us to live our lives the way they want us to. Does this sound like freedom to you?
Many of us agree that the only purpose of government is to protect our security and our liberties. Security should be defined by outside threats.. not consequences of personal choices that affect no one but the person making the choice. So looking at the UK, a largely socialist entity, one might not expect a country which promulgates so much government control of everything to actively legislate that which should actually be addressed... human rights and the people's protection from government!
In 1998, the UK passed and later implemented the Human Rights Act of 1998. That act includes many articles which dovetail with our bill of rights, with one interesting inclusion: Article 8: Respect for your private and family life. Article 8 protects your right to respect for your private life, your family life, your home and your correspondence. I cannot speak to the likely myriad offenses that the UK has likely committed to this article, but what I find interesting is that the intent of the UK Parliament was to protect their citizens from the others chasing them on the Hamster wheel.
Here in the baseball, hot dogs and apple pie USA, where our flag stands for freedom... we do not have these protections. The natural question is... why not? We have cameras everywhere. We have people harassed daily for their personal and family choices. Certainly our correspondence is not respected in any way, shape or form. There is always a special reason provided by our government to give up our liberties. The Patriot Act... The NSA... 9/11... all the way down to Seat Belt Laws.
I believe that it is time to re-focus our legislators toward the real purpose of government. Something the UK at least noticed and decided to memorialize. As Ben Franklin so wisely stated centuries ago, “ Those who give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety”. While the circumstances and context was not an exact match to the surveillance society of today, his words were absolutely on point.
The root of our declining liberty is a combination of rhetoric from politicians which instill fear and panic in the people, combined with the desires of modern day puritans who want others to live by their moral and or religious codes.
Hats off to the UK for memorializing Article 8 of the Human Rights Act. I encourage the USA to follow suit, and stand by their associated promise to protect our liberties from our governement... fear or no fear. We cannot stop the desires of puritans to control the personal lives of others, but we can most certainly stop the government from sanctioning their goals via legislation and enforcement.
The time is now to take a hard look at the laws, regulations, and activities of government sponsored enforcers. Re-evaluate the need for laws and regulations that hamper our personal liberties. Should a crime be required to have a victim? I think so. My guess is that the founding fathers might have felt pretty much the same.
I propose the following act (only partially in jest):
Hamster wheel act of 2016
We, the people of the United States of America, hereby affirm that we will disembark from the Hamster Wheel and pay attention to how we live our lives, leaving the life choices of others that do not adversely impact our lives to them. We require that our government perform their constitutionally promulgated responsiblities.. no more and no less. The constitution is re-affirmed with the caveat that there are penalties for government violations of the constitution against the people. This includes barring any legislator or government official from violating the right of the people by either directly or indirectly disrespecting your private life, your family life, your home and your correspondence.
It would be nice to keep them out of your business life as well...