A Libertarian Perspective December 2015

Santa Claus is coming to town! Maybe. My wife and I have seven grandchildren, and some of the older ones have been influenced by the naysayers at school, to the point that a mention of Santa by the younger ones brings on winks and rolled eyes. I knew it would happen sooner or later, although I must admit I was pulling for later, and grandchildren certainly make Christmas a lot more fun, regardless of what they believe.

I know we don’t all believe the same things, and I know sometimes we change what we believe. Back at Millville Grade School, my old Buddy Stinky Wilmont believed he could predict the severity of the upcoming winter by the amount of black hair on a wooly worm. Of course, we all knew how silly that was. Max Hiatt up north of Mooreland was about the only guy around who could do that. But nobody said too much to Stinky about it, because it didn’t really matter what he thought, and we knew how to get ahold of Max if we needed to.

Stinky also believed you could ward off arthritis if you carried a buckeye around in your left pants pocket. We had some buckeye trees in our woods, so I always gathered some up in the fall, both to pass out as gifts, and to make sure I always had one to carry myself. I believe it worked for 60 years or so, but here lately my knees have started aching pretty bad. I don’t believe buckeyes nowadays are as good as they used to be.

Sometimes people worry about what some people believe more than they worry about what other people believe at other times. Most of the time I don’t worry about what other people believe, as long as they don’t try to force their beliefs on me, and as long as they let me believe what I want to believe, even if they don’t believe it.

Right now, there’s a bunch of people who are trying to get nominated so one of them can get elected to be our president. Most of them are practicing Christians, (although some may be practicing more than others), which historically is a good thing if you want to get elected. A report from Pew Research last year showed that a majority of Americans would be less likely to vote for a presidential candidate who doesn’t believe in God. But one of the candidates found himself on the hot seat when he stated he believed in Creationism. Apparently there is a limit on what you’re allowed to believe, even if you’re a Christian.

Now, like I said, I don’t really worry about what people believe, as long as they leave other people alone. I do tend to worry about what they believe if they won’t leave other people alone. So far, every candidate out there believes they have some pre-existing claim to your income and property. They believe they know better than you how you should handle your retirement and your healthcare, and they believe they know better than you which people and what nations are worthy of your charity. They also believe it’s alright to use the force of government to make sure you do what they believe.

That worries me.

Rex Bell is a Wayne County Libertarian that writes a monthly column on events that shape our lives from a libertarian point of view. He is also the author of "Stinky Shorts", available at www.StinkyShorts.com .If you have a comment or question on a particular subject, you can e-mail him at [email protected] or snail-mail him at 17059 State Road 38, Hagerstown.

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