Dreams for a better world in this season of faith and hope
Saturday, December 20, 2014
By Beth Cody, Writers’ Group member
Iowa City Press-Citizen

 

As we enter the final days before Christmas, a time that celebrates the birth of the man whose life and ideas were among history’s greatest influences in increasing the dignity and worth of individual human lives, I’d like to list my hopes for continued progress toward freedom and dignity for all people ruled imperfectly by men:

I hope we will cease our continuous wars abroad and give up policing the world.

I hope we will permit the natural movement of people through immigration policies that uphold the natural right of humans to move at will.

I hope we can have the humble regard for our own abilities that recognizes that no one can be wise enough to make other adults’ decisions for them. The hubris necessary to go into politics leads to corruption and evil deeds that devalue individual humans.

I hope we will eventually cease to rely on politics to get things done or help people. We must persuade people to voluntarily join our efforts for improvement, not use government mandates to force them to do so.

I hope that all men and women who love each other will be able to publicly express that love through the ancient and honorable institution of marriage.

I hope that we will be able to reform our police departments to refrain from causing violent situations. Legislatures will need to decriminalize victimless “crimes” and to defund and prohibit militarization of police.

I hope lawmakers will simplify the laws of our land, so that people won’t inadvertently commit regulatory crimes and fall prey to power-hungry, gun-wielding bureaucrats.

I hope we can prevent direct government abuses of the people: eminent domain property transfers, police seizures of property without criminal conviction, and surveillance of law-abiding citizens.

I hope well-meaning people will realize that advocating theft of other people’s money, preventing people from peacefully buying what they want, and trying to stifle speech and ideas they don’t agree with are harmful, even if done in the name of religion, the environment, fairness or “for our own good.”

I hope we will disallow government the power to grant ever-longer monopolies that exploit the people through intellectual property rights laws. Information must travel freely for the people to be free.

I hope people will become more generous with their own money and less generous with other people’s money: charitable contributions, not theft from others through taxation. And those who feel workers should be paid more should start businesses and pay them more. We should give freely of our own time and money, but not believe that we know best what others should give. 

I hope businessmen and women will have the courage and honor to publicly fight destructive regulations that make us all poorer, not justify collaboration to ward off worse regulations, earn subsidies, and suppress competition.

I hope the law will become truly blind and just, no longer privileging some groups over others.

I hope for increased tolerance of others’ choices and opinions. While still fighting oppressive policies, we can make arguments in good faith that the other side is not deliberately trying to kill, impoverish or enslave the populace out of selfishness or evil character, but only holds different opinions about what most benefits the people.

I hope that we will recognize that feelings of grievance and entitlement are manifestly unhealthy and should not be encouraged by society and law, and that they do not give us the right to exploit others for our own needs.

I hope government will stop trying to help us by thwarting the sources of prosperity and liberty, and will allow economic opportunities to flourish.

Christmas is a time of faith and hope, and I hope that the flaws and injustices in our nation will eventually be recognized for what they are and righted. I have faith in the basic goodness of man and his fitness and natural right to govern himself, as did the man whose birth we celebrate this week.