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Likewise, in privacy of voting booths, some people ask government to do things that they would never – on moral or criminal grounds – do themselves. As well, most politicians call for government to do things that it has no authority to do. For example, if we as individuals have no right to use force to make others quit smoking, then we cannot delegate this lack of authority to our agents in government. The sum total of zero authority is zero.
If government derives its just powers from governed, then there is no place in a just society for prohibition of individual vice, except in public areas that our governments constitutionally may regulate. (There is some dispute whether a city such as Bloomington, Indiana may regulate smoking in commercial areas.)
Outside these prescribed areas, there is no moral, practical or constitutional authority for citizens to use government force against others’ honest nonviolent behavior, such as smoking. Bullying is not solution to vice. We cannot coerce virtue into others when coercion is not virtuous. The best approach is to treat all vice as we do alcohol and tobacco cigarettes.
Unlike Republican Party that he inspired, Abraham Lincoln understood that prohibition of vice is rule by brute force of bullies with no moral authority. He said: “Prohibition will work great injury to cause of temperance. It is a species of intemperance within itself, for it goes beyond bounds of reason in that it attempts to control a man's appetite by legislation, and makes a crime out of things that are not crimes. A Prohibition law strikes a blow at very principles upon which our government was founded."
Dr. Phil said best way to enfeeble bullies is to not stand with them.
Kurt is a hopeful screenwriter. He is a graduate of Pomona College in Claremont, Californina and of Indiana University School of Law - Indianapolis.