Freedom is better

As I’ve said before, sometimes freedom is better just because it’s freedom. The role of the state is to protect that freedom, for LGBT citizens and all citizens, even (and especially) when freedom conflicts with popular opinion. If a business wants to let a man use the women’s restroom, they should have the freedom to do so. If a business wants to check birth certificates before allowing somebody to use the restroom, they should have the freedom to do so. (I’m not advocating for either of these policies here, for clarification). Best of all, if you or I disagree with either of those policies that are employed by any business, we have the freedom to take our money to a different establishment. Businesses can then adjust freely to what the market is demanding. For example, when Target enforced a “bathroom rule” in 2016, the market responded, and Target consequently decided to spend $20,000,000 on adding a third, gender-neutral, single-user bathroom in every store. The free market fixed this without government involvement, as it tends to do.

Running to the government to solve our problems generally makes things worse, especially in the area of discrimination. See Dred Scott v. Sandford, Korematsu v. US, and Plessy v. Ferguson. While the local ordinance in Charlotte, NC met extensive opposition, the local public and market did not have a chance to correct it before the state stepped in. As a conservative, I believe legislation of this type is best left to the local government (and to the people). If the people of Charlotte, NC had truly disagreed with the ordinance, it would have disappeared quickly enough. The same thing happened in Houston, TX, another largely progressive city in a red state, with the HERO Law.

Conclusion: The government ruins everything.

This op-ed is a part of FRAY, a thrice weekly email written by a team of liberals, moderates, and conservatives dedicated to separating fact from opinion. Subscribe below and we’ll send you a new issue with perspectives from all sides of the political debate each Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.

Show your support

Clapping shows how much you appreciated Oscar Silva’s story.