Guest column/Private property rights foundation of system
Securing and defending your rights is the bedrock of strong representation in our constitutional republic. We entrust our elected officials to uphold each of these inalienable rights, especially in the face of special interests which seek to strip them away. The recognition of your self-evident, natural rights as articulated in the Declaration of Independence is what allows our United States of America to remain the beacon of liberty for the rest of the world.
The foundation of our entire free market system is our private property rights.
Unlike civilizations before us, the land we live on isn’t owned by a king and permission to use our land isn’t a privilege. It is a right — one of many rights endowed by our creator.
Each of us invests in our personal property differently. Some of us invest in more land, others choose less land but a larger home and many choose to rent.
Maybe we rent because we aren’t ready to commit to a long-term home. Maybe we rent to afford a nicer car or take our family on a vacation. That’s the beauty of our right to pursue happiness. Only you know how best to find that happiness, and you have the free will to make your individual choices.
Ensuring that free will from the intrusion of others, protecting your property and respecting your ability to make the best choices for yourself and your family should be the primary focus of a true public servant. All of us were created with the same equal rights, and no one has a right to infringe on your rights. It is immoral, and it is the antithesis of the freedom our country stands for.
Imagine for a minute that your neighbor knocks on your door and tells you to get rid of your dog. Does he have that right? Of course not. Now, imagine that neighbor is elected to city council. Does he gain the right as a city councilman to pass a law requiring residents to get rid of their dogs? Of course not. Elected office doesn’t grant you more moral authority than any other citizen to destroy a person’s individual rights.
Sadly, some who are elected do exactly that. They get elected, swear an oath to defend and uphold our U.S. Constitution, gain power, then they abuse that power. Sometimes their motive is one of ill will. Other times, it is the pressure of a constituent who threatens to vote the elected official out, if the elected official doesn’t impose authority which that elected official does not morally possess. So to remain in office, the politician does what he knows to be wrong to preserve his own position — rather than preserving the rights of each individual he represents. This is the single worst part of our current political system. Politicians who lack the integrity to secure and defend your rights — no matter the cost.
Consider this. You love Christmas and choose to decorate your home for the holiday. Your neighbor, who is much like Mr. Scrooge, wants your family’s Christmas decorations taken down. Does he have the right to make you do it? No, he doesn’t. What if he gets another neighbor to oppose your decorations? Do they have the right to make you take down your decorations? No, they don’t. What if 10 neighbors hate Christmas? They collectively tell you to take down your decorations. Do they have that right since there are now 10 of them and only one of you? No, they don’t. Infringing your right to use your property doesn’t become moral because a majority shares a collective opinion. In fact, this is precisely why we are a constitutional republic rather than a democracy. We don’t put mob rule above your individual rights.
Elect more people who secure and defend your inalienable rights even when they are pressured to do otherwise, especially when they are pressured to do otherwise. Politicians who break their oath are a dime a dozen.
Support the ones who uphold their oath. It is the most important thing any officeholder can do, and the existence of our country’s greatness depends on it.
(Ferguson, R-Wintersville, represents the 96th District in the Ohio House of Representatives.)