Of the various reasons that led to my decision to vote no against SB2279, my most important reasoning falls largely outside the established range of “acceptable opinion”. However, it is a view of government that is not new, but is, rather, the classical and foundational view held by our nation’s fathers.
As a matter of principle, I hold that every individual has certain inalienable rights, which are not granted to them by the state, but are only recognized by the state. Because of this self-evident truth, our state has been constituted by The People for the protection and defense of these inalienable rights.
Among these rights are “those of enjoying and defending life and liberty; acquiring, possessing and protecting property”, as declared and affirmed by the Constitution of North Dakota.
To understand this principle, it must be stated clearly that persons and property precede the existence of the legislator. He does not establish them, but, rather, they establish him along with a sworn duty to protect them. But, over time we have allowed our government to make a great confusion of this, as we have gone about to establish special rights beyond these, and in the process infringe upon those which are our natural rights.
We see that we have established special legal category groups which have been given special rights over those of the individual and his or her property. And so, with regularity we are expected to review and revise these categories as we attempt to “strike a balance” between these special group rights and those of individuals and property owners. And it seems that we can never find “just the right balance”, as we all saw this past Thursday.
This is why the classical view of private property makes answering difficulties such as these so easy and clear. Private property resolves conflict after conflict and produces clear guidance for what is acceptable action in society. In a civilized society, an exchange takes place only if both parties want it to take place.
Freedom of speech, for example, is abridged by property. You do not have the right to say whatever you want on my property. You abide by my rules or you leave. To act otherwise would simply be an act of invasion and a violation of natural law.
And, though property owners might deny you access to their property, the state may not deny them the right to deny you. Again, this would be a form of invasion. Similarly, the state may not deny your right to speak on your own or some other permissive person’s property.
Here we see that there are rights that individuals and property owners have which the state does not. What we say to the state is that “while we give you these powers, here are those rights which you shall not infringe” Among these being, again, life, liberty and property.
That the Red Raven Espresso Parlor in Fargo has chosen to ban from its premises all those House members who voted against SB2279 is a perfect example of the proper, legal and free exercise of the rights of a private property owner. They have decided that we are not acceptable company, and we can peaceably part ways. This is justice. This is freedom. This is peace.
Does it matter why they deny me service? Whatever their intentions or reasons behind the denial, it does not change the simple fact that they do not wish to do business with me. Since this denial is not a crime, I fail to understand how their motives for it could suddenly make it one.