“My roommate is a statist, hates marijuana (as do I, but HE thinks it should remain illegal), and thinks that keeping the standard of life high outweighs personal and economic liberties. What do I say to him?” -Dan
Dan, you pose a good question. Let me address each point individually:
1) People who are Statists are only that way because they do not fully appreciate the gravity of what “statism” implies. The idea that the government can completely control social policies (like federally banning abortion, gay marriage) or economic policies (banks being “Too Big To Fail”) is one more chip away at the remaining nugget of our freedoms. Statism it within of itself is not necessarily a sinister entity, it’s the doors Statism opens up. Let’s say the Government decides to ban gay marriage nationally. Ok, they got away with that, they already have the foot in the door, might as well ban homosexual activity too (not like it hasn’t happened, see Lawrence v. Texas). And heck, with these freedoms compromised, what’s to stop them from completely outlawing abortions at any stage? What’s to stop the government from taking more and more? Nothing. There are rules and laws for people. The government is run by people. Therefore, politicians are not exempt from said laws. I cannot come into your house and tell you how to live your life. You could shoot me for trespassing and being and assh*le. Therefore, the government shouldn’t either.
2) Judging by your use of the word ‘hate,’ I’m going to assume your roommate has strong feelings towards this hot button issue. My guess is, if he has strong feelings about one issue, he probably has strong feelings about something else as well. And that’s great! People without strong opinions are, in my eyes, spineless asshats who either do not have the mental facilities to create an independent, cogent, and informed belief about something or are unhealthily non-confrontational and so are afraid to stand for anything, including themselves.
That being said, he probably has an opinion other people disagree with. One of them is probably gun control. You would say to him “you think you have the right to defend yourself. So long as your defending does not encroach on any other person’s safety or well-being (save for the potential perpetrator), who is the government to stop you, right?” Well, just like guns, the same applies to pot. Except pot doesn’t kill anyone (just the black market it’s tied up in). You tell him: you may not agree with someone enjoying a little marijuana here and there, just like they may not want you to be able to defend yourself, but your actions do not infringe on his happiness or safety anymore than his do yours. And, with that frame, if he disagrees with you, he is a fistf*cking hypocrite and now his opinion officially now longer counts.
3) If America hopes to reclaim/maintain/whatever the title of “Greatest Country in the World,” it can’t just keep up with the Jones’s, it needs to BE the Jones’s. America by our nature is a society of high standards of living. But we only DESERVE a high standard of living if we practice personal responsibility and champion economic liberties. These two elements are not mutually exclusive; they are actually impossible to exist without one another. Our personal freedoms to do whatever we want within popularly accepted reasonable boundaries and run a true, laissez-faire economy that a truly Democratic Capitalist economy advocates will unarguably force America to create the society it earns and deserves.