In order to have a functioning free society, its members must live responsibly and treat each other with basic civility.

Critics of conservatives acoal-rollernd libertarians often charge that they don’t really care about anybody else and that they exhibit an “I’ll do whatever I want, damn the consequences,” mentality.

Sadly, some seem bound and determined prove the critics right.

Apparently, some have decided to use their diesel pickup trucks as a weapon in the culture war. According to a Business Insider article:

Coal Rollers” are diesel trucks modified with chimneys and equipment that can force extra fuel into the engine causing dark black smoke to pour out of the chimney stacks. These modifications are not new, but as Slate’s Dave Weigel pointed out on Thursday, “rolling coal” has begun to take on a political dimension with pickup drivers increasingly viewing their smokestacks as a form of protest against environmentalists and Obama administration emissions regulations.

OK. I understand the frustration. And I admit part of me finds the image of a big diesel 4×4 shrouding a Prius in thick black smoke kind of amusing.

But at its core, belching smoke at somebody is just boorish and rude. Not only that, but intentionally polluting the air to make a political point doesn’t make much sense. It’s akin to throwing garbage on the road to protest recycling zealots. Maybe you do make some kind of point, or at least enrage those with whom you disagree. But at the end of the day you have garbage all over your road.

More importantly, it tends to make the liberal’s point for them. My friend Mike Wallace made a pretty astute observation.

There is no point to purposefully polluting. The only thing it does is prove the liberals’ point, that we won’t do anything positive unless the government mandates it.

If we really want to live in a free society, absent government coercion, we must take on certain responsibilities such as caring for the poor, taking care of the environment and resolving conflict outside of the government structure. Simply put, just be a good neighbor.

We will never sell freedom when we package it in obnoxious, selfish behavior.