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What ‘Big Government’ and individual liberty mean to me: Larry Elder

California Gov. Gavin Newsom praised President Joe Biden’s disastrous withdrawal from Afghanistan, a withdrawal that left American citizens stranded and our Afghan allies betrayed and left to die. Our enemies no longer fear us and our allies no longer trust us. That Newsom praised this deadly misadventure says much about the governor’s bad judgment and utter lack of common sense.

Newsom, who used the coronavirus to abuse his authority, overstepped his role as governor, virtually locking down the entire state and shuttering businesses, while he enjoyed himself — mask-free and indoors — with friends and supporters at a world-famous fancy restaurant.

We saw the same with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi at her hair salon in San Francisco.

Such hypocrisy merely adds insult to injury, however.

Nearly a third of California’s restaurants have permanently closed due to COVID.

The state’s unemployment rate is 7.6% — the second highest in the nation. Nearly 69,000 Californians filed new jobless claims for the week ending August 14, the highest total in three months for the state. One group disproportionately hurt by the type of repressive COVID policies are women — because they are often overrepresented in industries most affected by the shutdowns, such as tourism, cleaning and domestic services, and entertainment. Ironically, Newsom fervently claims that he cares about women.

By contrast, I believe individuals do not need the government to tell them how to think and what to do. The notion of individual liberty and personal responsibility is the complete opposite of big government. The liberty to choose to get vaccinated, or how much to pay someone who agrees to work for me — and the responsibility for any negative outcome — is what allows a society to be healthy and strong.

For me, individual liberty means that government needs to get out of our personal lives. It also needs to get out of foreign countries where it no longer has any business.

This does not mean opposing all government. Clearly government has its place, albeit limited. It exists to protect the public.

The federal government exists to protect its citizens from outside enemies, such as during war. Which is why citizens pay taxes for a military. State and local governments exist to protect law-abiding citizens from criminals. Which is why citizens pay taxes for a police force. From this perspective, inane calls for defunding the police are neither humane, nor righteous.

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