Jonathan Boldt, Independent

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In any political or social issue, how to determine the better course comes down to one thing, what you believe the role of government should be. A prince in the medieval era would grow up believing in the ‘Divine Right of Kings’ and that his role was blessed by God, legitimizing any and all rulings.

As a born and raised, red-blooded American, I side on protecting and preserving the maximum amount of freedom for every citizen. A famous quote from Thomas Jefferson when discussing religious freedom says, “If it neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg, what matter is it to me?” I believe that logic can be a valuable guide to any issue.

Lets start with gay marriage. Why should government be involved in my marriage at any level? The love I have for my wife and my religious beliefs are what govern my relationship, not anything that ever comes out of Washington. So if same-sex couples wish to marry and have a non-governmental outlet to do so, what matter is it to me?

Abortion. Scientists and believers alike can agree on one thing, a fetus will grow into a person and nothing else. There is absolutely zero chance a puppy pops out instead of a tiny human. The freedom and rights we all enjoy should apply to that human as well. The women’s rights and ability end where the life and freedom of the baby begin. Her right to choose comes into play when she chose to engage in the behaviors that result in becoming pregnant.

Having said that, I do believe in the case of rape, incest or the health of the mother, abortion is a vi- able option. If at all possible I would encourage the mother to consider adoption, but her choices should not be limited in these often violent and psychologically damaging scenarios.

When it comes to finances, I believe the maximum amount of freedom lies in allowing as much of what we earn to stay in our pockets. The government should provide roads and some services, but al- lowing a person to keep what they earn boosts confidence and provides a chance for everyone to decide where their own paycheck will end up.

A flat-rate, consumption based tax is what I believe to be the most fair for everyone. The more you consume, the more money you put into the economy, the more revenue for the country. Currently, a high tax on everyone puts a ceiling on the funds that can be raised. By allowing each citizen to keep what they earn and pay a tax only on what and where they choose, each person is free to keep the fruits of their labor and only part with it when and where they choose.

This may all sound simplistic, by why complicate the Golden Rule? Recently it’s been asked why a normal citizen needs a magazine that holds more than ten bullets for their gun. I would ask, why does the government need to mine data from internet usage and deploy drones to spy on an average American? Why is it ok to have cameras anywhere and everywhere to spy on us while we walk down the street?

If we elect and employ our government officials being paid from our tax dollars, who or what gives them the authority to listen to our phone calls without a warrant? It’s the equivalent of parents giving their children an allowance but then give the child the ability to decide their curfew and to decide where the family budget will be spent.

A well-oiled government requires an active and engaged populous. If we are more caught up in our favorite TV shows and when the new iPhone will come out than keeping tabs on our elected officials, then we deserve what is coming. Elections have consequences, and if you don’t pay attention and don’t get involved, then you will have to live with the decisions others will make for you.