Sunday, June 24, 2012

HARBESON; It’s all a matter of opinion

The Indiana Democratic Congressional Victory Committee is running a TV ad which includes this quote from Republican U.S. Senate candidate Richard Mourdock: “To me, the highlight of politics, frankly, is to inflict my opinion on someone else.”

The ad’s intent is to shock you, as if what Mourdock said is extreme and unusual. It’s not — Mourdock merely happened to state the truth out loud, that’s all. Inflicting opinions on other people is the entire purpose of gaining control of the government gun.

Do the Democrats really not understand this?

Of course Mourdock wants to inflict his opinions on others — that’s why he wants this government job. It’s also why Democrat Joe Donnelly, Libertarian Andrew Horning and Independent Jack Rooney would like the job. They all agree that government force is valid, but have differing opinions on the best way to use that force.

As soon as one of these candidates gets elected, he will begin to work hard to do what every other politician that ever existed has done: inflict his opinions on other people. You probably don’t mind and may even be happy, as long as you agree with the winner’s opinions.

But if you disagree — if you have a different opinion, then you do mind and this is why political groups are willing to spend a quarter of a million dollars for a 30 second advertisement.

The opinions of others don’t matter as much in our private lives. It’s true that we can be in situations where we may have to deal with another person’s opinion which differs from our own. For example, we might have a different opinion than our boss in how to perform an aspect of our job, but the difference in our daily voluntary interactions is that we are free to end any relationship if a difference of opinion becomes a problem.

We can also look at what I do here every week. I can’t inflict my opinion on you. I can only share it. I COULD WRITE IN ALL CAPS but this print version of yelling still wouldn’t mean I could inflict my opinion on you like politicians with power and control can.

When someone like me shares an opinion with you outside of government, you are in control. You get to consider the opinion and decide for yourself if you think it has any value and if you want to take any action regarding that opinion.

This even includes political ads. Candidates and their campaign staffs cannot inflict their opinions (unless they engage in voter fraud) — they can only share them like everyone else does while in the private realm. It’s only when one of the candidates wins that he gains the power and control to potentially inflict opinions.

We see this happening all around us, at every level of government. Here’s a list of examples where opinions are inflicted on you through politics: war and methods of fighting terrorism; entitlement programs; where you can smoke; who you can marry; various permit and licensing requirements; designating and protecting historic property; how many bridges to build across a river; whether you should pay tolls and how much the tolls should be and — what’s that?

Oh you’re right, that probably was like scratching my nails on a chalkboard. I’m sorry for inflicting so many examples on you at once. AT LEAST I DIDN’T WRITE THE LIST IN ALL CAPS.

Considering all of this evidence, the people who created this ad sure must have a low opinion of you and me if they think we’d actually believe that one candidate is any different than another when it comes to the desire to inflict opinions on others.


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