JLF’s Becki Gray discusses why voters should view this election season in the context of freedom versus government intervention. It is excellent food for thought as we each begin our research into candidates’ views on issues.

Candidates for the General Assembly will answer questions about school choice, taxes, and spending. Should parents be free to choose the best options for their children? Should poor students have the same opportunities as their wealthier classmates? 

Is a simpler, fairer, more equitable tax system that allows families the freedom to keep and choose how to spend more of their money better than paying more to the government and getting less? Is a state government obligated to provide transparent and honest accounting of where tax dollars are spent? Isn’t the best way out of poverty a job? 

In many ways, the outcome of North Carolina’s judicial races may have the greatest impact on life in our state. The Supreme Court could make decisions on the voter identification requirement, redistricting, school choice, the death penalty, property rights, and more. 

Who those judges are and the principles that drive their decisions are critical to the preservation of freedom in North Carolina. A healthy respect for and strict adherence to the North Carolina Constitution provide our only assurance that the judicial branch of state government will protect our freedom. 

Local government candidates will be answering questions about public transportation, school construction costs, land use, zoning, smart growth, debt, and transparent budgeting.

School boards should ensure taxpayer dollars are spent effectively on classroom instruction and focus on meeting the educational needs of children, families, and communities; they also should encourage collaboration among all schools in their district, including charter, private, and traditional pubic schools. Nor should they antagonize parents who choose to educate their children at home. 

The issues center on the economy, but the election is about freedom. Every issue should be put to this test: Does it restrict or promote freedom? Every candidate should be committed to preserving freedom and every voter to understanding what is at risk.