Freedom to Be Young

There are many things I want to say, I’ve got these thoughts spilling out, I’m trying to keep them from running away. So this might turn out to be a rather messy blog post, my apologies.

1) I want to say that it is very fascinating to be so “into” this whole freedom movement at such a young age. Since I was attending tea parties at age 15, I was able to figure out where I stood on issues much earlier than others. But more importantly, it has given me the time and opportunity to develop my thinking. I haven’t needed to commit my whole career/life to any particular philosophy. I was open-minded enough to explore different ideas. I had the time to read, study, research, and think about what all these things meant. It has been a topsy-turvy few years, but I feel like I’m getting things straightened out at last.

It is slightly confusing to have memories of 9-11, remembering how much I hated those wicked terrorists on that day, but then 5 years later contemplating the idea that 9-11 wasn’t what they told us it was. It is a little disorienting to remember cheering then Presidential Candidate George Bush in the debates, not realizing that he would betray my “conservative” values by signing the Patriot Act and would become responsible for a myriad of other atrocities against our nation and other countries.

When you’re young, people give you allowance. If I were 40 and decided one day to become a voluntaryist and forsake my conservative values…well, let’s just say, people would be skeptical. It just isn’t something that you’d do at that age.

Maybe it means that people don’t necessarily take me serious. Perhaps they just smile behind their hand and say, “oh, poor girl, she doesn’t know up from down. One day she’s conservative, the next she’s liberal.” And that’s okay, I can certainly understand the sentiment, that’s probably how it appears to many people.

What made me strike out on this subject was an article I just read about how we should stop voting. By voting, we are giving our consent to the political system. We are agreeing to play their game. We are saying that the system is legitimate. It really is a convincing argument. But it made me remember something I said a couple years ago. I was boasting of my political interest and commitment. I said that when I turned 18, I would rather register to vote than get my driver’s license. Granted, looking back on it now, in a way, both of these actions (voting for which master you’d like to have or asking permission to drive a vehicle) is giving consent to the government. But back then, I thought it would be infinitely better to vote, to have my voice heard, to participate in the glorious system of democracy, than just drive a car.

I have to say…wow, did I have it mixed up. At least when you get your driver’s license, you get to do something useful and productive. All you get when you vote is a new master and a little sticker declaring your patriotism on Voting Day.

So while I’m not looking forward to going down to the government building and groveling for permission to drive, it definitely beats groveling on my knees, begging for a slave-master who will steal a little less from me.

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