by John Snyder, The Burning Platform:
I did not always feel this way. I started out as a democrat, and voted for Michael Dukakis in 1988 – the first presidential election I was eligible to vote for. My allegiance to the democratic party did not last long, and by the next presidential election cycle I was solidly in the republican camp. In the early 2000s I had my first conversation with someone whose politics – I now understand – can only be described as libertarian. It would be the beginning of my conversion away from establishment republicanism.
I remember unsettling questions generally about why the government needed to have authority over us and why it needed to have a monopoly on this power. I was not able to give a satisfactory answer – I had never thought much about the issue previously. The best I could do was say something along the lines of “its always been this way” or “I cant imagine life any other way” or “how will society function without a central government that has authority over us?” These are not uncommon answers for someone who hasn’t considered basic questions about the moral basis for authority.
My inability to imagine life any other way or to envision how a society might function in the absence of an authority only reflected my own shortcomings – my own lack of imagination and vision. “Because its always been this way” is fatalism – the idea that your future is preordained and you are powerless to do much about it.
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