Letters to the Editor

Columnist uses faulty logic in ‘liberty’ view

Liberty is in eye of those willing to see.

The last paragraph of Issac Bailey’s July 4 column, “Liberty remains in eye of beholder”, perfectly sums up the attitude of much of today’s “entitlement” citizenry -- “Liberty is whatever I like or ‘benefits me’….” That certainly seems to be Mr. Bailey’s philosophy. It surely is the carrot that an ever-expanding monolithic central government uses to coerce acceptance and votes of a growing cadre of ill-informed and under-educated citizenry.

Bailey’s faulty logic would not pass muster at a middle school debate, much less a university setting. Why is it logical to conclude that those disagreeing with the Supreme Court’s health care ruling in fact support state seat belt laws? Or, think “all” drivers must buy auto (liability) insurance? Neither state requirement, unlike Obamacare, is mandatory if one does not drive or own a car. Furthermore, seat belt laws do restrict personal freedom. It is foolish, even dangerous, to drive unbuckled, but what makes it the state’s business to stop people from making stupid decisions about their own personal safety?

Undoubtedly, Bailey’s pat response would be that if they are injured that would “impose” the cost of their care on all of us (society). Why is this so if they have their own medical insurance, can actually afford to pay for their own treatment or could (God forbid) actually be held personally accountable for the costs incurred? Taxpayers would only be collectively responsible for their irresponsibility under a socialized medical system, something I’m sure Mr. Bailey and the government would vehemently maintain is not the current situation at all.

Irrespective of any verbal virtuosity to the contrary, socialization of personal irresponsibility is the concept that our culture now seems to embrace – and with it all manner of laws mandating behavior inimical to personal liberty.

Likewise the fact that Myrtle Beach government’s collusion with the Chamber of Commerce to tax visitors and local residents for promoting private local business and subsidizing Myrtle Beach property taxes, is not a valid justification for a federal government control grab of one-sixth of the US economy. One pernicious local government action is not an argument that justifies an even more egregious government abridgment of personal liberty.

Similarly, Bailey’s canard about the Charleston/Boeing incentives being further support for ever greater government intrusions for the ‘greater good’ is again just using one faulty means to justify an even worse end – the equivalent of the old school yard taunt, when losing an argument, of “so’s yer old man”.

Indeed, even Bailey’s allusion to the Founders grave gyrations shows his complete misunderstanding of how far from founding principles our culture has moved. So-called compassionate and good ends do not justify any of the extra-constitutional means now apparently countenanced by our elites -- nor can any kind of verbal virtuosity and faulty logic construe them to be contained in our Constitution.

A famous quote of James Madison illustrates this perfectly: In 1794, when Congress appropriated $15,000 for relief of French refugees who fled from insurrection in San Domingo to Baltimore and Philadelphia, James Madison stood on the floor of the House to object saying, “I cannot undertake to lay my finger on that article of the Constitution which granted a right to Congress of expending, on objects of benevolence, the money of their constituents.” -- James Madison, 4 Annals of congress 179 (1794).

The writer lives in Conway