The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

Texas A&M utility Gavin Grahovac (9) throws the ball during A&Ms game against Georgia on Friday, April 26, 2024, at Olsen Field. (CJ Smith/The Battalion)
Southern slugfest
May 23, 2024
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Texas A&M University System Chancellor John Sharp attends the Class of 1972 50-year reunion in Kyle Field on April 20, 2022.
A&M System’s Title IX director suspended after supporting Biden's Title IX changes
Nicholas Gutteridge, Managing Editor • May 23, 2024
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A fighter jet squadron flies over during the National Anthem before Texas A&M’s game against Arkansas at Olsen Field on Saturday, May 18, 2024. (Chris Swann/The Battalion)
Bryan-College Station Regional participants announced
Ian Curtis, Sports Writer • May 27, 2024

For the second time in three seasons, No. 3 national seed Texas A&M baseball will host the Bryan-College Station Regional, where it’ll...

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Beekeeper Shelby Dittman scoops bees back into their hive during a visit on Friday, April 5, 2024. (Kyle Heise/The Battalion)
Bee-hind the scenes
Shalina Sabih, Sports Writer • May 1, 2024

The speakers turn on. Static clicks. And a voice reads “Your starting lineup for the Texas A&M Aggies is …” Spectators hear that...

Kennedy White, 19, sits for a portrait in the sweats she wore the night of her alleged assault inside the Y.M.C.A building that holds Texas A&M’s Title IX offices in College Station, Texas on Feb. 16, 2024 (Ishika Samant/The Battalion).
'I was terrified'
April 25, 2024
Scenes from 74
Scenes from '74
April 25, 2024
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Farewell from the graduating Battalion staff of 2024
Farewell from the graduating Battalion staff of 2024
The BattalionMay 4, 2024

Individual rights make America great

“In the end,” said English historian Sir Edward Gibbon, “more than they wanted freedom, they wanted security. They wanted a comfortable life, and they lost it all – security, comfort and freedom. When … the freedom they wished for was freedom from responsibility, then Athens ceased to be free.”
In my 73 opinion articles published in this paper, I have explored current events, attempting to share a reasoned opinion. Most of the time, I tried to show a moral path to take from the wrong choices of politicians, but I was also able to celebrate heroes taking a stand for what’s right.
I have made it a habit to open my articles with a quote, in the tradition of Greek orators who summoned the Muses to guide their work. In the same way, I have reminded my readers of wisdom from the past.
On my 73rd and final opinion article since joining The Battalion in the summer of 2002, I’d like to talk about one of my passions, and what I believe is the saving grace of the United States: freedom. There have been empires and triumphs of government long before our own, but the United States has been the great experiment of unique and free republic.
“In 1776, 1950, or now, there’s never been a golden age of liberty, and there never will be,” wrote political commentator David Boaz. And that’s true – though founded upon the ideal of freedom and individual rights, there was slavery and, after that, Jim Crow. Throughout American history, the years have proven an uphill struggle to provide freedom and justice for all. But, this fight is driven by the belief that freedom, through the upholding of individual rights, is the only system of government that allows man to be safe from other men and to pursue his own happiness and goals.
Individual rights should mean exactly and only that. It doesn’t mean the right to a free lunch, or the right to food and shelter. For those who wish people to have these things, they must take it upon themselves to give to charity for it. This is the only moral way to do so. Creating a government for that purpose is immoral, because the government cannot create anything – the only money it can use to feed starving citizens must be taken by force from other citizens, which constitutes theft.
A government’s purpose is that of safety, to form an army for the protection of its survival, and to create justice and law that safeguards its citizens against robbers and killers who seek to prey upon their fellow man. By believing that a government must make its people free from not only these things, but through personal responsibility, we take our nation on that road which Sir Gibbon noted lead to the fall of Athens. Lawsuits and regulations that place value on the actions of the irresponsible have created a paternal government. Too many Americans have wanted to regress to the status of children. This must not be, for it negates the value of a rational adult, the highest being found in nature.
I’d like to congratulate those who read opinion articles and examine their subjects rationally – you are the thinkers of tomorrow. Only you have the power to create a morally successful path for our industries and nation. We face much evil in the world, evil seeking an easy path through life by taking what others have rather than producing it. Worse are those who inadvertently spread evil ideas by failing to examine them critically and spreading them regardless.
As you move on past college and into the world, remember that individual rights are the only things that will bring about a color-blind society, that allows people to keep the money they make, and give to charity if they wish. Individual rights are the only things that preserve the freedom that allows us to seek happiness.
As philosopher Ayn Rand once wrote, “In the name of the best within you, do not sacrifice this world to those who are its worst . . . Do not lose your knowledge that man’s proper estate is an upright posture, an intransigent mind and a step that travels unlimited roads. Do not let the hero in your soul perish, in lonely frustration for the life you deserved, but have never been able to reach. Check your road and the nature of your battle. The world you desired can be won, it exists, it is real, it is possible, it’s yours.”
Earn it, Ags.

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