The sunny side of liberty
Marni Soupcoff has a brilliant column in the National Post about the need for liberty lovers to focus on the positive aspects of what they have to offer:
Is there a sunny side to something as harmful as civil forfeiture abuse, where the government takes private property from innocent people who have not been convicted of any crimes? No. But there are incredible stories of courage and principle in property owners who have stood up for what was theirs even at great personal financial cost and despite government attempts to silence them. And there are inspiring reminders of the power of property ownership from these people, who have used their houses to raise close families, run successful small businesses, and offer affordable housing to people with mental health or addiction issues.
So let us imagine selling freedom by highlighting what it has to offer, rather than appealing to fear of the dystopia that will result without it. That means, say, persuading people of the societal benefits of free and open debate rather than — or at least before — invoking Big Brother.
And it also means not letting freedom’s opponents drag us down into a negative fight if we can help it: it pays to stay focused on the world we actually want to live in rather than the worldview others might ascribe to us based on their misunderstandings about who we are or what we believe. Let us imagine that a healthy optimism about liberty, responsibility and happiness is highly contagious if purely felt and expressed. You just may spread that hopeful confidence in autonomy further than you’d expect.
Love it love it love it love it. Would only add one thing: Focus on telling stories. Stop making ads and please stop writing press releases (I’m not even sure we should bother with opeds all that much either). Just tell stories, show the beauty of a meaningful life well lived, show the promise of liberty, and smile.