In a recent conversation with a conservative leaning friend on the issue of the ever controversial birth control mandate, I was fascinated by the individual in questions appeal to freedoms of employers. This individual assured me that if the government forces an employer to provide anything that takes away the employers freedom, and by extension everyone else’s as well.
My friend went on to cite the laws of supply and demand and showed and understanding of why free arrangements by mutually consenting individuals lead to optimal results. This seems all well and good: keep government intervention out of the way and let people make their own choices. This is in accordance with much of conservative rhetoric, but it is also where I think a nasty double standard comes in. Just ask most conservatives if they would apply same argument in opposition to government restrictions on the freedom to buy Marijuana, LSD, cocaine or ecstasy? purchase the services of prostitutes or set up strip clubs where one pleases? Does your support of freedom extend to a right to freedom from all government surveilence or freedom from having tax your tax money used in wars you oppose? Or how about for a man to mary another man?
I tend to find that these are all personal freedoms that most self-identified conservatives oppose, and that most simply take take their opposition to the freedoms for granted. These are issues they do not much think about, especially in terms of personal freedom. For some reason, they are perfectly willing to stick up for the right of a business, especially big business, to do damn near anything it wants, in the name of liberty, but the liberty to do the things mentioned above are simply not for consideration.
For me this show the true colors of mainstream conservatives. They are not so much interested in liberty as they are for promoting the interest of established business. Of course some may say that these are social issues rather than economic issues, but I firmly disagree. Social issues are economic issues and having the option of legally selling pot or becoming a prostitute is a matter of economic freedom for many people and one with deep economic ramification for them. That one put the concerns of the freedom of established employers above the freedoms of the rest of us, is something I find problematic to say the least.