Freedom to be an adult
Frank J. hits one out of the park.
The freedom enjoyed by a child:
Food, shelter — all the important day-to-day stuff — is handled for you. You are left to do as you please throughout most of the day, and while there are a few things you are forced to do, such as go to school and eat your vegetables, these are inarguably for your betterment. There are few real worries when the necessities of survival are guaranteed by your parents, who allow you to be content and carefree. In a way, that’s true freedom.
But it comes with a price:
People get to order you around, and who really knows how qualified they are to make decisions for you? And if they do make poor decisions or fail you, you have no recourse, since you’re just a child. You are stuck in whatever horrible situation others decide for you. It can be the worst kind of tyranny
There is another kind of freedom in being an adult:
As an adult, you always have other options. You can make your own decisions, and if something doesn’t work out, you can try something else. Your options are unlimited, and no other person can hold you down and tell you what to do. That would seem to be real freedom.
But it also comes at a price:
Food and shelter are your own responsibilities, and bills need to be paid or you end up starving and on the street. Though left to make your own choices, you can easily make foolish ones, and no one is there to stop you from making them. Your whole life is now in your own hands, and if you tried living as carefree as a child, your house and your job and everything you own would soon be gone.
Frank J. goes on to say that that both conservatives and liberals treasure freedom, but they seem to treasure it differently:
The liberals wonder, if you don’t have health care or food or a place to live — and if some privately held company can fire you at any moment and remove your livelihood — how can you be free? And they wonder why we would let ourselves be oppressed by such worries when we have the means and the government to take care of them. Conservatives, on the other hand, look at liberal ideas with great fear, knowing such guarantees by the government will come with restrictions, and if the government fails to deliver what it promises or does it poorly, there’s nothing to be done about it, because there are no other options. How can you be free if the government controls so much of your life and limits the choices available to you?
Ah, but here’s the rub; the liberals don’t see themselves as the children, but rather as the parents who have to take care of the rest of us:
People don’t pass laws against trans fats because they’re afraid they themselves will eat unhealthily otherwise; those types of laws are for everyone else the liberals feel they need to forcefully parent for their own good. While the adult freedoms are freedoms we want for ourselves, the child freedoms are mainly inflicted on others we imagine need our control for their own betterment.
Frank does point out that conservatives sometimes lapse into this sort of view as well:
Conservatives have some social views that seem like the parent controlling the behavior of the child…
Ultimately, this is the difference between the visions for the future of the country, are we going to be adults, or are we going to be children?
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