The most basic principle to being a free American is the notion that we as individuals are responsible for our own lives and decisions. We do not have the right to rob our neighbors to make up for our mistakes, neither does our neighbor have any right to tell us how to live, so long as we aren’t infringing on their rights. Freedom to make bad decisions is inherent in the freedom to make good ones. If we are only free to make good decisions, we are not really free.
Socialist ideologies blur this line between self reliance and government control because the mistakes of the individual are spread to everyone else. Thus the government becomes very interested in your decisions and way of life, with the justification that you could make a mistake others will have to pay for. The end result is, of course, that everyone loses privacy and control over their own lives. Whether they realize it or not, they are no longer truly free.
~ Ron Paul, Personal Freedom and the Internet (June 30, 2008)