What “Live Free or Die” Means to Me

I was born in New Hampshire. The state’s motto is “Live Free or Die.” Some might think that sounds a little radical, but I love those words, and I want to live by them as much as I can.

Traditionally, the phrase Live Free or Die is in reference to government intrusion. The motto was penned in response to British control of the colonies. Check out the history behind the motto here.

Live Free or Die Is Neither Right Nor Left

In today’s politically charged climate it might be easy to assume that to live free or die is associated with a political view. Trump supporters might tell you that a left-wing government will lead to socialism and then communism. Democrats might say that the current republican party is a tyrannical fascist regime. Both are exaggerations. The best of two evils is not a real choice.

That doesn’t mean that both parties don’t infringe upon our freedoms. They do. On the left, we’re more likely to see regulations and taxes that make it harder to “live free.” On the right, there’s heavy support for militaristic policing of our citizens. Does that mean it’s time for me to slit my throat and say goodbye to the world? Absolutely not.

In America, we still have a relatively free society. I can still travel freely about my country. I can choose where and how I want to live. I can choose what kind of work I want to do. And as long as I don’t break laws, I’ll remain free to do so.

By the way, New Hampshire has no income tax or sales tax.

As for things like taxes, social security, and welfare, I personally don’t see a problem with giving into a system that is designed to help care for me when I’m no longer able to work. That will essentially, help me to “live free” in my golden years. The progressive in me believes that part of living free is helping my neighbors in need to also live free. It’s only when that system is taken advantage of that I oppose it.

What Live Free or Die Means to Me

To Live Free or Die simply means I can choose to do as I please within my country. But it goes a little further for me. Hopefully, America will remain relatively free for the remainder of my time on this planet. But there are a couple of instances in which I might choose death over life.

  1. Unfair punishment: Our justice system is a little fucked up to say the least. I tend to keep my nose clean, (and I’m white), and therefore probably don’t need to worry as much about this issue as some. But if there ever came a point at which I was imprisoned without any hope for release, I might pull a Jeffery Epstein. Oh, but Jeffery Epstein didn’t kill himself.
  2. Extreme poor health: My stepfather took his own life. He was in the later stages of Parkinson’s disease. He was no longer able to live free, not only physically, but also mentally. He also saw that his medical bills would potentially make my mother extremely poor in her old age. So he ended his own life. Drastic? Maybe. But I get it.

I’m not sure I’d have the guts to end my own life, but if my health ever reaches the point where I’m extremely disabled, I’m all for assisted suicide. What’s the point in living if one can no longer live free?

For now, even though I have polycythemia vera, a slow and progressive blood cancer, my health is still fairly good. So you don’t have to worry about me throwing myself in front of a bus. In fact, I’ve accepted the idea of aging gracefully. So even with all the inconveniences that come with my condition, I’ll be sticking around as long as I can.