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January 22, 2007

What Your Officials Think Of The Public

by Brad Warbiany

Here in Georgia, we’ve finally gotten enough representatives with the cojones to take on the Blue Laws (thanks Sen Harp!), the repeal of which is overwhelmingly supported by the people of Georgia. It’s still a baby step, as it only opens up beer and wine, and simply moves the decision to individual counties, rather than the state level. But hey, more freedom is more freedom.

The problem is, it’s still an uphill battle. Made even more uphill by the resident in the Governor’s mansion, a Republican who doesn’t seem to believe in limited government power or individual freedom, Sonny Perdue.

“Some things rise to the level of referendums — such as, I felt, the symbol, the flag that represented Georgia, which I felt rose to that level. But you can’t do government really by referendum. And so, I don’t support that, and I don’t know whether it will pass the Legislature or not, but it’ll have a pretty tough time getting the last vote.

“You have to always be attuned to where public opinion is, but it doesn’t necessarily mean you have to follow that. A good leader always leads in a way they think is the right direction for Georgia on significant issues.

Okay, so that’s Sonny’s way of saying that sometimes representative government doesn’t lead the right way. I can see that. After all, it’s been long said that democracies can only exist until the voters find out they can vote themselves largesse from the treasury. Unconstrained representative government doesn’t by any stretch of the imagination mean that freedom will result. In fact, the reason we have Blue Laws in the first place is due to the result of representative government running roughshod over freedom.

But as I’ve pointed out before, it’s rare that you get a justification for Blue Laws that are anything other than the desire of religious conservatives to tell each other that they can’t engage in voluntary transactions between them. It’s even stranger, because they don’t outlaw the transaction in general, they outlaw it on only one day of the week. It gets absurd, then, when they try to couch their desire to enforce morality in any terms other than religion. Sonny is no different.

“Think of it this way…It really helps you plan ahead for the rest of your life — buying on Saturday, rather than Sunday. Time management.”

I listened to the audio, and it sounds like he was joking. At the very least, the radio hosts took it as a joke. But the argument is not uncommon, from elected officials and supporters of blue laws. The idea is that it’s not really a problem for us, because if you’re not smart enough to think ahead until Sunday, you probably don’t need booze anyway.

That’s how much they respect your freedom. If you’re willing to jump through the hoops they place before you, if you’re willing to press on the bar in your cage, they’ll let you buy 6 days a week. How benevolent are our rulers!

And that’s the problem. I haven’t conceded that they have the right to tell me what day I can and cannot buy liquor. They’ve already assumed that they legitimately have that power. Sonny Perdue doesn’t for a second think it’s wrong to decide based on his religious beliefs to outlaw Sunday sales. And if you think differently? Well, how much of an imposition is it, REALLY, to just make your purchases on Saturday instead? Shouldn’t you be willing to do that to let Sonny and his constituents bask in their moral superiority?

Hat Tip: Jason Pye

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3 Comments

  1. [...] Thankfully, there’s an exception for a “reasonable excuse”, although it’s not clear what’s “reasonable” or who decides. But hey, if Texas still had blue laws, maybe these parents would have better time management… [...]

    Pingback by The Liberty Papers»Blog Archive » Another Reason To Homeschool — January 23, 2007 @ 1:52 pm
  2. [...] as I’ve pointed out before, help is on the way. A bill was introduced to legalize the Sunday sales of beer and wine. But it began to take fire [...]

    Pingback by The Unrepentant Individual » Georgia Expands Sunday Sales Law — February 10, 2007 @ 10:46 am
  3. [...] as I’ve pointed out before, help is on the way. A bill was introduced to legalize the Sunday sales of beer and wine. But it began to take fire [...]

    Pingback by The Liberty Papers »Blog Archive » Georgia Expands Sunday Sales Law — February 10, 2007 @ 10:46 am

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