Matt and I started giving talks together about 4 years ago, a series of personal stories about our lives, and some life lessons about the beautiful things that can happen when people are free to join together to pursue happiness. Along the way we have developed a different way of explaining the values of liberty.
Take our marriage, for instance. Why did we need the government’s permission? Does a license somehow strengthen our personal commitment to each other? As you dig deeper into the history of the state’s involvement in matrimony you discover their awful motives: to squash love and to keep lovers apart, typically based on the color of one’s skin, as happened in Apartheid South Africa and in the American South.
But let’s go deeper. Practically speaking, marriage was once little more than a merger of financial assets as a means of survival. Together, a man and a woman might produce a family that could plan and harvest crops and survive harsh winters. It was a cold economic calculus that had little to do with love. By the time Matt and I got engaged, the economics of survival never crossed our minds. We were in love, and that was all that mattered. We, and any one of us pursuing love and happiness today, are the unknowing beneficiaries of personal freedom and free markets, and the economic prosperity that has made living for love affordable—not an unattainable luxury at all.
So on Valentine’s Day, take a moment to contemplate the values that are fundamentally at odds with all of the divisiveness, political tribalism, and collective “isms” that try to tell us that love, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness is naïve and selfish—we must live our lives based on some greater government design. I say “Hell No” to that. Tolerance, peaceful cooperation, trust, and, yes, love, are a better way to live. Together.
Wishing you love, liberty, and happiness on Valentine’s Day.