Why is it that freedom has become so de-valued in America? Is it because, like the old saw, we have simply taken it for granted? Are we just too busy having fun with all our toys? Are we just dumbed-down by our schools and media who persist in appealing to the lowest common denominator? As a child growing up in the fifties, I often heard, “It’s a free country!” proudly repeated as a clarion call to patriotism that everyone could relate to. No matter what you believed in, you were free to believe it. You could aspire to do or be whatever you wanted and still be accepted as an American. Maybe we didn’t realize it back then, but our sense of freedom stemmed from the inherent diversity of thought that our American culture fostered.
To us, the idea of freedom was being able to make our own choices, work toward our own dreams and live our lives with minimal intrusion from government. We saw government not as a force to make things happen for us, but as an absence of interference. My generation’s sense of pride in American freedom “trickled down” from the Declaration of Independence, which set the standard for preserving freedom, not only for us but for all peoples and for all time. My education in the public school system featured the study of that document. Central to its message are these words:
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights; that among these, are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. That, to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed; that, when any form of government becomes destructive to these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute a new government …”
We were taught that we were free. Lincoln called it “government of the people, by the people, for the people”, which makes “We The People” responsible for government. In a free country it’s our job to participate in government, which means at the very least, voting. But things have changed since I was a schoolboy. Now, many schools will not even teach about the Declaration of Independence because they consider it too revolutionary. Well, duh!
Today, there is an attitude about freedom that goes something like this: Freedom is financial security; the ability to afford nice housing, healthcare, education, etc. We see this attitude in legislators and lobbyists who want the government to provide these things for the ‘poor’, the ‘disadvantaged’ and the ‘disenfranchised’. Because they see affluence as the doorway to ‘opportunity’, they claim these folks don’t really have freedom. In other words, you need an affluent lifestyle in order to be free.
In Me & Bobby Mcgee, Janis Joplin sang, “Freedom’s just another word for nothing left to lose, Nothing don’t mean nothing honey if it ain’t free”. As troubled as the times in which the song was written, this lyric reduces the meaning of freedom down to having stuff and getting it for free. Sadly, that opinion seems to be growing. Our so-called poverty level includes those who own their own home, appliances, automobiles, computers, cell phones and now, thanks to Obama and congress, health care. Food stamps provide them with free food, welfare often pays more than any job they could get. What’s left? A free college education? It’s going in that direction.
At the heart of most domestic legislative debate is the idea of entitlement as a right. Proponents believe that freedom doesn’t mean very much to certain ‘disadvantaged’ minorities because they don’t have the same opportunities as those who are more affluent. They propose legislation to provide financial benefits to those specified ‘disadvantaged’ groups, based on the assumption that by doing so, we ‘level the playing field’.
Those who oppose such entitlement legislation point out that the funding of these programs places a greater tax burden on people who are already struggling to work toward their own dreams. They point out that the socialist principle of the ‘redistribution of wealth’ is fundamentally destructive to freedom because the government is taking one person’s money and giving it to someone else. The individual may complain, “Hey! That’s my money!” But big government says, “It’s for the ‘greater good’.
This political debate has traditionally been framed as the dynamic between liberal and conservative thought; the liberal view primarily represented by Democrats and the conservative view primarily represented by Republicans. For a long time that arrangement seemed to work fairly well — either side, sometimes winning, sometime losing, seemed to be looking out for America in their own way. We got so used to this two-party system that we often feel obliged to choose one or the other, even if we don’t completely go along with everything that party represents. But have we really accepted the popular political notion that we must accept the ‘lesser of two evils’? I voted that way until early in the first term of “W”.
After years of longing for a political majority, the Republicans got it. They controlled both the administration and congress. I, like many other conservatives were dismayed at a president who called himself conservative and a Republican majority in congress who increased the size of government and out-spent all the previous so-called liberal administrations. Those on the left continued to criticize Bush and the Republicans, while those of us on the right wondered why, because to us, he was actually acting more like a liberal Democrat!
It was during that time, with political debating keeping us busy arguing about a multitude of issues, that I noticed an even greater political force raising its ugly head. And while our politicians cannot even agree on the meaning of freedom, this force is threatening to destroy that freedom altogether. I’m talking about globalism. Globalism doesn’t just color our national debate, it renders both sides irrelevant. When both ‘conservative’ and ‘liberal’ politicians give lip service to the ‘international community’ and obeisance to the likes of the United Nations and the World Court, our national sovereignty is in jeopardy.
The application of international law in our courts, and allowing U.S. citizens to be subject to the World Court undercuts the authority of our Constitution and the protections it guarantees. American military personnel are required, if ordered, to serve under the United Nations and obey foreign officers, in violation of their oath of service, not to mention the constitution. Michael New has been fighting this injustice for years. The U.N. Law of the Sea threatens to take away our authority to drill off our own coast, among other things. The U.N. is trying to eliminate private gun ownership in our country — another threat to our constitution. The U.N. is trying to establish the authority to tax countries, particularly the United States, for such things as pollution and energy use. Taxation without representation is emblematic of the grievances that led to the American Revolution! Representatives in the U.N. are appointed and only answerable to the head of their particular nation, most of which are not democracies.
For freedom-loving peoples the concept of allegiance to global authority is repugnant. This includes the idea of a regional authority, such as the proposed ‘North American Community’ of Canada, the U.S. and Mexico. The supporters of such international authorities are those who stand to benefit financially through investment in multi-national corporations. World markets have created huge fortunes to be made in manufacturing and trade, and national and local laws only get in the way. Simply said, politicians get bought off as the money-makers spread their wealth around. And, oh, we are no longer free. Government now is of the multi-national conglomerates, by the multi-national conglomerates and for the multi-national conglomerates. ‘We The People’ get screwed.
This by no means is an exhaustive description of the globalist threat to freedom. But what American citizens need to know is that globalism directly and negatively impacts on their pocketbooks, as well as their freedom. The lie of global warming has influenced our law-makers to the point that our energy policy is driven by fear. They assume that unless we convert to energy that reduces hydrocarbon emissions, the world will heat up, the ice caps will melt and the planet will no longer be able to sustain life as we know it. So now we are spending ourselves into oblivion, trying to avoid this anticipated doom, despite the unproven, ignorant assumption that human behavior could even have a significant impact on global climate change. The bottom line is that we pay more taxes, the cost of energy rises and our leaders look to world management for their salvation — while we seem to have lost the freedom to just say no.
If you are an American who votes, vote for candidates who first, last and always care about our national needs. Today, most candidates who fit that bill aren’t even in the Republican or Democrat parties. Some of the most promising candidates seem to be coming from third parties, you know, the ones you never hear about because the news media isn’t interested? But regardless of what party they belong to, regardless of their liberal or conservative views, we need people in our government who are going to look out for us, America, the American constitution, and American freedom. It is our duty to stand up for our own nation, our own values, our own traditions — not take care of the whole world. We don’t need politicians who think that freedom’s just another word. We need to get rid of them.