By Theresa Camoriano
We currently are in a civil war in the United States. The differences between left and right are stark and cannot be bridged. The only good solution is for traditional American values to win. Contrary to the propaganda, that does not mean a return to slavery or Jim Crow. In fact, just the opposite is true. Traditional American values mean individual liberty and respect for every human being.
Traditional American values involve a “live and let live” approach in which the government interferes very little in your life. Your property rights, freedom of association, freedom of speech, freedom of religion, and freedom of contract are respected, so you are left in peace to live pretty much as you please, as long as you do not aggressively interfere with the similar rights of others. That is why people from all over the world have been able to successfully become Americans and to thrive in this country.
Unfortunately, the left rejects those values. Instead, it wants a large, powerful government that interferes in nearly every aspect of your life and forces you to do things its way. For example, if you have a bakery and do not want to bake a cake for a gay wedding, the left wants you to be punished – fined, bankrupted, and out of business. This approach promotes the confrontation and conflict of a police state, not the peaceful coexistence of a free people.
Traditional American values would respect the rights of the bakery owner and of the prospective customer by suggesting that the bakery owner should be free to turn down that business and the prospective customer should be free to go down the street to another bakery that will be happy to provide the desired service. This promotes peace and harmony among people with different views and lifestyles. Live and let live. Neither party can use government force to impose its will on the other.
The left regularly labels people with whom they disagree as “haters” and then uses that label as a justification for responding to the perceived “hate” with the use of aggressive force. This means there cannot be peace as long as there are people who disagree.
Traditional American values do not involve labelling people as haters or lovers and do not try to look into people’s hearts. Instead, they base their actions on what people actually do. As long as people are not aggressively harming other people or their property, they are left alone, regardless of what is in their hearts. Again, this approach promotes peaceful coexistence.
Traditional American values respect peaceful disagreement. They respect the right of people to speak their minds without being shouted down or physically attacked. They believe in persuasion, not coercion. Contrast that with the way leftists shout down people with whom they disagree and engage in riots, destroying private property, to shut down free speech.
There are two kinds of peace that can be achieved. If traditional American values win, there will be peaceful coexistence among people with a wide range of views and lifestyles. If leftist values win, there will be the peace of a police state, or the peace of the grave, in which all disagreement is silenced by force.
For the sake of future generations, I am rooting for traditional American values to win this civil war.
(Theresa Camoriano is a patent attorney in Louisville, KY.)
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