I used to think that many of those in power were attempting to destroy this nation. I have come to realize that to be wrong. Most of these folks love this country as much as I do, but they have a totally different idea of what it should ‘look’ like.
That realization leads me to hope and pray that ‘they’ may come to understand the same thing – and that this will lead open discussion/debate/dialog. Without rancor. Without hate speech. And without character assassination.
One of the clearest voices I have ever experienced is that of Ayn Rand. Although it was recommended to me many years ago, I only recently read Atlas Shrugged, loved it and followed it up with The Fountainhead. I strongly urge everyone to read these books. Yes, they are long. Yes, they are ‘heavy’ reading. And yes, they can change your life.
Allow me to share a couple of quotes from her works with you as perfect examples of Clear Thinking.
Since Man has inalienable individual rights, this means that the same rights are held, individually, by every man, by all men, at all times. Therefore, the rights of one man cannot and must not violate the rights of another.
For instance: a man has the right to live, but he has no right to take the life of another. He has the right to be free, but no right to enslave another. He has the right to choose his own happiness, but no right to decide that his happiness lies in the misery (or murder or robbery or enslavement) of another. The very right upon which he acts defines the same right of another man, and serves as a guide to tell him what he may or may not do.
“Textbook of Americanism,” The Ayn Rand Column, 84
There is no such thing as “a right to a job”—there is only the right of free trade, that is: a man’s right to take a job if another man chooses to hire him. There is no “right to a home,” only the right of free trade: the right to build a home or to buy it. There are no “rights to a ‘fair’ wage or a ‘fair’ price” if no one chooses to pay it, to hire a man or to buy his product. There are no “rights of consumers” to milk, shoes, movies or champagne if no producers choose to manufacture such items (there is only the right to manufacture them oneself). There are no “rights” of special groups, there are no “rights of farmers, of workers, of businessmen, of employees, of employers, of the old, of the young, of the unborn.” There are only the Rights of Man—rights possessed by every individual man and by all men as individuals.
The Virtue of Selfishness “Man’s Rights,” The Virtue of Selfishness, 97.