The Coalition Against Freedom

For decades, Houston has seen a steady parade of politicians and activists advocating rights-violating policies. From the sign and smoking ordinances of the 1980s to the preservation ordinance of the 1990s, from the subsequent amendments to these ordinances in the 2000s and 2010s to the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance (HERO) of 2014, Houston has seen the formation of a coalition against freedom.

In most instances, the advocates of a particular ordinance also supported other rights-violating ordinances. For example, Councilwoman Eleanor Tinsely led the fight for both the sign and smoking ordinances. More recently, former Mayor Annise Parker led efforts to strengthen the preservation ordinance and she was instrumental in passing HERO.

On the surface, there may not seem to be a commonality between signs and smoking, between historic preservation and discrimination. One might wonder why an activist or politician would be actively engaged in such seemingly disparate issues.

But if we look below the surface, the mystery dissipates. If we look below the surface, we can see what connects these various issues (and many others like them).

No matter the particular issue, the coalition against freedom sees others using their property in a manner than the coalition finds objectionable. Whether it is erecting signs, allowing smoking in one’s business, tearing down old buildings, or setting the conditions for using restrooms, the coalition does not like the choices that some people make. And so, they seek to make those choices illegal.

It is not a coincidence that the coalition often uses the same mantras. “Quality of life” and “protecting neighborhoods” are probably the most popular. Nor is it a coincidence that these terms are never defined.  Any attempt to do so would reveal the true motivation behind the coalition.

The coalition wants to force individuals to live according to the demands and dictates of the collective, such as the neighborhood, the community, the city, or the region. They want to force individuals to sacrifice their personal interests for the “public interest.” They want to force individuals to subordinate their own judgment to the “will of the people.”

The members of the coalition against freedom are not part of a vast conspiracy. They are united by a common principle: might makes right. They believe that if they can assemble enough like-minded people, then their policies and programs are justified.

If one studies Houston’s history over the past four decades, it may seem that the coalition against freedom is destined to win. They aren’t. All it takes is the courage to expose their evil.

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