As C.S. Lewis observed:
Of all tyrannies, a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end, for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.
When my son was an adolescent he and his friends used to play what you might call an age-appropriate game. Whenever they would read the fortunes in fortune cookies, they would add the words, “In bed.” So if the cookie declared, “You will have good luck,” they would add, “in bed.” And hilarity would ensue.
I would like the government to play a similar game with the words, “And keep us free.” So when they propose an answer to rising health care costs or poverty or traffic jams or whatever, they are forced to show how the solution will not encroach on our liberty. Because if liberty is not the first principle of government, it will soon be no principle at all.
(Thumbnail assembled from multiple Shutterstock.com images.)