We Are Uneasy About Our Freedom

As Election Day nears, let’s get to the heart of the matter. Why does this feel so big? Because we are uneasy about our freedom; we fear it’s slipping away.

Last night, as I switched channels looking for election news, I happened upon an interviewer asking attendees of an Ann Romney rally why they supported her husband. In different ways, the interviewees replied that they were concerned about freedom. The interviewer pressed one of them, (and I paraphrase), “Aren’t you free? What is it you can’t do?” In somber tone, she replied, “I fear we’re losing our freedom ….with all the regulations and…. I want to live in a country that’s free, like the one I grew up in.”

On the surface, we are free, wildly so. Just look at the abandon and freneticism of American life. There is superficial normalcy, modern-American style. But, under Obama, we have seen “our” federal government become not only exponentially bigger, but also dramatically less representative and less accountable. It’s not just that Obama amplified reckless spending and borrowing, and expanded regulations on families, religions, localities and businesses; it’s that government under Obama is not “of the people, by the people and for the people.” This is government by fiat. At the least, this is government not careful enough of individual rights and not convinced enough of the principles of liberty.

This administration sides against businesses – from Boeing Airlines to Gibson Guitars. It sues states for election laws and immigration policies it doesn’t like. It spends obscene quantities of our money on stimulus projects and bureaucracies, then refuses to explain where the money went. Our president never tried to work with Congress to pass a budget; he took fund-raising tours instead. He appointed extra-constitutional “czars,” many with an anti-freedom bent. He sought the advice of and/ or included on his team: Valerie Jarrett, Van Jones, Anthony Lake, Charles Freeman, Robert Malley, Samantha Power and Anne-Marie Slaughter. To varying degrees, all held that the United States placed too much emphasis upon its own democratic principles and way of life, failed to appreciate and accommodate other cultures and political systems, poured too much money into defense, and was “arrogant.” (Thankfully, Congress rejected Freeman for the National Intelligence Council.)

Speaking of intelligence and foreign policy: Have you noticed that Obama sees no need to justify his foreign policy to Congress or the American people? He avoids foreign policy speeches and issues directives that bypass congressional oversight and public view. His administration seems to be getting away with Benghazi and Fast and Furious, thanks partly to a complicit media that accepts obfuscation and prevarication. Moreover, in departure from our best traditions, Obama, Secretary of State Clinton and Secretary of Defense Panetta have neglected to stand up for freedom in the world – morally, rhetorically, philosophically or geopolitically. Their blatant indifference to the slaughter, torture, and imprisonment of innocents in North Korea, Syria, Lebanon, Somalia and elsewhere reveals their unseemly rejection of the idea that free people care when others are enslaved.

Obama and his allies disregard many of the people they are supposed to represent. Regardless of the overwhelming unpopularity of the measures, they pushed through Obamacare and punitive restrictions on our energy industry, thereby ruining chances for energy independence at a time when it affects our independence as a nation. Worse, they demonized whole segments of America, including tea-partiers, Republicans, and “the wealthy.” Remember the Department of Homeland Security’s report entitled “Rightwing Extremism: Current Economic and Political Climate Fueling Resurgence in Radicalization and Recruitment?” As Monica Crowley pointed out, “It suggested that anyone who opposed abortion, illegal immigration and oppressive taxes, supported gun rights or served in Iraq and Afghanistan should be singled out for special attention. … There was no mention of being on the lookout for potential violence committed by Islamic jihadists… ”

The Obama team wants a new America, and they’re dragging us toward it, with the help of the U.N. On September 18, 1787, a woman identified as Mrs. Powell is said to have asked Benjamin Franklin, as he departed the meeting that enacted the U.S. Constitution, “Well, Dr. Franklin, do we have a monarchy or a republic?” Franklin’s historic reply: “A republic, if you can keep it.”

  1. John Grier

    Best overview of my feelings presented this day.  Thanks!!!

  2. liberal jim

    I probably have a lower regard for Obama, his minions and the prostitute press that sing his praises than most on Ricochet and I don’t disagree with anything written above.  One must remember that   the acceleration of the loss of freedom began under none other than GWB and a Republican Congress.   Now I think Obama has sociopathic tendencies and may very well be capable of significant purposeful evil and that GWB is a generally well meaning persons who was primarily concerned with trying to do good.    Freedom though can be equally threatened by both good and bad people.   

    Romney has won my admiration during his campaign thanks in large part to his wife.  I now believe he is every bit as good a person as GWB and more intelligent, knowledgeable,experienced and disciplined.   The answer to most of the countries problems is less government, a simple answer that GWB seemed incapable of grasping.   Given the Republican track record of pursuing bigger government while talking about the opposite I unfortunately do not hold out much hope that Mr Romney will experience much success  if he tries in any serious way to trim the tentacles of the federal government.   

  3. BrentB67

    Very good analysis. 

    Progressives understand as well or better than conservatives that true freedom is directly proportional to private property. 

    Progressives beat the drum about freedom of expression and freedom to be happy while furthering their agenda to prevent earning and accumulating private property. The more resources an individual has the less beholden they are to a centralized government. That infuriates the progressive cause.

  4. Anne R. Pierce
    BrentB67: Very good analysis. 

    Progressives understand as well or better than conservatives that true freedom is directly proportional to private property. 

    Progressives beat the drum about freedom of expression and freedom to be happy while furthering their agenda to prevent earning and accumulating private property. The more resources an individual has the less beholden they are to a centralized government. That infuriates the progressive cause. · 2 minutes ago

    I agree. Private property is such an important linchpin of freedom.

  5. BrentB67

    One must remember that the acceleration of the loss of freedom began under none other than GWB and a Republican Congress.

    I hope we never forget this, but I fear we have already. The big difference between GWB/republican congress and Obama/Pelosi/Reid is that Obama et al told us to our face they were going to confiscate property, explode debt, and suppress freedom. GWB and company tried to keep up a limited government facade all the while expanding the government and thus decreasing freedom.

    Thank you for pointing this out. The only thing worse than tyranny is hypocrisy on liberty.

  6. Chris Johnson

    It’s not just the progressives and Obama, they are merely the worst.   It has become difficult for ordinary Americans to even rely upon gainful employment that does not have at least a tinge of crony capitalism.

    Obama does not need to seek congressional approval, nor an electoral mandate, as long as some, more, most companies line up at the federal trough.  It always starts small, then firms wind up hiring HR people, just to keep them compliant, then they become slaves to the federal mandates and dollars.  That’s what shuts people up and it will do that very same thing under a Romney administration.

    Nothing is ever quite bad enough to both lean you against your friends and neighbors, and make you less of team-player at the workplace.  Congress and the voting booth are not the issue.  The federal government has inserted itself between us and our families, neighbors, and jobs.  Ruining everything else is now easy for the federal government.

  7. John Hendrix

    Thank you for such a spectacular and devastating summary.  Your list of offenses reveal an administration that is  determined to rule instead of govern. 

  8. Margaret Ball

    Not to mention blatant flouting of the law and the constant attempt to restrict freedom of speech and of religion. And a press that’s in bed with the administration. I truly fear the results of another Obama term. This election might not just be the most important one in my lifetime – it might be the last one in my lifetime. Does anybody doubt that he’d install himself as President-for-Life if he had the chance?

  9. Anne R. Pierce

    Liberal Jim and BrentB67,

    I agree that the unwarranted expansion of our govt. has been going on for a long time. That’s why I said, Obama ..amplified reckless spending and borrowing, and expanded regulations on families, religions, localities and businesses. I do think we’re at a turning point given the “purposeful” aspect Liberal Jim refers to.  This is, for the most part,  an administration that believes in fundamental change.

  10. Red Feline

    Margaret Ball: ” … Does anybody doubt that he’d install himself as President-for-Life if he had the chance?’

    Having seen this happen, I know it is possible. This is not an extreme idea.

  11. Anne R. Pierce
    John Hendrix: Thank you for such a spectacular and devastating summary.  Your list of offenses reveal an administration that is  determined to rule instead of govern.  · 38 minutes ago

    Thanks.  Your observation about ruling instead of governing, in combination with Devereaux’s observations and La Derniere Lettre’s observations are more reminders that the founding ideas regarding how to maintain limited government  -and world and American history – are not being seriously taught in schools.  My sons were treated to Howard Zinn’s propaganda in their AP American history class. Ugh.

  12. FirstAmendment

    These are such important points that I pray Governor Romney repeats them down the home stretch.  Our freedoms are under direct attack from Obama and his cronies, which is arguably THE most important issue of this election.  I worry that his ads are talking about nothing other than jobs — the stakes are infinitely more important and Romney seemed to address some of the bigger issues in the debates.

  13. Anne R. Pierce
    FirstAmendment: These are such important points that I pray Governor Romney repeats them down the home stretch.  Our freedoms are under direct attack from Obama and his cronies, which is arguably THE most important issue of this election.  I worry that his ads are talking about nothing other than jobs — the stakes are infinitely more important and Romney seemed to address some of the bigger issues in the debates. · 16 minutes ago

    I agree. Romney showed authenticity and spunk in the debates, and in his foreign policy speech at the Military Academy. The ads I’ve seen seem “small,” in comparison.

  14. Nick Stuart

    The freedom to raise our children as we believe to be right (my wife & I started homeschooling in a time and place when homeschoolers were still being hauled off in handcuffs, so we know what it’s like to have to be ready for a knock at the door by the Childrens Protective Services person with a sheriff in tow).

    Odds are everyone who reads this is currently committing a felony of some kind whether it’s importing improperly packed fish or posession of an eagle feather. And everyone who reads this could have trouble with the IRS. We have to live in fear of losing our freedom for doing something a reasonable person would have no cause to believe is illegal.

    One wrong word, one wrong glance, is enough to cause us to lose our job and be permanently blackballed from pursuing our vocation.

    If we post something to the internet someone decides is impolitic, we can be hauled out of our house in the middle of the night for “voluntary” questioning.

    I’m running up to the word limit, but damn right we’re afraid of losing what liberty we have left.

    Free birth control though.

  15. La Dernière Lettre

    http://www.theblogmocracy.com/2012/11/01/why-thomas-peterffy-is-voting-republican-and-putting-this-ad-on-television/

    I’m sure everyone has seen this, but I always find the words of people who have lived under socialism sobering and enlightening.

  16. Leslie Watkins

    What always seems to be at the heart of the problem is the meaning of things. Like freedom. For me, it doesn’t simply mean the absence of a police state, just as peace does not simply mean the absence of war. It means making room to fail as well as succeed, a tough pill to swallow in such a soft, self-indulgent era. It means grounding morality in the individual as being a member of various groups, not groups as supposedly embracing all individuals. The sense of losing freedom is the sense that our cultural mindset on these issues is changing, being washed away by the tide of fear that inundates the lives of so many Americans. This is not easily translated to the reporter who fails to acknowledge his or her own deeply held views, so great is the zeal to make all answers, as if all questions are prosecutorial, a simple “yes” or “no,” even as they extol the virtues of context. Love everyone, the media urges on screen; fear everyone too. Like goodness, freedom must be a value unto itself as much as a value itself.

  17. AnnaS

    I too fear for our freedom!

  18. Devereaux

    It is not surprising that there are weirdoes who believe silly concepts like socialism/fascism. What is scary is that the nation as a whole doesn’t recognize who we are – or should be – and what it requires for that to remain that way.

    The lessons of freedom, of limited governmental power, of the primacy of property are well documented, yet people don’t seem to know them. Instead we have that nebulous sense that “we are less free”. When the federal government can decide what you can or can’t do with your property, when it dictates what kind of light bulb or toilet you must buy, when it demands you purchase a product or be fined, when a TSA searches you for trinkets while not “profiling” to look for real terrorists,  when the fed can dictate to religions what they can or can’t do, we should easily recognize where our liberties have gone.

    What is scary is that past generations would have easily recognized these assaults and dispatched them quickly and without significant dissent across the population – and we don’t seem to be able to.

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