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Freedom is Messy

July 3, 2019

You’ll hear from people that a lot of countries are “free” but are they really? Do they have a constitutional right to free speech? Can they insult the leaders of their government and not be punished by said government… not because the laws aren’t enforced, but because such a law would be illegal? Only in America, baby!

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Freedom Jell-O Shots!

What that freedom means is that people are going to say things you don’t like. Perhaps a football player will take a knee during the Anthem (an action I applaud, even if I don’t agree with the sentiment. It’s brilliant: Peaceful, guaranteed to get people talking and even some people thinking!). That doesn’t mean freedom from your employer’s or society’s consequences, just that the government can’t throw you into jail or beat you with a club (legally, anyway). And those stupid tweets from the executive branch don’t count because he has free speech, too. One could wish for restraint or thought behind such tweets, but… that’s freedom.

It also means people get to do what they want as long as it doesn’t infringe on someone else’s rights. And, let’s face it, that’s the tough one. We all have things that set us off. We have things that we believe will wreck society, or make us look bad in front of the world.

Yep, but that’s freedom. If you want order, you’re looking for a fascist country (and no matter what the left says, this is not a fascist country).

Franklin and Jefferson and Adams each concluded that the only way for a free society to flourish is if it is also a moral society. Yet freedom has no such safeguards. It’s odd to me, though, that we only have a tug-of-war between the left and the right. It should be left, right, center, off-center, up, down… it should be a melee. The fact that it’s not suggests that the Two-Party System isn’t a freedom thing unless it means freedom from thought. That a country of millions upon millions only has two candidates to choose from for President is nuts. Personally, I’d like to see two candidates from the current parties and throw in a few more from independent parties. The electoral count to win would have to change, but that’s a small thing. Yet even then, the winner wouldn’t truly represent everyone. Because, freedom.

I would love it if every American were moral, and my definition of moral, but it would have to be their choice, and I don’t see that happening. At one time, societal mores kept people more-or-less in shape (except not really, there was a strong underground for anything; secrets were the rule of that day. No shame is the rule of ours.)

Which takes us to weird place. The longer a free people exist, the weirder the country will get. Yet freedom is an unalienable right. Can we pitch those and legislate extremism? If so, who’s extremism? Do we trust a government to make that decision?

Maybe someday we’ll get to a point of no return, but I’m praying for revival, and until then, I will fly the colors of imperfect freedom, the red, white, and blue.

Who’s with me?

One Comment leave one →
  1. July 3, 2019 9:35 pm

    While we don’t agree on all things politically, I do love your last paragraph.

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