Live Free Or Die in New Hampshire

I grew up on the border of Maine and New Hampshire and have always had a lot of respect for New Hampshire’s general philosophy on government. Their state motto is “Live Free or Die”, and they usually put their politics where their mouths are.

I believe in what I call the “Bubble Philosophy”. Everybody has their own bubble, in which they can do whatever they damn well please, as long as it doesn’t puncture anyone else’s bubble. What you do with your life is none of my concern…as long as you take the same attitude towards me.

I used to consider myself as somewhat of a socialist. But as I get older, the Bubble Philosophy, increasingly tilts me toward Libertarianism. An odd combo that leads me to calling myself a socialist-libertarian.

Anyway, back to New Hampshire, land of Libertarians. Those New Hampshire folk seem to also live by the Bubble Philosophy. They’ve recently passed a law to allow civil unions for gay couples. Regardless of anyone’s personal feelings about homosexuality, I can’t see any legitimate reason to say that this law harms anyone. It only affects gays.

New Hampshire also just rejected a law to make seat belts mandatory. This is one of those things that is just so silly. To be clear, I always wear my seat belt. I even wear a helmet when I ride my bike. If that was the law to do so (as I believe it is in Massachusetts where I live), it doesn’t really bother me. I’m not storming Beacon Hill to demand my right to be an idiot. But, on pure principle, I disagree with the idea of legislating such personal choices. Deciding not to wear a seat belt or helmet does no harm to anyone except the person who made that decision. The government shouldn’t be protecting people from themselves. Go New Hampshire.

Lastly, New Hampshire just passed a law to ban smoking in bars and restaurants. This is where the bubbles intersect. A person should have the right to smoke where they want. Unfortunately, in a closed public space, a person’s right to smoke where they want infringes on another person’s right not to inhale second-hand smoke. This is especially true for employees of said establishments. As a smoker, it kind of sucks to always have to go outside to smoke, but it’s really not that big of a deal. Honestly, at this point I’m so used to it that a few years ago when I went to a casino in Deadwood, I actually got laughed at by the doorman for putting out my cigarette before going inside.

So, I say give one more point to New Hampshire. Long live the Bubble Philosophy in the “Live Free or Die” state.

Many thanks goes to my Socialist-Libertarian New Hampshire politics informant elf. She keeps me updated.

Update

It occurs to me in retrospect that in regard to the rejection of a mandatory seat belt law, New Hampshire’s motto could be more appropriately stated as “Live Free and Die”. Just a thought.



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