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THE DARK SIDE: The personal really is political

David Ziemer

There is an expression that goes, “The personal is political.”

I had never thought much about its meaning. I figured it was just another mindless progressive platitude.

But during the campaign for the ridiculous recall election going on Tuesday, I discovered the phrase was not meaningless at all.

On the contrary, it is very true.

It means, in short, that a person who has no respect for the property rights of others in his personal life also has no respect for the property rights of others in the political realm.

I’m sure you are all as glad as I am that the elections will be over soon. The television commercials are annoying, as are the glossy dead trees in my mailbox. But the door-to-door campaigners are by far the worst. They make even the Girl Scouts and the trick-or-treaters seem positively endearing.

One of the campaigners rang my doorbell last week. I told him to get off my property immediately, but he wouldn’t.

Sitting in my living room, I could see him still standing in the middle of my front yard several minutes later. So, I went back to the door, and iterated that he should get off my property. Still, he refused and I was forced to go outside and physically confront him.

“Where’s your property line?” he repeatedly asked me, although it was obvious that my property ended about 10 yards west of where he was standing – where the road began.

As I walked toward him, he chose not to retreat a mere 10 yards to the west, but instead to walk north, where the property line was quite a bit further away.

All the while, he continued to ask, “Where’s your property line?” Now, I had just cut the grass earlier that day, but my neighbor to the north had not cut his in a while, so it was obvious where the property line was. He knew very well that he was still on my property, and he knew very well exactly how far he had to go to get to my neighbor’s.

But he kept walking toward the line, however slowly, rather than stopping altogether, so I refrained from giving him the trip to the hospital that he so richly deserved.

But as angry as I was then, I am now grateful to the revolting little trespasser. For it was because of him that I first discovered the meaning of the phrase, “The personal is political.”

Only then did I understand the following: the person who will burglarize your home or steal your car does not have any regard for the private property rights of others in his day-to-day personal life; thus, it is reasonable to infer that he also does not support protecting private property from the government either.

The thug who trespasses on private property will similarly support candidates who want to raise taxes on those who work and produce and redistribute the fruit of their labor to those who do not.

I suppose that is why those who favor confiscatory taxation also support giving felons in prison the right to vote. The felons have already demonstrated their disregard for private property rights in their personal lives. The progressives have quite sensibly inferred that if their voting rights are restored, they will vote for politicians like them, who have no regard for private property rights either.

And so it is that I join with my progressive friends today and declare: The personal is political; not just a progressive platitude, but the truth.

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