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         Republicans have a reputation for being authoritarian, close-minded, jack-booted, hypocritical, reactionary…. well you get the idea. And yet, they're always proclaiming how much they love freedom. How can this be? Well, it's all a question of just how you parse these things out. If freedom is having the power to choose, Republicans certainly believe in personal choices. Here's a few examples generated during moments of not terribly deep contemplation of events and memes currently in circulation.

• Here's a classic: homosexuality is a personal lifestyle choice. Duh!

• Poverty is a choice, given that anyone who is willing to work hard enough can succeed, unless crippled by government assistance. Raising the minimum wage would just disincentivize people to make that choice to go out and find a better job.

• It's a mistake to envy the ultra-rich. They deserve what they have because they are really good at making the right choices. (It would be unreasonable snark to suggest their most important choice was picking the right people to be their parents.)

• Ending slavery was not a result of war or any other government effort - it 'just happened' once we chose to live up to the Constitution.

• Women have chosen to work for less pay than men get for the same job because of a whole bunch of reasons. Like, they do it for greater job security. They're more interested in a flexible schedule. Having the government just bestow equal pay on them is condescending.

• Chris Christie can't be blamed for Bridgegate because he gave his staff freedom to make choices, without his micro-managing everything.

• Obamacare is wrong because it takes away the freedom of people to chose whether or not to have insurance. It's wrong to deprive people of the choice between buying health insurance, or paying the rent, or buying food, or having children. Choices like that build character.

• The Supreme Court decisions removing restrictions on money in politics are all about choice. Now that politicians can be bought and sold in the free market, people are free to invest in whomever they chose, as much as they want.

          That's just a smattering of examples. I'm sure there are more out there - but this should be enough to dispel the notion that Republicans aren't big fans of personal choice.

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