The United States of America was the first nation in history to be founded on the doctrine of natural rights (i.e. those inherent, God-given rights, of life, liberty, and property). In other words, the United States was the first nation in all of human history to have their rights both completely respected by a government, and to have the entire governmental system built around those rights. Sadly, the United States has strayed greatly from this path. In doing so, many areas of liberty have been trampled upon, and have thus hindered and held back America. That is why it is time to set America free.

Economics – Over the past one hundred years, the United States has been economically hindered, perhaps, more than any other area. This is the case because of economics’ central importance in life. Because our society is not composed of hunter-gatherers who produce all goods themselves, it is necessary to engage in the market — that is, if one desires to have a variety of different goods/choices.  Through various means against the free market — including anti-trust laws, tariffs, and heavy regulation and taxation — American industries, individuals, businessmen, and inventors have been held back from most efficiently producing that variety we desire. Thus, the free market must be set completely free —allowing individuals, with luck and skill, to attempt to meet their needs and wants.

Taxes – Closely-tied to economics is the issue of taxation. In examining taxation, I must be completely frank and decry nearly all forms of taxation as robbery — except for those which go to fund the legitimate functions of government, such as the military.  The confiscation of the fruits of our labor has thrown vast amounts of money into the futile labyrinth of government. In doing this, the money has — with some exceptions, in regards to the necessary and Constitutional functions of government — been wasted. Consider both what might have been and what might be if the American people were allowed to keep their earnings and property.

Government Debt – The federal government continually assumes debt that is going to destroy the United States. The Federal government may collapse. Foreign debtors may simply start confiscating American property and working under the guise of “modern” democratic ideas (i.e. that people are representatives of their government). Or, the federal government may begin to pillage and plunder the American people on a mass scale.

The Environment – Environmental regulations abound, with the EPA only growing in its power and vision. All of this is based upon one philosophy — that the actions of man cause changes in climate.  Climate change is a great front to attempt to crush the free market and liberty, which triumphs regardless. Environmental regulations stifle industry and violate one of the most sacred rights — private property rights. A man’s property, as long as he does no harm to others, may be his own private anarchy or organized paradise; no other man may tell him what to do with it. What he does with his trees is not a government agency’s business. Nor should the fraudulent delusions of climate change be forced upon him with coercion. While the current environmental regulations are a great harm to both property rights and industry, the machinations of the environmentalists stand to cause unimaginable damage.

Gun Rights – Allowing Americans the unrestricted right to their arms (which is inherently a natural right, as well) will bring about the effect of lessening crime. By doing this, more Americans will be set free from the fear of crime, and become empowered to protect themselves, their families, and their communities.

The Size of Government and Bureaucracy – The growth of the Federal government over the past one hundred years has been unprecedented in American history. There has been no greater loss of liberty — accompanied by the growth in government — at another time in the history of our nation. While one may not — apart from the previously noted point — not see the growth of the government’s relation to the cry and philosophy of “set America free,” one must look carefully, just as Bastiat’s “unseen.” The unseen in this case is that the growth of government did not come from voluntary gifts, bequeathed to the Federal government by benevolent citizens. Rather, through massive taxation, growth was possible. And, as previously noted, this is money that cannot be put to good use in areas that are not legitmate, governmental functions. Consequently, this growth in government did not bring about greater efficiency and economy. Rather, massive bureaucracies — worthy of Kafka’s nightmares — came about. These not only are backwaters for resources and funding, but a frustration for private citizens. To bring the federal government back to the Founding Fathers’ original, Constitutional size would rid it of this bureaucratic mess and bring about positive effects in the free market.

Election years are always moments when important messages and ideas are conveyed more strongly. This year, we must proclaim to all Americans that it is time to set America free. Though the people of the United States have fared immensely better than those in Communist nations, they still are not allowed to live at their full rights as of late.  What is being suggested is not radical, nor is it unsound. Both philosophically and historically, the doctrines of the Constitution have succeeded more than anyone might have predicted. The Founding Fathers, in their wisdom, crippled their government for a reason. In this age of insanity, it is time to spread the message throughout all of the United States.

Christian Lopac | Wabash College | @CLopac