Welcome To My World, From The Democrat

Posted on April 27, 2010 by

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I’m the brother of the author of the Welcome to my world post and our stories are strangely similar but for one important difference; I was a Democrat.  I’ve always though of myself as an independent since I believe in voting for people and not really voting for parties, which smacks of a team sports mentality to me, an ‘Us Vs. Them” attitude that I don’t think has any place in politics or even day-to-day living. But I admit it, I always voted Democrat.

Democrats, to a young and naïve mind, wanted to help people. We’re never really taught economics in High School and so it made sense to me that you have some people who had everything in life go right for them and others where circumstances just didn’t pan out. Life is a big gamble and now that we’re swimming in abundance, it wouldn’t hurt to spread that out a bit.  I was always one of the better off, or figured that I would be, so I was always willing to make that sacrifice in order to help my fellow people. I heard news about deficits and debt, but who didn’t have debt? It wasn’t that it was allowable, it was normal. Debt was expected because everyone was in debt. I believe most people still think that and have no problem with skyrocketing debt levels with no way to pay them off. Everyone’s in that boat, so how bad could it be?

Once Bush was elected, I knew for a fact that I was not a Republican. Not really understanding the economic side (not that Bush did either) my focus was always on personal liberty. I was against the Patriot Act from the beginning and never believed that it was okay to invade other countries. What good would bombing civilians do? You could never really get rid of all the training camps since they’ll just move to another country (which has basically proven to be true.) We need to stop and repeal all of this madness and the best way to do that was to vote Democrat.

I actively participated in the campaigns for Kerry and Obama. For Obama,  if he won, he promised he would end the wars and stop the trampling of the legal rights for all people and reinstate one of humanity’s fundamental rights, Habeas Corpus. I lost one and won one, and then I realized what a horrible mistake had been made.

None of the promises Obama made were true. He broke every single one, from tax promises to promises over the war.  This was when I realized that the political process had broken.  Bush was for big government in controlling our personal liberties and Obama was for big government in controlling our personal liberties and everything else. The two-party system wasn’t giving us two options anymore, just two versions of the same thing.

When 2007 happened, I realized that something was fundamentally wrong with how the government was financially structured and that my strategy of “buy and hold” investing, something all financial “experts” told me was okay, most certainly was not okay. I thought I was smart financially but slowly realized that I was mislead and did not have a grasp on simple economic principles.

So I spent the next year studying up. Nothing really made logical sense to me until I read Mises On Money (PDF) and What Has Government Done To Our Money? It was a very simple explanation of how economies work and it all made sense. The authors even predicted the housing collapse even though they were written pre-1980. I also came to understand that personal freedom didn’t mean anything without economic freedom. As long as someone else controlled your money and it’s supply, you could never really control your life.

After this realization, I understood how excessive taxes, while they could be used to help those less fortunate, were really just a theft by the state, how lack of competition and inability for the people to “vote with their dollars” breeds incompetent and dysfunctional organizations, and how mismanaged entitlements will always lead to insolvency and bankruptcy. I also saw the evil of inflation, which is really a theft of the wealth of the elderly, the savers and low-income earners in this country, the very people who government says they’re trying to help.  If they were really trying to help, wouldn’t it have gotten better over the past 50 years?

I understood that most people who say they want to help people really want some else to help people. In accepting taxes and government spending as a part of daily life, I was supporting the theft of money from people who might not exactly agree with me and was actually hurting many of the people I wanted to help. The only true way to morally help anyone is to do it yourself and if I could keep more of my money instead of paying the taxes, we could get back to donating to charities and setting up community groups that would act as the social safety net and a community builder in its own right. The fact that government was so big that people used it to force their views and morals on other people was just a form of slavery by the majority and I wanted nothing to do with it.

If you really want to have freedom, you can’t give anyone power over you. Once you do, someone will abuse it. You might think that something like the Patriot Act won’t be abused by this or that president, but you’ve just allowed anyone to have that power over you until the day you die. If you support nationalized medicine or gay marriage bans and use the government to force that on everyone, you will probably have the opposite forced onto you in the future. And if you supported the force in the first instance, you can’t complain when it’s done back to you.

Between the Republicans and the Democrats, I now realize that there is no “Lesser of Two Evils”. The evil is giving up on personal and economic freedom and the only sane vote I can rationalize now is a vote for a candidate that believes that as well. I might not stay a Libertarian Party loyalist (who knows if they’ll start to stray in the future) but this next election cycle I refuse to throw my vote away anymore; I will be voting for Libertarian candidates.

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