04 marzo 2007

Persuade me, don't push me

Por Richard A. Cheatham*

The Free Liberal

You may have a personal crusade or two about which you feel passionate. Wonderful! They help give life meaning. I obviously have them too.

No doubt, you want other people to jump onboard your bandwagons with you, advancing common goals together. I feel the same way about my passions and projects. If, however, you want my support for your crusades, persuade me, don’t push me.
All humans feel this way, at least humans worth respecting. It’s natural to prefer a person respect your personal liberty and your ability to make your own judgements as opposed to them pushing you and telling you what you must or must not do. That’s nothing more nor less than classic human nature!

Global warming, animal rights, a “living wage,” discouraging smoking, charity for classical music, education…I don’t care what your passion is, if it’s truly worthy, you won’t need to push. By “pushing,” I mean using the coercive mechanism of the state; its laws, regulations, prohibitions, condemnations, confiscations and redistributions that represent the only methods available to the state.

Far too many people act as though they don’t care a whit about their fellow man and justify their pushy, aggressive government methods by claiming their particular crusade is so darned important, so much more important than the values and goals of other people, that they must use the force, threats and confiscation of government. “It’s an emergency! Everyone bow to me. Me, me, me! My needs and desires are important. Yours are not.”

I suggest the real and greatest emergency in our world today is precisely that so many people rely upon government to do their will, to get their way, to oppress their neighbors. Governments in the 20th century killed hundreds of millions of people “helping some” while harming others, far more than any other pseudo-emergency (often designed to benefit some special interest at the expense of everyone else). Frederic Bastiat said it best, “The state is the great fiction by which everybody tries to live at the expense of everybody else.”

Make your “emergency” my “emergency” if you can by logic and persuasion, but don’t force it on me through government laws and taxation. I can be much more useful to you as a friend than as an enemy. Whether or not I support your project has everything to do with the quality of your argument and whether or not you push me. I don’t need any more threats, arm twisting and/or manipulation. Keep your laws and expensive and brutal government “solutions” off me.

If you push me I’m telling you, I’m going to resist and push back. Do your homework! Convince me if you want my support, but get your bully boys to pull their guns on me and you’ll get something you don’t want from me…and it won’t be my eager support.

*©2007 by Richard A. Cheatham. All rights reserved. Mr.Cheatham is a professional speaker/writer and is syndicated through Press Media Group, LLC. Contact him through, Living History Assoc., Ltd., at www.LHALtd.com or DrawBackVeil@aol.com

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