The photograph above, taken in Heidmühlen, Germany, in 1948 or 1949, probably represents the last time that anyone could say I was sitting on the fence. My mischievous uncle Bruno stuck me up there for a joke, then snapped the photograph. My rear-end may have been firmly planted on the fence, but even then I imagine I had a pretty good idea of which side I stood on many issues, at least those of importance to a three-year-old.
The extent to which many individuals are wishy-washy, indecisive, tentative, unsure, astounds me. Too few of us want to take a stand on anything. We sit on the fence until something, usually an external influence of some kind, pushes us to one side or the other and forces us to choose. It is a lot easier not to take a position on anything; that way we don't have to defend our premise, or our words or actions. Let the other guy speak and think for us.
I don't like it when others think and speak for me. I'm not arrogant enough to think that there is no-one smarter than I am. There are a lot of people smarter than I. I don't believe for a moment that there are no other principled and consistent individuals in the world. I happen to have friends that are all of these things: smart, principled and consistent. The problem is that these individuals seldom end up in positions where the wrong decisions screw up my life. It's the pragmatists, the compromisers, the world-improvers, the unprincipled yahoos who end up as politicians and enforcers, who make our lives hell.
Let's stop sitting on the fence. If you feel, as I do, that too many idiots make too many decisions that are bad for us, do something about it. Write letters to the editor. Join your local or national Libertarian Party. Write blog posts in defence of liberty. Hold politicians responsible. They fear more than anything else losing their status and power. Lobby against the dolts and the power-hungry maniacs who want to control you and your money.
The fence is no place to be. It is, in every sense, a pain in the ass to both the sitter and everyone else.