Fear is the staunchest and eternal ally of tyranny, and sowing division is the surest way to scare people.
Today, many Americans are not motivated by the candidate they vote for, but rather by fear of the candidate they oppose. As politicians push for division to gain more power, libertarians should work to unite Americans against authoritarianism.
Division is the fuel that fuels tyranny; feeding it will only starve the freedom movement.
Discussions of the “national divorce” have multiplied as Americans are separated by political issues aimed at making them afraid of “the other”.
The occasion for libertarians at this time is not to celebrate divisions but rather to remind Americans of the principles that inspired the creation of government; these allow people of very different beliefs to peacefully coexist together.
It’s time to have a broader discussion about why national divorce is not a pro-freedom solution. Fundamentally, for any change in the structure of government to be pro-freedom, it must move us forward towards more individual freedom, not away from it.
The real political divide is not between red and blue states, but between rural and urban areas which often have very different values and lifestyles. Although in many ways they are opposites, they are materially dependent on each other.
Libertarians offer an alternative to the current discourse by saying that lines should not be drawn between people who disagree, but lines should be drawn between people and their government. Decentralization of power is a good thing, decentralization of people banding together to restrict power is a bad thing.
Some say people have the right to live with whatever gun, tax, and immigration laws they want, and that a nationwide divorce would reduce “forced associations.” But it is a total rejection of libertarianism, which believes that human rights are universal and should be protected.
The idea that these new governments created by a national divorce would obtain appropriate consent to take away an individual’s rights is without proof. The decrease in the electoral population does not make the restriction of people’s rights any more acceptable. Libertarians completely reject the idea that when 51 out of 100 votes to take away your rights, it is more acceptable for 501 out of 1000 to vote to take away your rights. Your rights always belong to you.
The libertarian solution allows the localization of choices for politicians and leaders without removing the rights protections provided by the federal government.
This allows us to ensure that people, regardless of their beliefs, can freely trade with each other, travel, buy and sell goods, enter into contracts, speak freely and anything else that consenting people who possess themselves can do without harm. to others, while also being protected by law.
Libertarians should not argue for a national divorce with messages like “people have the right to oppress themselves” or “they don’t have the right to be free.” We should be an unapologetic voice reminding people that natural rights are universal and not granted by any piece of paper or government.
Libertarians offer the only non-authoritarian option, where individual freedom is paramount, not collected money and the power of interest groups. Libertarianism is not pro-localized statism, it is a rejection of all statism. A national divorce leading to multiple separate fragments of the old United States would only further embolden the authoritarians of the Democratic and Republican parties.
There is an argument for secession, but it must serve the purposes of protecting and promoting individual liberty. National Divorce does the opposite.
Our message should be in stark contrast to what is being said to the rest of the country. While Republicans and Democrats focus on increasing division and fear among Americans, Libertarians have an opportunity to show America the best version of itself.
A version of America held together by our shared belief in the natural rights enumerated in our Declaration of Independence and our Constitution, which have survived for the past two and a half centuries as other countries around the world dissolved or are collapsed.
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This piece expresses the opinion of the author only and not necessarily the organization as a whole. Students For Liberty is committed to facilitating a broad dialogue for freedom, representing a variety of opinions.