Over the weekend my colleague Mako Yamakura put together a post regarding his thoughts on the repeal of the motorcycle helmet law enacted recently in Michigan. This article generated a number of good comments with some support for Mako’s stance that requiring helmets for motorcycle riders is one of the good types of regulations that saves lives, with others saying that the choice to wear a helmet is a personal freedom.
While I’m not really concerned about the motorcycle helmet law, the reality is that the people who support the law’s repeal under the cover of personal freedom are complete hypocrites.
If these people truly believed in the personal freedoms of all Americans they wouldn’t legislate what collection of cells it is OK for a doctor to remove, they wouldn’t legislate who a person is allowed to marry, they wouldn’t legislate a person’s ability to pay for sex, they wouldn’t legislate a person’s choice to end their own life, they wouldn’t legislate who has to carry identification papers, they wouldn’t legislate what drugs a person is allow to consume, and they wouldn’t censure a legislator for expressing her first amendment right to say the word vagina.
The truth is that all Americans believe in personal freedom and it is embarrassingly simplistic logic to term every regulation you oppose as an attack on personal freedom while simultaneously supporting the suppression of others’ personal freedoms simply because of your moral objections.
Either you support personal freedom or you don’t. Picking and choosing based on your personal biases means you don’t.