A common extremely ignorant thing that I hear from people is that everyone should vote because people died to give us that right. People also say this in reference to freedom of speech when they’d like to silence someone who disagrees with them. I think that people assume they’re being patriotic when they say this. The trouble is, it’s pretty un-American. If you say it, I would encourage you to stop.
No one has ever died for anyone’s rights. That concept is actually a contradiction in terms. This meme takes two forms “someone died to give you the right to x” or “someone died to protect your right to x.” No one ever gave me rights. Please read the Declaration of Independence. If a man can give me rights, he can take my rights away. If he can do that, I don’t have rights; I have privileges which may be granted or revoked. That’s what people had BEFORE the Declaration of Independence. America was founded on the principle of natural rights. We have rights because we exist.
Rights CAN be protected, but they’re protected by the people, not the army. The people created a Bill of Rights which protects our rights from being infringed…by our own government. If you think the government somehow protects our rights through the army, you’re confused. In fact, the army is a great tool for the government to use to usurp our rights.
The people have a right to self defense. We delegated some of this (the common defense) to the army while retaining our individual right to self defense, or to form a citizen’s militia. Legally, the people can also take the common defense back from the army. If you are or were in the armed forces, you are\were my employee. I pay your salary. I’m your boss, not the other way around. It’s common in our society for this role to be reversed, and for people to assume the army is more honorable than the private sector. This elevates the destructive to be more honorable than the productive. If you believe that, I would encourage you to read Sun Tzu: “Where the army is, prices are high; when prices rise the wealth of the people is exhausted.”
It’s a tragedy when someone in the armed forces dies in the line of duty, and it’s honorable to protect the people. However, it’s not proper to say they died so we could be free. This is taking it a step too far, and this is where the un-American parts comes in. Men are already free by nature of existing. They’re not free because there’s an army. Plenty of people live in countries with an army and they’re far from free. If you don’t believe you’re free because you have the natural right to be free, then please stop using the name of my country to spew your nonsense. That idea is not America.
Finally, voting is not even a right. A right is something you have naturally by means of your humanity which cannot be alienated from you without a usurpation of power, and which does not infringe on the rights of another. Voting is really none of these things. In the main, voting implies the state; but the Declaration states that man’s natural rights preexist the state. In other words, a man can have all his rights perfectly without the state. The state is instituted simply to secure rights, so how can something which requires the state be a right? It can’t. If it was, then the state would be granting us rights, which I already demonstrated is impossible.
My advice is to actually take some time to understand that old letter to King George that TJ wrote and stop lecturing people with inanities. This is how you end up with a Trump vs. Hillary match up, by the way.