Government v. the peoplePublished 12:28pm Thursday, June 14, 2012
This letter is in response to the online article Monday about the petition submitted by those pushing for liquor and other alcohol in Hartselle.
Those pushing for liquor sales are blatantly placing more importance on beer tax revenue for the government than on the people served by the government. The underlying philosophy – the good of the whole is greater than the harm or inconvenience to the individual. Said another way – that which is good for the government is good for the individual.
Naturally, a government will not choose to limit or stop any form of revenue it finds. There is a tendency to seek more. Applied to liquor and other alcohol, the clear trend is that government will seek different ways to make more money from liquor and other alcohol – bars, extended bar operating hours, Sunday liquor sales, entertainment districts, etc. Look at Decatur and Arab as prime examples.
One supporter of legalized liquor sales said in the online article “We’re desperately needing it.” This is the first time that I recall that “desperate[ion]” has been used to push for liquor sales. Do those pushing for liquor sales really believe that the Hartselle city government desperately needs more of your tax dollars? According to two city councilmen, the Hartselle city budget is on sound financial footing.
I ask you to consider others who are “desperately needing it”. They are alcoholics. They are desperate children and wives of alcoholics. They are victims of alcohol related crimes. They are the ones who pick up the pieces after the party is over. They are parents getting that late night knock on the door about their child killed in alcohol related accidents. How can any community leader turn their back on people like these in order to gain a few pennies per drink from the beer and sales tax? Why would a government choose to make revenue from something that causes so much personal harm and destruction? Without a doubt, liquor causes a lot of problems. To deny this is dishonest. To turn your back on it is unjust.
What is the “it” that victims of liquor and other alcohol desperately need? The “it” is compassion for the individual. This compassion motivates us to think about the needs of others as greater than our own desires. If making liquor and other alcohol more available in Hartselle causes greater temptation for the alcoholic, why vote yes? If making liquor and other alcohol more available in Hartselle leads to more violent crime, why vote yes? If making liquor and other alcohol more available in Hartselle opens the door for bars and nightclubs, why vote yes?
Finally, the current slogan of those pushing for liquor sales is “Its Time.” I agree. It is time. It is time for compassion on victims of liquor. Its time to seek good for individuals over expansion of government budgets. It is time to set aside the dogged pursuit of convenience. Its time to look beyond the forcible defense of such common liberties. It is time to care.