RESPONSIBLE FREEDOM


My political ideal may be summed up simply: responsible freedom. This calls for a particular attitude from both the system of government and the masses of people. If we are to have freedom at all, the guiding rule of government must be "hands off if possible"; if we are to have a responsible society, the citizens’ maxim must be "hands on is our right and duty." A trend in America I perceive as error is the willingness of both society and government to get the individual citizen "out of the loop." The people wish the government to do it all for them; the bureaucracy would like the people to stay out of matters so the system can work expediently without their interference. This is abdication of power by the citizen, and creation of opportunity for stagnation and corruption within the system.

The most severe tyranny is not of simple lust for power, but of those who are convinced control is their responsibility. Government should be neither permitted nor forced into the degrading and corruptible position of dictating and enforcing regulations intended to solve all the people’s problems for them. Rather should government be directed to demanding, enabling, and encouraging the citizens to take personal responsibility for the decisions and acts of their society. In a country which would be a democracy, it is wrong for both the people and the government to seek ways of getting the citizen out of political matters.

In democracy, refusal to take part in political action is an abdication of power, and an abandonment of responsibility. This is a time when those who would keep America free and also responsibly ordered must raise their voices and take a stand in the process which makes our liberty possible. The government should devote itself to defending and preserving the freedom of the people; given such freedom, the people should devote themselves to the common good. That is responsible freedom.

James Nathan Post