1) Collective Responsibility
The perception shared by many that little difference exists between Democrats and Republicans persists because little fundamental difference exists between progressives and conservatives. Each orients toward opposing poles on the same axis, a spectrum of collectivism. In his piece at Townhall, Hawkins collectivizes responsibility for individual lives. He writes:
How many lives are we willing to flush down the drain because a significant number of Americans tried pot a handful of times in their lives, got away with it and now feel guilty about it?
That’s quite a presumption. Could it be that opponents of prohibition simply believe it’s wrong?
The greater presumption is that you and I share responsibility for a third party’s behavior. We don’t. People’s lives, like their liberty and their property, remain theirs to dispose of as they wish. That principle proves Hawkins’ many arguments regarding addiction and health hazards moot.
Hawkins opens his piece wondering how we arrived at the point “where Big Gulps are being banned in New York while the welcome mat for potheads is being rolled out in Colorado.” Yet, he never offers a significant distinction between Big Gulps and pot. He cities studies which herald the harm marijuana inflicts when consumed habitually. We stand wondering how his argument against pot differs substantially from Bloomberg’s against soda pop. We can argue over the scope of harm. Yet the question remains whether any harm inflicted upon self ought to be public business. Answering in the affirmative expresses collectivism. As individualists, libertarians lay no claim over their neighbor’s judgment.