The summer heat and lack of air conditioning have driven me to the edge of heat madness. My wife threatened to vomit up heat yesterday, the result of overindulgence, I think.
It’s driven me to mid-summer ennui. An apathetic solstice. Calgon, take me away!
The world is on fire at turns in Britain and Libya and even in these United States, and truthfully, if just for this moment, all I can think about is the beer I made and how I can finally drink it next Saturday.
If I’m being honest, it’s because it’s hard to care sometimes.
It’s an exhausting exercise, watching freedoms slip away, watching reason and common sense defeated by ham-handed pathos, seeing neighbor fight tooth and nail to take liberty away from neighbor. It gets to feeling like the road to serfdom is a death march, a chain gang.
All isn’t lost, of course. And really, you’re not here for melodramatic soliloquy, anyway.
Which is why this is one of those rare moments when I’m happy to stop ranting and appreciate a genuinely happy thing — because it’s worth remembering why fighting for liberty and freedom is a thing worth doing…
Cory Maye is free. After ten years in prison and a death sentence, a man is free to see his family. Perhaps against all odds, a journalist fought against racism, government power, and the War on Drugs and helped bring a man home after ten long years.
When Cory Maye rises up to speak before the 75 or so people who have gathered to welcome him home from prison, his eyes well up, his head drops, and he stammers. He rubs the bridge of his nose, and he cries. His chief lawyer, the burly and bearded Bob Evans, puts a beefy arm around Maye’s shoulder and pulls him in.
“I think you’ve just said all there is to be said, son,” Evans says.
It’s just one story against a whole backdrop of cases that never see the justice they deserve. You needn’t look any further than Reason Magazine’s July issue for that to be painfully clear.
But it’s a moment that needs no melodramatic soliloquy. And it’s a reason to keep writing.
Because it’s not about winning against the system, about convincing the masses and freeing the wrongly convicted in a sweeping movement. It’s about individual choices, about free will, about finding those ways that we can make a difference.
My sister declared with finality that she was a libertarian this week. She’d been reading about the government crackdown on raw milk producers and was appalled at the government’s need to decide for us what is best for us. “Let me choose!” she wrote as she explained her choice.
And I don’t mean to do a disservice to anyone by correlating Cory Maye’s story to raw milk, but at the heart of it is the same message and the same fight: as long as we hand over our right to choose, no matter what precipitates that desire — be it wanting to save people from the drugs we don’t want them to take or the milk we don’t want them to drink — we put ourselves in front of the barrel of the government’s gun and hope it doesn’t go off in our faces.