Get Moving

“Today’s kids are lazy”. This oft heard phrase is common among parents, grandparents, and generally anybody old enough to remember being told to go play outside. You can look around and see that children, and their adult counterparts, are glued to screens. Phones, tablets, TV’s, computers, laptops, or the new virtual reality sets. Even google tried to make a screen you could wear.

Is it really that bad? Technology boosts our standard of living and makes life more comfortable, this is undeniable. Do we sacrifice our bodies for the sake of using the latest technology? What about our kids? Childhood obesity has skyrocketed, not entirely due to lack of exercise, but it has had an effect. Our society has started to feed kids junk and let them sit and do nothing, that is how we get lazy children without the drive to do anything and without the health to accomplish anything of note.

Now I hear what you are saying, you don’t need to be physically fit to accomplish something of note. This is true but newly published studies coming out are starting to show a definitive link between increased physical activity and brain development. If physical activity improves brain function, why not encourage it?

I am not saying that your kids need to be outside doing wind sprints or gearing up for football. If they are less inclined to play sports then get them in nature. Are they interested in biology, astronomy, meteorology, botany, or hiking? these are all things that can get children outside and move. Want something a bit more fun? Go geocaching, hiking to interesting points, go to a park, make them play outside and use their imagination. As for the last one, you should get out there with them and play also. What better way to bond than to be outside in the sun and having a good time? Do you have one that is in love with the screen? Go hiking and take pictures, geocaching, play Pokemon Go, make them earn their screen time by getting up and moving.

Along with just getting them moving, try and make it outside. Most of what I suggested above is outdoor activities. This was on purpose. While rough-housing is fine, you should try and get outside as often as possible. You can save money this way by not having to run the AC or heater as much, and you get some fresh air and sunshine.

Physical activity is not just great for brain development but also great at strengthening the body and immune system. A good cardiovascular condition is a strong predictor of the risk of developing heart disease and type 2 diabetes. With this, little children need lots of physical activity to develop gross and fine motor skills like grabbing, running, balancing, squatting among others. Let them run around barefoot if you are able. The feet are full of nerves and tell the brain so much about the world and how to adjust the foot as to avoid pain. This promotes good healthy feet and protects against getting bunions later in life. A weird subject I know but most shoes push the big toe towards the middle of the foot creating bunions. Not only is this painful but it effects balance as well.

It is important that even though our children might not need to be the strongest, fastest or most physically gifted person, they should still be physically fit so to be able to utilize the gifts they do have. Helping them cultivate their physical body will have a lasting impact, not only on their intellect but on their health for the remainder of their life.

Indoctrination for Liberty!

As parents, our greatest roles are to educate our children, help them build character, and get them ready for life in the real adult world. Educating our children, even for those of us who value liberty and critical thinking, tends to be more indoctrination than actual education.

This is something many of us struggle with, even if we do not think we do it, it happens to some extent or another. We might not even realize that it is happening. Can we educate our children without indoctrinating? Do we so strongly believe in the ideas of liberty that we would indoctrinate rather than teach how to think for themselves?

The obvious answer, to me and others, is that we would rather our children think for themselves rather than simply believing what we say. We should encourage our children to question everything they read, see, and hear. They should seek to prove all things. Don’t just believe the minimum wage causes job loss because they read it but guide them on where to find out why this happens. Instead of forcing them to read Mises, guide them through the different philosophies of economics and help them evaluate the arguments. Letting them work through these problems by themselves and just offering guidance rather than giving them the answer you think is right will do much more for them than simply making them read Rothbard’s essay “Anatomy of the State”.

What would happen if we don’t push these ideas?

This is a common objection I hear. The issue is using authoritarian means to expose children to the ideas of liberty. If you follow your child’s passion, you can guide the discussion to subjects on based on your child’s passion. Your child might like the movie Zootopia. You can, if your child is mature enough, guide the discussion on affirmative action. This gives you the chance to explain what it is and then help guide the discussion. You can guide your child in a logical manner to where it leads. There is no need to tell the child that the government doing this is a horrible idea and that it should be opposed at all cost. This does, however, allow you to point out the consequences of these policies. This could lead into a further discussion on the broader subject of government intervention. Let your children think these through to their conclusion and you  might be surprised how well they take to liberty.

Should we avoid this? It could help build a more free society.

I value a free society more than most. With that being said, we should focus on getting our children to question rather than accept information from an authority figure. This just gives us the same type of people we have now with a slightly less inclination towards authoritarianism. This does lend itself to authoritarianism, though. If the children do not grow to learn how to think for themselves and how to question and weigh arguments to see what is a good one and which is bad, then they can easily be swayed toward accepting something less than liberty. The ability to think and liberty are similar to the family and society. The family is of more importance than is society but both are valuable to humanity.

How to avoid indoctrinating your child.

This is a difficult one. The only answer I really have is to guide your children rather than preach to them. Guide them and live out your principles. Show them in real life the Non-aggression-principle. When they have a question, try not to answer it but show them the steps to figure it out themselves. How will this look in practice will be different for every parent as every child is different and every parent know best how to handle their children. Let children help other children. This goes a long way in the child learning, both of them, and helps them work on their social skills. This is especially true when it is children of different age ranges. These interactions will provide all children involved the ability to think for themselves in groups of various age ranges, also hone the skills of conflict resolution without aggression if possible.

Should we ever push our principles on our children? I think it will inevitably happen no matter what. We can limit it though so our child’s education is not just a different form of indoctrination. A dear friend of mine once told me, and I am sure I’ll butcher this quote, “ Shawn, if your child can think for themselves and turns out to be a socialist, you will have to love him anyway”. I laughed at first but she was right. What matters is that they can think for themselves, not what I force them to believe.

Parenting for Voluntaryists

Many voluntaryists feel conflicted when it comes to raising children. The biggest issue is feeling authoritarian when setting rules for your children and issuing punishments when these rules are violated. As voluntbdb4084a23aryists, we believe that mature adults are perfectly capable of interacting peacefully absent any authority. So, it’s understandable that we can feel a little hypocritical when we act as an authority to our own children.

From my perspective, the basis of voluntaryism is natural rights. In fact, I would argue the very basis of humanity is our natural rights and our ability to comprehend equality. If you’ve read my other posts, you’ve probably figured out by now that I love talking about natural rights. The concept and its simplicity make complete sense to me. I found myself even more enthused about the subject after reading John Locke’s The Second Treatise on Government. Locke’s explanation of property rights is outstanding. It’s easy to see how his writings influenced Thomas Jefferson, Alexander Hamilton, and other U.S. founding fathers.

I bring up this book because in Chapter 6: Of Paternal Power, Locke’s explanation of the role parent’s play in the development of a free child made a lot of sense to me. We, including our children, are all created equal with equal rights. Parenting is as natural as our rights. Children instinctively latch to a parental figure and adults instinctively want to provide care and protection for children (even children they do not know). However, to function as any sort of society, we must recognize our own equality and know how to use our rights responsibly. This is where parenting plays a huge role.

As parents, we are responsible for ensuring our children grow up to peacefully interact with others. This will require setting some boundaries for children and executing reasonable consequences when they are crossed. I have found that explaining violations to my children and suggesting alternative actions for future situations is rather effective. These conversations usually involve explaining how their actions affect others in an unfair way. This doesn’t produce immediate results, but consistency will eventually influence them to consider peaceful, responsible actions during their day to day activities.

All of this is not to justify a totalitarian regime in your home. Kids will be kids, and allowing them to be free outside of reasonable boundaries allows them to learn on their own. Keep the rules and consequences understandable, justifiable, and consistent and children will easily oblige.

Originally posted on Here

3 Ways to teach good behavior

Parenting is a tough gig, as many of you know. And it doesn’t help that everyone seems to have an opinion. As libertarians (small L) you’d think we would relish the thought of everyone specializing and finding solutions that are right for their own children. But if you spend any time on forums, listening to podcasts, watching videos, or reading blogs you’ll find that even liberty minded parents are not exempt from the trenches of the mommy/daddy wars. A simple post about buying a car seat for your kids can turn into cries of “abuse!” or “neglect!” In fact just the other day in a discussion about raising your children in the faith, my simple admission that I pray with my children daily and take them to church weekly was met with cries of “you’re just a brainwashed statist! Don’t you know that ALL the evil in the world was caused by religious people!” I’m not much of an apologist so I will leave that aside for now. What I want to leave you with is 3 principles for liberty minded parents.

1. Lead by Example

Kids learn by example. They model everything that you do. If you don’t think they are watching, you are mistaken. And like Horton’s law they are more likely to remember ALL of the bad things and forget the good things. So setting a good example really is the key here and it starts with how you treat your kids. It doesn’t matter where you come down on the spank/not-to-spank debate there are ways to do and not do it that really stick with your kids. If your method of punishment includes yelling at them like a drill sergeant because they didn’t make their bed or finish their dinner; then for better or for worse your kid is going to learn that method and will put it to use with his friends and family in the future. If you like books, share that love of books with them by reading bedtime stories and also read a book by yourself so the kids can see. Those moments are going to stick with them. Just the other day I started reading “The Phantom Tollbooth” with my kids. Just one chapter a night, but now when I get home they eagerly bring me “The Dog Book.” (They call it this because there is a dog on the cover.) It doesn’t take once-in-a-lifetime trips to Disney Land or even fancy birthday parties to model good behavior, it just takes being a good person. Follow the NAP as much as you can and treat everyone with respect. Do that, and your kids will notice.

2. Make decisions and act

So often we are plagued with decision fatigue. Every day there are thousands of decisions to make and millions of answers. In a day with Google, smartphones, and Siri it is easy to get stuck in this endless feedback loop and never actually make a decision. I’ve often heard it said that one of the biggest issues people face today is “the curse of knowledge.” That is the belief that there is always something you need to learn before you make a decision. While I don’t want to discourage a lifelong pursuit of knowledge, sometimes you just have to act. Rather than Googling “ways to teach your kids the fun of Frisbee Golf” just throw them in the car and take them. They might have a terrible time or you might have just found a new hobby to share with them. You’re going to run into a lot less decision fatigue and your kids are going to notice you taking bold actions and are going to remember that when it’s time for them to make decisions. “Should I invest in starting this business or just keep building my savings?” “Should I marry this woman or that woman?” Those are much bigger decisions to be sure, but they follow the same principles. If you waffle on them for years, you’re going to miss your opportunity.

3. Show Them Love

This is perhaps the most important one, and the most overlooked. Maybe that’s because it is philosophical, changes culture to culture, and means different things to different people. But it’s a theme that was visible in the other two principles. Love them unconditionally. It will pay off in spades. I know when my children feel loved. It looks like a sticky wet kiss first thing when you come in the door from work, it looks like a smile from ear to ear, and it looks like a contented grin as they close their eyes for bed time. Sure, there are going to be times where you want to violate the NAP on them because they poured apple sauce in your favorite pair of dress shoes or scratched your new golf clubs. It’s ok to be angry with them; it’s even ok to punish them (appropriately.) Just try to remember why you even bother… it’s because you love them.  When they’ve paid their debt to society, they’re going to remember that lesson because you always dealt with them in love. They learn by example.

Obviously, I could come up with thousands of other rules, maxims, axioms, and bits of wisdom and I could probably find some parenting book out there to corroborate what I am saying. But that would just be adding to the cacophony of advice parents have to wade through. I picked these three because they are broad, they are applicable to almost any set of parents, and it is easy to start right now. In the comments below I want you to do me a favor. I want you to show me one way you are going to put these principles into action. Bonus points if you tell me how it went.

Bio: Aaron Nielsen is husband to a lovely bride, the father of three amazing little boys (3 and under), perpetual nerd and an author at www.drivingonsunday.com.

Parents, Children, and the NAP

parents-and-children-2

On episode 711 of The Tom Woods Show, host Tom Woods and guest Julie Borowski briefly discussed areas where libertarians have a tough time applying basic libertarian principles to certain issues. Borowski stated that two issues where libertarianism is “pretty weak” are the issues of children and animals. The question that prompted the discussion regarding was “Should a parent be allowed to starve their [sic] child?” Borowski stated that her emotion-based answer is “No, of course not”, and I think that almost everybody would agree. Woods certainly agreed that on the surface, it’s an easy question to answer from an emotional standpoint, but may be harder to answer using a logical, principled approach.

Woods made a proposition to his listeners regarding these tough questions, stating if they had an article on the topic, they should share it with him. I’m going to accept that proposition and try to make sense of the issue “Should parents be forced to feed their own children?” It’s an easy question to answer from an emotional standpoint. It’s a bit harder to provide a succinct, clear, principled, logical, and moral framework for the answer, but that is what I will attempt to do here.

Morality vs. legality

Before we dive into the answer, I want to briefly discuss the difference between the moral answer and the legal answer to the question “Should parents be forced to feed their own children?” Of course, virtually everybody would say parents have a moral obligation to provide for their children. This is similar to the emotional answer. Libertarians do not believe that morals (or emotions) should be enforced by governments or other third-parties. Morals belong to individuals, and adhering to a specific moral code does not directly harm another person. Therefore, forcing someone to do something cannot be justified simply on moral grounds[i]. Forcing someone else to abide by your own moral code would violate the non-aggression principle (NAP).

This is not to say that force is never justified. For libertarians, the only time force can be used against someone else (and still be consistent with the NAP) is when it is defensive force against someone else’s initiation of force (or aggression). If there is a NAP violation, then third party defensive force can be justified. When governments or other third parties use force, it must be justified in this manner in order to stand up on legal grounds. Thus, when a NAP violation has occurred, one can proceed beyond the morality of an issue and address the legality of the issue.

So the question then becomes: “Are parents who do not feed their hungry children violating the NAP permitting justified use of legal force?” The short answer is “Yes”. A more complete answer will, of course, take a few more column inches to flesh out. To go beyond an emotional or moral answer, one must prove logically that parents violate the NAP when they do not feed their hungry children in order to use force to compel them to feed their children. Over the course of the remainder of this article, I will support the position that parents can be forced to feed their children by 1) showing there are special cases where one person has responsibility for another person and not meeting those obligations of responsibility to that person is a violation of the NAP and 2) that the relationship between children and parents is one of those special cases.

Responsibility to others

What is our responsibility to each other? Again, there are two ways to answer that question: the moral answer and the legal answer. As discussed above, we are not interested in the moral answer at this time. Legally, there is no natural responsibility of one person to another. Therefore, no government should force one person to take care of another person. But there are situations where – because of their actions – individuals inherit responsibility for other people.

One illustration[ii] of this inherited responsibility involves two people – we’ll call them Adam and Bill – and a hot air balloon that Adam owns. The hot air balloon is Adam’s property; he can do with it as he pleases; he can restrict Bill’s access to it, and if Bill is using Adam’s hot air balloon without Adam’s permission, Bill is violating Adam’s property rights (a standard violation of the NAP), and Adam can use force against Bill. But what if Adam has invited Bill for a ride in his hot air balloon? Bill can accept the invitation and the two go for a ride and it is not a violation of the NAP.

If, during the course of the ride, while several hundred feet off the ground, Adam decides he no longer wants Bill in the hot air balloon, he does not have the right to force Bill out of the balloon. Why? Certainly Adam generally has no natural responsibility to provide safe travel in a hot air balloon to Bill, but because he extended an invitation to Bill, he inherits a responsibility to Bill while they are travelling together in the balloon. Changing his mind mid-flight about Bill’s presence in his balloon does not give Adam the right to use force to expel Bill from the balloon as the fall to the Earth would certainly cause him harm.

As one can see, there are special cases where one person can inherit a responsibility to another person. In the special case above, one person had no natural responsibility to the second person until he offered to put the second person in a situation where the second person’s life was in the hands of the first person. The first person inherited a responsibility to the second person because he took actions to put the second person in the situation.

The nature of children

Now that we’ve seen there are times when one person can have an inherent responsibility to another human in special cases, we need to examine if the relationship between children and parents is one of those cases. Like we saw above, when one person is responsible for the situation that another person is in, then he bears at least some responsibility to see the second person through that situation.

This principle does apply to parents. Parents take actions that can lead to the creation of a child[iii]. That child has a natural right to exist (right to life) just as all people do. The parents have at least an inherited responsibility to the child because they are responsible for putting them in the position they are in – the child from conception onward is in a situation where they rely on the parents to survive. A child cannot provide for himself and cannot survive on his own. A child is also unable to defend himself against adults that are bigger, stronger, and craftier. This is the nature of children. Children, are a special case to be considered when applying the NAP.

Parental responsibility and the NAP

Because parents have an inherited responsibility to their children, we must look at what happens when the parent does not fulfill that responsibility, for example, when a parent is not feeding a hungry child. Some may still argue that forcing a parent to do something – anything – would be a violation of the NAP. However, the NAP, properly understood, does not prohibit all force – it prohibits aggressive force, or, in other words, the initiation of force.

When one person violates the NAP and aggresses against another person, it is not a violation of the NAP for the second person to respond to that force with defensive force. Defensive force is perfectly acceptable. If, say, a woman is attacked by a man, the woman has every right to use force to defend herself. It is also acceptable for another person to step in and help defend the person who is being aggressed against. Someone who witnesses the attack can step in and help the woman who is being attacked. This would, in no way, be a violation of the NAP.

The same is true for the situation where a parent does not feed the hungry child. The parent has the inherited responsibility to provide for the child. When he does not provide for the child, he is violating the NAP. The child has a right to defend himself, but in many ways will not be able to due to the nature of children. Just as a third party can step in to help defend a woman being physically attacked, a third party can also step in to help the child defend himself. Force against a parent neglecting a child, then, is justifiable in a legal sense.

Summary

There is a clear and compelling libertarian case to be made for forcing a parent to feed a starving child. Parents have an inherited responsibility for their children because they are responsible for the situation that the children are in. Children are also a special case in the sense that they cannot provide for themselves or defend themselves the way adults can. The parent who does not provide for his child, then, is himself in violation of the NAP. It is not a violation of the NAP for a person to defend himself, nor is it a violation for a third party to step in and stop someone from aggressing against someone else. Therefore, it is not a violation of the NAP to force a parent to stop aggressing against a child by forcing the parent to feed their hungry child.

This article is just a brief outline for the case for forcing a parent to feed his starving child. There are certainly some nuances or situation-specific instances where there will be wrinkles in my outline. I simply cannot provide a specific position for every hypothetical. But hopefully I have provided an answer to the question that is consistent with libertarian principles.

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[i] Of course, if someone does not share the same moral value system as you, you can choose to engage that person and try to change his mind or you can choose to disassociate with that person. But you do not have the right to use force to encourage someone to adapt his moral compass to match your own or use violence to punish him if he does not adapt.

[ii] I believe I first heard this example form Dr. Walter Block, but do not recall. Regardless, it is not an illustration original to me.

[iii] Like every generic, hypothetical situation, there are twists in the real world. The case of rape that leads to conception is a tragic twist in this situation. It is too complicated to delve into here, but I would simply say that I understand there are situations like rape that complicate the issue further.

The Tuttle Twins The Law: A Review and Discount Code

 

Connor Boyack Tuttle Twins The Law

Tuttle Twins The Law Cover

If you would like to purchase any of the Tuttle Twins books click Here
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The Tuttle Twins: The Law

It isn’t easy to find a liberty themed book that younger kids can appreciate. Connor Boyack, the author of the Tuttle Twins series, has done a remarkable job at taking a liberty classic, The Law, and making it accessible to children. At the end of this review you will find a Tuttle Twins coupon code to use for 25% off.  Connor also runs the

Connor also runs the Libertas Institute in Utah. A non-profit think tank that fights for the rights of the citizens in Utah.

A little background.

When we first received The Law, we bought the three that were available, I wasn’t sure what to expect. Since we also got the activity PDF files you can download for the kids as well. Tom Woods had mentioned it on his podcast but that was really it. The book is 41 pages long with wonderful illustrations by Elijah Stanfield that really captured the attention of my three-year-old. The book is marketed for those older than that, usually 6-12, but I took the chance that my little one would like it. We have had it for a few months and Isaiah, my three-year-old likes to have it read to him a few times a week. He actually prefers the creature from Jekyll Island over this one.

What about the Story?

Tuttle Twins The Law Illustration

Illustration In the Book

The book introduces the main characters, the Tuttle Twins in a classroom setting getting instruction on finding someone with wisdom. Ethan and Emily, the names of the Tuttle Twins, immediately think of their neighbor Fred. The Story goes on to weave from the Twins house to Fred’s library, garden, and pantry. He explains to the twins about what the government is supposed to be and do and what it cannot do. It takes a complex subject and breaks it down to principles. Isaiah, my son, loves the part where Ethan exclaims ” stealing is always wrong no matter what”. The children learn what rights are and why governments are formed and that sometimes bad people end up in government. This comes as a shock to the Twins. These concepts are not completely explained but the book does lay down the basic principles that parents and the children can build on.

What did Isaiah Like?

Bastiat The Law

Isaiah really liked the illustrations of the book. They are detailed and look fantastic. He seemed to identify with the twins, even marching around and impersonating scenes from the book. I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the fact that he also loved the tree house the Twins have, which he wants me to build for him now (don’t tell him but he will have to wait till after the move).

He also liked the way the book allowed me to get animated when I read it. I tend to read in different voices for the different characters and this allowed me to do that. One of his favorite things is the book The Law that came with the book, it is drawn in the book exactly how the real cover is and he has to go get it when we read it. He brings it out yelling “The Law” and trying to say the author’s name, although never really getting it right!

What Do I like?

The illustrations, the keep Isaiah’s attention and that is important. Three-year-olds have a short attention span and this was able to hold it. The length of the book is good, probably better for older children but I can usually read it all in one sitting with Isaiah. Fred, I like him, it is nice to see a neighbor relationship played out like it is in the book. Where we live, there isn’t much of that. The workbook PDF’s are great as well. They take the story and extend it by giving the kids something else to make the story real. I am a big proponent of adding more of the senses when learning and being able to read and color the characters does that. Another big thing is that it is a series. We will get to follow along while the Tuttle Twins learn other liberty principles as well. This continuity is great because Isaiah can learn and grow with familiar characters.

Tuttle Twins Review Discount code

Cover of The Tuttle Twins Learn about The Law Activity book!

Critical Thoughts.

It can seem like a lecture at points, especially when the kids whip out a notebook to take notes from Fred. That is my only real complaint.

Would I recommend it?

This is a definite yes! I would recommend this to whoever is looking for a book to distil the basic principles of liberty from a classic like Bastiat’s The Law.

 

If you would like to purchase any of the Tuttle Twins books click Here. You can also purchase a combo pack with several free bonuses Here, it is a great deal plus You can get 25% off of your purchase by using coupon code PARENT

Connor Boyack talking about the Tuttle Twins on the Tom Woods Show.

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Why I Nullify!

I get asked this question often: why nullify?

Well, I write and volunteer to help nullify because I care about my community. I care about my neighbors, my friends, my family and my state. I want the best for each and every person.

The nullification of certain federal acts should not be construed to mean we necessarily object to the intention of the act, but rather we oppose the act being done by the federal government.

And why would I object to this?

Because we know our community better than bureaucrats and busybodies in Washington D.C.

Would a city know best how to serve its community? Would a state know best how to allocate its money to provide for the education of its citizens? Why would we want a one-size-fits-all solution imposed by 495 representatives, 100 Senators, and a president on a citizenry composed of 320 million people, all with unique wants, needs, talents, desires, dreams, and skills? They are not chess pieces to be moved on a board. Their dreams and desires are to be fulfilled by them, not dictated nor negated by Washington D.C.

Why would I want to nullify the Affordable Care Act? Do I actually object to people getting health insurance and healthcare?

The obvious answer is no.

What I do want is for the people of my state and my community to find a way to solve this issue satisfactorily for ourselves. Will it be private solutions like direct primary care physicians? Will it be charity and churches? Who knows. The point is that as a community, we can come together and find the solution that works for us – not mandates imposed on us with a massive bureaucratic apparatus attached to them.

Would it not be better for the people of Kansas to find a solution to a societal woe in Kansas than for those in Washington who have no idea about the way of life here, the traditions, and the non-statistical information that a bureaucrat could not possible have access to? I would prefer to see the people of Kansas offer solutions rather than see lobbyists and cronyism in Washington D.C. get fatter off the backs of everyone while not actually offering viable solutions.

An oft-heard objection I get is that the states can’t afford these things. They can’t provide what the people are demanding. Just look at the budget shortfalls. But the truth is if the people of the states were able to keep more of their money, rather than it being taken by the federal government, they could save more, give more, and spend more money. All three of these activities enrich their communities and the state. Business could hire more and overall tax revenue would increase in the state.

On a different note, the state governments could spend this money on what they wanted rather than spend it according to the strings attached to it by the feds. States could spend it on education and roads, or medical care for those at risk. The increase in money for the average citizen could also translate to an increase in charity. Nullification can help bring us back to financial sanity.

Nullification can bring about more diversity in the body politic. The people of the states can decide issues, not those cronies in Washington. You can have liberal policies in a state such as California, or conservative policies in Wyoming, or libertarian policies in New Hampshire. There would be a flourishing and diverse set of states competing for citizens, each with a unique blend of policies and culture its own. This is the type of diversity you cannot get from a top down approach like we currently have.

Nullifying unconstitutional acts would place the power back into the hands of the states and this, in turn, gives the people more control over their government. This allows the citizens of the states to decide how they want to live. Do they want a more socialist program like that in California, one that offers the welfare state or do you want something that offers you more liberty and economic freedom? This would give the people the chance to choose. Nullification provides that by stripping the tentacles of the federal government back to its constitutional bounds and allowing the states to flourish and experiment on how people want to be organized.

To switch gears a bit, I also nullify for your right to privacy. I don’t want bureaucrats listening to your most intimate and personal conversations, reading your heartfelt emotional emails, or watching what you may say online. I know the argument “if you have nothing to hide you have nothing to fear.” This assumes that people are OK with being watched. Knowing that somebody is logging everything you say, write, type, watch, search, purchase, video, or do will alter your patterns of behavior. You do not need to be judged by some nameless, faceless keyboard warrior. You deserve your privacy from your government. The statement quoted above is made to shame us into submission. If this statement is true, then the government should be more than willing to pull back the curtain and let the light in to see what they have been doing. You do not need somebody judging an emotional outburst and placing you on a list for further surveillance. You should not be watched because you say something critical about government on social media or you make a tasteless joke. It shouldn’t be “if you have nothing to hide you have nothing to fear.” Instead, ask yourself this: do you want them knowing every intimate detail of your life? For that reason, I nullify for privacy.

The last point I’ll share is this – I nullify for you – to show you that there is a way to put the power back into your hands. You may not care about many of the issues I’ve brought up, but that doesn’t mean the government won’t step on your toes soon. You may come to find an issue you do care about, like the drug war, police brutality, the hemp ban, homeschooling, asset forfeiture, Washington cronyism, are all made worse by Washington. You should realize that you can have much more of an impact on your community by nullifying overreaching Washington dictates than much of anything else politically.

So why do I nullify?

I nullify for my community, my state, for you and most of all for my family.

Why do you nullify?

This also appeared on Tenth amendment center here under a pseudonym I write under