Barack Obama won. I won’t be enthusiastic, but I won’t be hateful, either. He was a better candidate with a better argument. The voters chose. Mitt Romney was an awful alternative. And, truth be told, I didn’t vote for either one. Quite clearly, my cynicism has evolved greatly since 2008.
Where do we go from here? There will be more elections, and more bitter contests. Although most people claim to belong to one party or another, I believe that all people have a soft spot for that one thing that matters more than anything else: our freedom. So here’s what I’m looking for in any candidate I support for any election in the future, regardless of party. I’m looking for candidates who support:
- Freedom to choose whom I marry
- Freedom to choose whom I work for and in what profession
- Freedom to invest and save my wages as I please
- Freedom for parents to choose schools for their children
- Freedom for parents to pass their money onto their children
- Freedom to make decisions about my health, both positive and negative
- Freedom to vote without preconditions
- Freedom to trade with foreign companies without penalty
- Freedom to sell my labor for as much or as little as I am able
- Freedom to sell any product or service I can provide for which there is a willing buyer
- Freedom to believe in any god or no god at all
With this very simple metric, I will be able to tell which candidates deserve my vote in the future, and which candidates don’t. I don’t care about identity or politics, I only care about the odds for liberty.
Right now, the odds look a little better, with sweeping changes in four states in favor of gay marriage, and two states overturning marijuana prohibition. On the other hand, the bailouts of Wall Street and the auto industry just got a rousing endorsement. It will be hard to predict the next four years, but one thing you can count on after this generation demonstrated where it stands on social issues: the freedoms above are not unattainable. They just will require some work.
Congratulations, President Obama. Time to get moving.