For many of us, the Holidays are a time not just to share gifts, take a little break, or watch old movies. They lend themselves a bit of reflection, rebooting and looking ahead to what’s next, both in our personal lives and as a nation.
To me, reflection and anticipation invariably lead to the same place: Freedom. When all is said and done, the quality of our lives comes down to Freedom. Do we have the opportunities to do what we want to do and craft the lives we envision for ourselves, our families and those around us?
I often say that each of our lives is a movie…and we’re the director.
But like that Hollywood director, no one “directs” his or her life in vacuum. Unavoidably, events and other people have great influence over our freedom. Some of those events and people we can control…and some we can’t.
When it comes to public policy and, yes, the politics that drive it, most questions and debates — when we narrow them down — are really about whether we have the freedom to direct our own movies, or whether someone else, like the government, will direct our movie for us.
This Holiday season brings optimism for the coming year
I’m an optimist. And as I look ahead to 2018 and beyond, I see that even the uncomfortable and sometimes painful controversies and politics of the past couple of years are having the effect of prompting Americans to reassert their movie rights.
We’re having conversations we need to have, whether they be about race, gay rights, immigration, taxes or health care. Some of those conversations are ugly, but better to have them than not, and just as some issues bring out the worst of our society, they also bring out the best.
And I’m particularly optimistic when I travel the country and talk with young people — those Millennials everyone is so excited about. They get the notion of freedom. They want to chart their own lives, and aren’t afraid to challenge the false authority and worn-out thinking that has given them too much debt, too little freedom and choices that are too limited.
I am increasingly confident that the “model” of government that is too big, too costly and too intrusive won’t survive the Millennial generation — and that’s a good thing. Thanks to the Internet, a resurgence of entrepreneurship and inexorable changes in how we communicate and get information, “trust us” is no longer an acceptable assurance from the politicians.
The sharing economy and its incredible growth are a perfect example. Looking through lenses that aren’t clouded by convention, consumers are challenging the constraints on their freedom wrapped in the guise of regulation and “protections”. Why is a licensed taxi somehow safer or better for us than Uber or Lyft? Why shouldn’t we be able to rent someone’s home for a weekend when doing so is cheaper and better than an overpriced hotel? And if I want to pay a neighbor a few bucks to cut my hair, why shouldn’t that be an option?
These are the kinds of questions that are being asked — and it’s about time.
It’s a great, and maybe even historic, time to be an advocate for less government, more freedom, and ultimately, more opportunity.
This Holiday season, I’m just grateful that so many friends, supporters and fellow advocates have given me an opportunity to be in the fight for Freedom. I know it’s not MY fight. It’s OUR fight.
Enjoy this time of reflection and anticipation. I think 2018 is going to be a great year for Liberty.
(Photo of Former Governor Gary Johnson speaking with supporters at a campaign rally at the Phoenix Airport Marriott in Phoenix, Arizona by Gage Skidmore)