Fri, Jan. 17

Letter: Freedom means tolerating people with other points of view


As a longtime student of early American history and law, and a proud descendant of pioneers who settled in America and Arizona before either formal government was formed, I have a different take on all this “love it or leave it” nonsense.

My ancestors were fierce and free and did not lightly submit to any master. When one of their English kings got too out of control, they put a sword to his throat and extracted Magna Carta.

In Germany, peasants revolted, and in the U.S. and France, the people became revolutionaries, fighting against the extremes of government, and seeking to bring their governments under popular control.

Another couple hundred of years might tell us if we have succeeded or not. The point is that even citizens who become revolutionaries fighting against their own government, well, they still love their country, that ‘s what they are fighting for.

The Constitution was created by The People as Masters and the government as servants. “That all power is naturally vested in, and consequently derived from the People; that Magistrates are their Trustees and Agents, and at all Times amenable to them.” - George Mason, “Draft for A National Bill of Rights,” The World of the Founding Fathers, Ed. Saul Padover, 1960.

If you are cop think about it: would you shoot your boss? We The People are your boss and you are our servants. Since when do servants tell the masters how to think or feel? Behavior can be regulated, obviously, but my heart and my mind belong exclusively to me. NO ONE tells me who I love and who I hate except me, myself, and I.

Only individuals who express love towards me will get love in return. Why waste love on billions of people who do not care about you? Collectives cannot love or hate, but they can kill with efficiency and impunity.

Only fascists and communists demand absolute, unconditional love and obedience to governments. I am neither a fascist nor a communist and will never submit to either system.

Love it or leave it? I will feel however I want about government, love it, hate it, whatever. I sure don’t take orders from you people, no more than you take orders from me.

The inner workings of an individual’s heart are sovereign territory and should be respected as such. No one has any right to dictate to another citizen how they should feel or think about anything, including their own country.

Freedom means tolerating people with other points of view, not trying to force them into your point of view.

Matthew Holmes Clarkdale

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