Consider your responsibilities along with your rights

Rugged individualists like Normon Plombe have long been gnashing their teeth about the nanny government that makes them wear bicycle helmets and seat belts and vaccinate their kids [“Channel Your Inner American Revolutionary,Feb. 9 Xpress]. That's the same government that tries to keep the Tennessee Valley Authority's coal dust out of the air you breathe and the antibiotics out of your milk and eggs. It's nothing personal, Mr. Plombe: It's about trying to ensure the general welfare — like it says in the Constitution — by doing stuff that's obvious.

And it's about the health of all our kids. Chicken pox and polio vaccines have reduced the incidence of those diseases by 90 percent, but they don't work very well when everyone opts out. As with seat-belt usage and bicycle helmets — a lot of other people are affected when some fool ends up on life-support.

Because diseases like chicken pox are in remission, a child that is not vaccinated has a pretty good chance of never getting it. And we all would like to have a free ride, and let someone else ensure the general welfare, take the shots, pay the taxes, buy the health insurance, while we take our manly chances. But the system breaks down when we don't cooperate.

You use the same infrastructure that I do. I help pay for your roads and your daughter's education and chicken pox vaccines, even though I don't have kids or drive your streets. You can still find places on the planet where the government doesn't force you to vaccinate your kids, much less buckle your seat belt. But those are not healthy places; you wouldn't want to raise your child there.

I hear many voices loudly claiming their “rights,” but I never hear much about “responsibilities.” They go together.

— Glen Reese
Asheville

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7 thoughts on “Consider your responsibilities along with your rights

  1. Matt Mercy

    “…the same government that tries to keep the Tennessee Valley Authority’s coal dust out of the air you breathe and the antibiotics out of your milk and eggs.”

    Huh? The government created the TVA, and hasn’t the FDA approved antibiotics in food sources? But anyway…

    In a Utopian world, our government might regulate dangerous vaccines and educate our children with something other than the Prussian model (raising employees and soldiers, rather than creative thinkers).

    Due to our lack of vigilance and “responsibility”, the US is now a corporatist/fascist state that cannot be trusted with even it’s basic Constitutional mandates, let alone lofty (yet often self-serving) socialist ideals.

    Until this Utopia comes into being and governments are as loving and trustworthy as some like to imagine ours currently is, I suggest we follow the founder’s model. In the meantime, I’ll be right there with you trying to conquer this obstacle called human nature.

  2. bill smith

    [i]I suggest we follow the founder’s model[/i]

    Which one is that? Agricultural slavery? Limiting rights based on race, sex, and economic status?

  3. normanplombe

    Mr. Reese, You’re so thoroughly indoctrinated into the socialist mentality, that you actually believe that a citizen’s singular role in society is to pay outrageous taxes to an obease, overindulged, overbearing government, which in turn doles out (after borrowing and printing more) willy-nilly to the least effecive programs and people as IT sees fit.

    My point was simply that I don’t want or need anyone to protect me from myself. I’m amazed, with all the evidence to the contrary, that people with your mindset STILL think the government is gonna turn around and do good…maybe with a little more money, a little more rhetoric, and a few more entitlement programs. I’d rather just make my own way as my hard work determines. I will willingly help my friends and neighbors do the same.

    If you really don’t have children you should be ENRAGED that your money is extorted into subsidization of the birth, healthcare and education of others’.

    Anyway, I don’t have to lead some radical self-reliant, libertarian charge to defeat this baby-sitter government. I will watch as it cumbles under it’s own $14 trillion(and growing)debt.

  4. cwaster

    “My point was simply that I don’t want or need anyone to protect me from myself. … I’d rather just make my own way as my hard work determines.”

    A valid argument, assuming that persons injured or ill (say in the examples of, oh- seat belts, air pollution, or disease) don’t drive up the cost of healthcare for everyone else. Guess what? Due to the obese system you mentioned, they in fact do.

    Your argument is only valid from the point of a person wealthy “to make their own way.” Funny thing, that.

    In fact, this is not a socialist/democrat/republican issue, but something that crosses lines. We should fix it together.

  5. Matt Mercy

    I suggest we follow the founder’s model

    “Which one is that? Agricultural slavery? Limiting rights based on race, sex, and economic status?”

    Those are not part of the model. Those are artifacts of the day and age that the founders existed in.

    Though, slavery, racism and economic warfare certainly seem a part of the current model that your ideology seems to endorse.

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