One Man’s Take On Freedom

What follows does not necessarily represent to position or opinions of anyone but myself.

What is freedom?  It’s a concept that our Founding Fathers seemed to understand completely, but we today have lost sight of it.  Now, freedom is like pornography.  No one can define it, but they know it when they see it.  However, freedom isn’t that hard to really understand.

Freedom is, in my simplest explaination, a lack of interference from authority.  It must be a lack of government interference in anything and everything we do, so long as no one else is harmed directly in the process.  With this definition, its obvious how we in the US are not as free as we like to think.

You don’t believe me?  That’s fine, I can understand that.  Schools, television, politicians, and even your parents told you your whole life that we lived in a free nation.  But then, when you turned 16, you got your driver’s license.  You paid that tax on your car and got a license plate, and you hit the road.  If you’re male, when you turned 18, you were required to register for Selective Services…basically, the draft.

If you went in the military, you knew you weren’t really “free”.  They tell you that, and that’s fine.  You signed a valid and legal contract to enter into that service, and it’s for a set period of time (this ignores stop-loss which I have a serious issue with).  During that time you’re not free to speak out however you like, you’re told where you will go, what you can and can’t do, etc.  It’s just part of military life.

But most people stay civilians, or leave military service, and go out into the civilian world.  Once there, they start to find that they’re still not free.  Taxes come out of their pay check immediately, and they never see that money.  They have to pay rent on their homes…even though they supposedly own it.  Sure, it’s called taxes, but rent by another name still has to be paid or you’re out on the street.

The government tells them that they can’t contract with a member of the opposite sex for intercourse.  They tell them what they can and can’t ingest into their body.  Government regulations tell them what medicines they can and can’t take to treat an illness.

The government also tells them how stupid one can act.  Most agree that it’s smart to wear your seatbelt while in a moving vehicle.  But with the government requiring it, we now have no choice.  Our freedom to do something potentially dangerous, but still unlikely to be necessary, is gone.

If a person is depressed, they are legally prevent from taking their own life in many places.  I’m not talking about assisted suicide, I’m talking about one person making a decision about their own life and acting upon it.  Technically, it’s illegal to attempt or commit suicide.

And really, this is just the tip of the iceberg.  We are not nearly as free as you may have been led to believe.  Whether you agree with these regulations or not is irrelevant.  We are not free by any measure.  Our lives are becoming more and more micromanaged until we will eventually find out that freedom is a myth.

Here’s the thing that most people don’t understand.  To protect freedoms, you must protect those you adamantly disagree with.  I dispise any and every racist group known to man.  Yet I must vehemently defend their right to peacably assemble and their right to speak freely.  Failure to do so will ultimately result in my loss of freedom.

Take Georgia’s firearm carry laws.  There is a restriction that one can not carry to a “public gathering”.  The law was an effort to disarm black who peacably assembled and prevent them from defending themselves from whites who attacked them.  Details can be found here.  Their effort to make life difficult for one group resulted in a loss of freedoms for everyone.  The same is true of anything else.

We must stand together and protect all freedoms, whether we agree with the free exercise of them or not, because if we don’t, we will one day find our own favorite freedoms attacked.  An attack on one freedom is, ultimately, an attack on all of them.  So let’s defend them all as if they were all that was left…because they are.

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