Editors note: The following is posted on behalf of Robert Dean, who, being a Mac user, has not been up the the complexity of registering as an author directly
What is Libertarianism and what does it have to do with a ban on smoking in restaurants? Perhaps Senators Blevins, Stolle and Wagner need to be asked that question. Today, they joined members of the House in passing SB 1105 – the smoking ban. Not a single Chesapeake, Norfolk, Portsmouth or Virginia Beach member of the House or Senate voted against the bill.
I don’t smoke nor drink, but I certainly do respect the rights of others to exercise their right to free-will decisions. If I go into a restaurant or other places of business that allow smoking, I usually speak out and tell the owner of my displeasure. I then vote with my feet. And my money.
There are times when I have to make decisions that expose me to second-hand smoke, and those times are confined to watching a Pittsburgh Steelers game in a bar when they aren’t scheduled to be shown on local TV. But that is my choice, and my choice alone, and I don’t want members of the General Assembly sticking their noses or any other part of their bodies into my business or into the business of any private business owner; I consider that a restraint of trade.
I’m offended that my right to dissent has been taken away by some granny-government types like Ken Stolle and his sidekick, Frank Wagner. Frank, you really disappointed me on this one. After all, you attended the U.S. Naval Academy where you must have read the United States Constitution; you did take an oath to uphold it, didn’t you? Or did you have your fingers crossed?
If Senators Stolle, Wagner and Blevins wish to offer citizens a smoke-free, dining-drinking establishment, then they should open one. That might take the extra time off their hands as they continue, like good little republican socialists that they are, trying to rule other people’s lives. The same applies to every single member of the House from Virginia Beach.
Libertarianism is a political philosophy that holds that a person should be free to do whatever he wants in life, as long as his conduct is peaceful. Thus, as long a person doesn’t murder, rape, burglarize, defraud, trespass, steal, or inflict any other act of violence against another person’s life, liberty, or property, libertarians hold that the government should leave him alone. In fact, libertarians believe that a primary purpose of government is to prosecute and punish anti-social individuals who initiate force against others.
People should be free to engage in any economic enterprise without permission or interference from the state. Thus, libertarians oppose all occupational licensure laws and all economic regulations of business activity. Libertarians also believe that people have the right to keep whatever they earn and decide for themselves what to do with their own money–spend it, invest it, save it, hoard it, or donate it.
This then means, necessarily, that libertarians are ardent advocates of the free market, which is simply a process by which people are interacting peacefully with each other for mutual gain.
With the tragic exception of slavery and several minor exceptions, the philosophy on which the United States was founded was, by and large, founded on libertarianism, especially with the ideas in the Declaration of Independence and the limitation on government’s powers in the Constitution.
In 1890 America, for example, the following government programs were virtually nonexistent: income taxation, Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, economic regulation, occupational licensure, a Federal Reserve System, conscription, immigration controls, and gun control.
It seems senators Stolle, Wagner and Blevins and their ilk in the House abandoned libertarianism in favor of the socialistic welfare state and a controlled or regulated society. Where are the Republicans when the Republic needs them? Not in Virginia.
Robert K. Dean
Tidewater Libertarian Party