Quote of the Day: Freedom

 

“Freedom is a fragile thing and it’s never more than one generation away from extinction. It is not ours by way of inheritance; it must be fought for and defended constantly by each generation, for it comes only once to a people. And those in world history who have known freedom and then lost it have never known it again.” – Ronald Reagan Jan 5, 1967

Reagan was right about one thing: Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We are in a battle for the soul of our country; especially the principle that it was founded on individual liberty and freedom. That battle has to be won (or lost) at the grassroots. When a critical mass supports freedom, it grows like wildfire. When it does not, freedom dies.

Freedom is not granted by the government. Government, by its nature, is antithetical to freedom. The love of freedom has to come from the people, and it has to be renewed in each generation. It is our responsibility as parents and grandparents to pass that love of freedom to our children. What have you done to do that?

  • What steps have you taken to instill solid moral values in your children? Our founding fathers insisted only a moral people can be a free people. Children follow the example set by their parents.
  • What steps have you taken to pass a love of freedom and liberty to your children? This includes instilling a sense of independence in them, encouraging their autonomy, and giving them an appreciation of their heritage as Americans.
  • What steps have you taken to ensure those teaching your children are instilling a love of freedom and traditional American values? The hours your children spend in their schools forms their values.
  • What steps are you taking to ensure your children are not imbibing false values from their contemporaries and other influencers? Bad company breeds bad results.

We have a political battle going on this year, but we also have a generational front in the war to preserve liberty. There is a reason the state is insisting parents have no role in raising their children. Because parents are the first line of defense for freedom. Stand up and take charge of your part of the generational front. They are your children, not the state’s.

The freedom-lovers are scattered while the statists are concentrated, centralized. The statists are trying to convince us that fighting them is hopeless. Yet, the diffuse nature of the freedom lovers gives strength. There are too many of us, too scattered for them to defeat. They win only if we surrender. If you look carefully you see signs all around that the statists are failing, about ready to retreat, if not rout. 

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  1. Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patriot) Member
    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patriot)
    @ArizonaPatriot

    I used to find this argument persuasive and inspiring.  I now find it annoying, unsophisticated, and positively dangerous.

    Here are a few problems about which I’ve seen some complaints lately:

    • Rioting in cities
    • Public disorder such as homeless camps, with human feces, discarded syringes, and other filth strewn in public places.
    • Illegal immigrants flooding over our southern border.

    All of these are exercises of freedom by the wrongdoers, in a way that harms others.  Obviously.  Good government is the solution to these problems.

    This rhetoric of freedom is dangerous, in my view, because it fails to recognize that there must be a balance between freedom and other values.  We must have reasonable, proper enforcement of law and order.

    I think that virtually everybody agrees with this, with the exception of a small number of anarcho-capitalist utopians.  Yet people who should know better nevertheless use, and respond favorably to, this simplistic type of rhetoric about “freedom” and “liberty.”

    It’s as if they don’t see that their argument is going to be shoved down their throats by every miscreant and freak that they might encounter on the sidewalk.

    This type of rhetoric does seem to elicit an emotional reaction.  Like Mel Gibson shouting “Freedom” while being hypothetically disemboweled, I guess.

    Proper governance is actually difficult.  The world is complicated, with many competing values and virtues.  This reality doesn’t lend itself to sloganeering.  It requires an attention span longer than Harrison Bergeron’s poor mother.  It lends itself to calm discussion between sober adults, who seem to be in short supply these days.

    I also think that public morals will degenerate if not supported by law.  This point is more debatable, perhaps, but I think that the explosion in perversion and self-destructive madness is the consequence of the failure to teach and enforce reasonable rules of behavior.  It is difficult for parents to teach good morals to their children in a culture that rejects those morals.  I think that community support is necessary, and that includes government.

     

    • #1
  2. Seawriter Contributor
    Seawriter
    @Seawriter

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… (View Comment):

    I used to find this argument persuasive and inspiring. I now find it annoying, unsophisticated, and positively dangerous.

    Here are a few problems about which I’ve seen some complaints lately:

    • Rioting in cities
    • Public disorder such as homeless camps, with human feces, discarded syringes, and other filth strewn in public places.
    • Illegal immigrants flooding over our southern border.

    All of these are exercises of freedom by the wrongdoers, in a way that harms others. Obviously. Good government is the solution to these problems.

    This rhetoric of freedom is dangerous, in my view, because it fails to recognize that there must be a balance between freedom and other values. We must have reasonable, proper enforcement of law and order.

    I think that virtually everybody agrees with this, with the exception of a small number of anarcho-capitalist utopians. Yet people who should know better nevertheless use, and respond favorably to, this simplistic type of rhetoric about “freedom” and “liberty.”

    It’s as if they don’t see that their argument is going to be shoved down their throats by every miscreant and freak that they might encounter on the sidewalk.

    This type of rhetoric does seem to elicit an emotional reaction. Like Mel Gibson shouting “Freedom” while being hypothetically disemboweled, I guess.

    Proper governance is actually difficult. The world is complicated, with many competing values and virtues. This reality doesn’t lend itself to sloganeering. It requires an attention span longer than Harrison Bergeron’s poor mother. It lends itself to calm discussion between sober adults, who seem to be in short supply these days.

    I also think that public morals will degenerate if not supported by law. This point is more debatable, perhaps, but I think that the explosion in perversion and self-destructive madness is the consequence of the failure to teach and enforce reasonable rules of behavior. It is difficult for parents to teach good morals to their children in a culture that rejects those morals. I think that community support is necessary, and that includes government.

    Bless your heart. Maybe some day you will understand what freedom is and how it differs from license.  Come back then.

    • #2
  3. Hoyacon Member
    Hoyacon
    @Hoyacon

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… (View Comment):

    I used to find this argument persuasive and inspiring. I now find it annoying, unsophisticated, and positively dangerous.

    You are concerned about so-called “natural freedom.”  I think that most of us today understand “freedom” in the sense of an ordered freedom in which laws have a place.

    See Rousseau for more.

    • #3
  4. WillowSpring Member
    WillowSpring
    @WillowSpring

    I feel better today than I have in a long time. Today was the Republican “firehouse” primary to select an opponent to Jennifer Wexton.  The district is largely Loudoun County in Northern Virginia, a once ‘red’ district that went for Biden in the last election. It has been a hotbed of frustration with the school board and its lockdowns, CRT education and inappropriate gender and sex education.

    The 11 people running for the seat are a mix of what made – and hopefully, still makes America great.  Among several ex-military, small businessmen and local politicians were some notable standouts:

    *Hung Cao – his family escaped from South Viet Nam, he graduated from the first class at Thomas Jefferson, a very good magnet school currently being watered down in the name of ‘equity’.  He entered the Navy, served several tours and resigned as Captain.  If this is “replacement theory” at work, we need more.

    *Brandon Michon – he is an investment banker, father and local baseball coach.  He is famous for shouting at the school board during the Covid shutdowns: “Well, figure it out! There are others here who can do the job!”  He put his time and money where his mouth is.  Oh – his slogan is “Lets go Brandon!”  Pretty imaginative, huh?

    *John Beatty – Loudoun’s only conservative school board member, IT Director and teacher at a local school, father of 6 and has bees and chickens on a local farm.

    That is just three of the eleven.  Any of the  rest would also be an improvement over Wexton.

    In addition to the candidates, the crowd was encouraging.  On the first hot day of the year, there were long lines, very few chairs and a different ballot than usual.  In spite of this, the crowd was happy and I got a real sense of a change in the air.

    • #4
  5. Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patriot) Member
    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patriot)
    @ArizonaPatriot

    Hoyacon (View Comment):

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… (View Comment):

    I used to find this argument persuasive and inspiring. I now find it annoying, unsophisticated, and positively dangerous.

    You are concerned about so-called “natural freedom.” I think that most of us today understand “freedom” in the sense of an ordered freedom in which laws have a place.

    See Rousseau for more.

    Rousseau may be the worst of the lot, in my view.

    • #5
  6. Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patriot) Member
    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patriot)
    @ArizonaPatriot

    Seawriter (View Comment):

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… (View Comment):

    I used to find this argument persuasive and inspiring. I now find it annoying, unsophisticated, and positively dangerous.

    Here are a few problems about which I’ve seen some complaints lately:

    • Rioting in cities
    • Public disorder such as homeless camps, with human feces, discarded syringes, and other filth strewn in public places.
    • Illegal immigrants flooding over our southern border.

    All of these are exercises of freedom by the wrongdoers, in a way that harms others. Obviously. Good government is the solution to these problems.

    This rhetoric of freedom is dangerous, in my view, because it fails to recognize that there must be a balance between freedom and other values. We must have reasonable, proper enforcement of law and order.

    I think that virtually everybody agrees with this, with the exception of a small number of anarcho-capitalist utopians. Yet people who should know better nevertheless use, and respond favorably to, this simplistic type of rhetoric about “freedom” and “liberty.”

    It’s as if they don’t see that their argument is going to be shoved down their throats by every miscreant and freak that they might encounter on the sidewalk.

    This type of rhetoric does seem to elicit an emotional reaction. Like Mel Gibson shouting “Freedom” while being hypothetically disemboweled, I guess.

    Proper governance is actually difficult. The world is complicated, with many competing values and virtues. This reality doesn’t lend itself to sloganeering. It requires an attention span longer than Harrison Bergeron’s poor mother. It lends itself to calm discussion between sober adults, who seem to be in short supply these days.

    I also think that public morals will degenerate if not supported by law. This point is more debatable, perhaps, but I think that the explosion in perversion and self-destructive madness is the consequence of the failure to teach and enforce reasonable rules of behavior. It is difficult for parents to teach good morals to their children in a culture that rejects those morals. I think that community support is necessary, and that includes government.

    Bless your heart. Maybe some day you will understand what freedom is and how it differs from license. Come back then.

    Maybe someday you’ll understand that your distinction is a rhetorical device that fails to address the issue of balancing liberty against other values, leaving tradition defenseless against the arguments of the radicals.

    • #6
  7. Seawriter Contributor
    Seawriter
    @Seawriter

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… (View Comment):
    Maybe someday you’ll understand that your distinction is a rhetorical device that fails to address the issue of balancing liberty against other values, leaving tradition defenseless against the arguments of the radicals.

    Jerry, either your parents failed to raise you to understand what freedom and liberty really mean, or you are just doing your weird Jerry thing of insisting black is really white, and despite what everyone has told me in the past the Sun rises in the west. No really. (Followed by a long, convoluted explanation why that misses the real point of what was being said. 

    Maybe someday you’ll understand that your argument is a rhetorical device that fails to address the issue being discussed in the quote. Personally? I doubt it.

    • #7
  8. Lilly B Coolidge
    Lilly B
    @LillyB

    We need not disagree, really, about the meaning of freedom. If I read this post correctly, it’s emphasizing the necessity for free people to be responsible. We have rights and corresponding duties. Many people seem to elide those duties from the discussion of rights. For instance, a friend’s young daughter was working on a school project and determined that animals should have rights, as humans do. I immediately said no! (not to the girl, but to her mother), because the animals cannot fulfill corresponding responsibilities. We must care for our children, and that care includes teaching them about their proper role in society. They must learn that it’s not all about them. If they grow up in the mistaken belief that it is all about them, then they risk becoming enslaved to their own pleasures.

    • #8
  9. Lilly B Coolidge
    Lilly B
    @LillyB

    This post is part of the Quote of the Day (QOTD) Series, which is one of the group writing projects here on Ricochet. The other is the monthly group writing theme organized by @ cliffordbrown, currently open for volunteers to riff on the theme “Mother of —.” The QOTD signup sheet for May is here. There are still lots of open spots!

    • #9
  10. Hoyacon Member
    Hoyacon
    @Hoyacon

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… (View Comment):

    Hoyacon (View Comment):

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… (View Comment):

    I used to find this argument persuasive and inspiring. I now find it annoying, unsophisticated, and positively dangerous.

    You are concerned about so-called “natural freedom.” I think that most of us today understand “freedom” in the sense of an ordered freedom in which laws have a place.

    See Rousseau for more.

    Rousseau may be the worst of the lot, in my view.

    Worst of what lot?

    Do you have an issue with the difference between “natural” freedom and “ordered” freedom?  Or are you just reluctant to acknowledge that the latter exists?

     

    • #10
  11. Cassandro Coolidge
    Cassandro
    @Flicker
    • #11
  12. Cassandro Coolidge
    Cassandro
    @Flicker

    Lilly B (View Comment):

    We need not disagree, really, about the meaning of freedom. If I read this post correctly, it’s emphasizing the necessity for free people to be responsible. We have rights and corresponding duties. Many people seem to elide those duties from the discussion of rights. For instance, a friend’s young daughter was working on a school project and determined that animals should have rights, as humans do. I immediately said no! (not to the girl, but to her mother), because the animals cannot fulfill corresponding responsibilities. We must care for our children, and that care includes teaching them about their proper role in society. They must learn that it’s not all about them. If they grow up in the mistaken belief that it is all about them, then they risk becoming enslaved to their own pleasures.

    Freedom is strange because most of us think of freedom as the presence of something, or the positive existence of a condition, or of a state of being.  But freedom is defined as, and seems to be only definable as, a freedom from something, specifically the absence of any compulsion, the most extreme compulsion being slavery of every sort.

    Freedom is, as @Seawriter said, not license.  Once the shackles come off, one is still left in a moral universe, with moral and temporal responsibility to choose good and to act rightly.

    • #12
  13. DaveSchmidt Coolidge
    DaveSchmidt
    @DaveSchmidt

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… (View Comment):

    Hoyacon (View Comment):

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… (View Comment):

    I used to find this argument persuasive and inspiring. I now find it annoying, unsophisticated, and positively dangerous.

    You are concerned about so-called “natural freedom.” I think that most of us today understand “freedom” in the sense of an ordered freedom in which laws have a place.

    See Rousseau for more.

    Rousseau may be the worst of the lot, in my view.

    Rousseau is the grandfather of the progressive movement. “Will of the people” and the rest of the rot. 

    • #13
  14. I Walton Member
    I Walton
    @IWalton

    Freedom has become a word.  The priest today contrasted our use of the word love with the original gospel that used agape, which is quite different. We can contrast our use of the word freedom similarly.   US constitutional freedom was rooted in individual citizens, but protected and contained by unique foundational institutional arrangements, which were spelled out in the constitution.  Those who think it’s vague or ambiguous, don’t like the notion of basing power in individuals where everyone has warts and failings, rather than in government where they believe well meaning highly educated folks can lead us to better governance where those same superior folks help us  manage freedom. The whole notion is quite amazing as that’s how the world was governed from the beginning.  Now the left says they want to go back to the way the world has been governed forever.  Moreover, some folks on our side agree with the notion, they just want to be the guys at the top defining matters rather than the other guys and certainly not bottom up sorting  the truth out over time and open competition.  

    • #14
  15. Stina Member
    Stina
    @CM

    Cassandro (View Comment):

    Lilly B (View Comment):

    We need not disagree, really, about the meaning of freedom. If I read this post correctly, it’s emphasizing the necessity for free people to be responsible. We have rights and corresponding duties. Many people seem to elide those duties from the discussion of rights. For instance, a friend’s young daughter was working on a school project and determined that animals should have rights, as humans do. I immediately said no! (not to the girl, but to her mother), because the animals cannot fulfill corresponding responsibilities. We must care for our children, and that care includes teaching them about their proper role in society. They must learn that it’s not all about them. If they grow up in the mistaken belief that it is all about them, then they risk becoming enslaved to their own pleasures.

    Freedom is strange because most of us think of freedom as the presence of something, or the positive existence of a condition, or of a state of being. But freedom is defined as, and seems to be only definable as, a freedom from something, specifically the absence of any compulsion, the most extreme compulsion being slavery of every sort.

    Freedom is, as @ Seawriter said, not license. Once the shackles come off, one is still left in a moral universe, with moral and temporal responsibility to choose good and to act rightly.

    Paul describes himself as a slave for Christ, and yet in this yoking and bridling of fleshly desires, freedom is found.

    Freedom from what? Freedom to do what? 

    There’s a big question mark on the object of our freedom in the quote provided and our civic education for our kids largely leaves that hanging. Freedom from government? But the laws are government, so that’s not right. Freedom to do what we choose is right? Well, we aren’t fully on board with that, either.

    That just creates confusion and the lack of a cohesive vision for this country’s pursuit of freedom leaves future generations fractured as different civic values of freedom are passed from generation to generation.

    I know what I’m teaching my kids. But someone else is teaching their kids that freedom means something very different from what I think it means. And, well, that’s freedom. And disaster.

    • #15
  16. Cassandro Coolidge
    Cassandro
    @Flicker

    Stina (View Comment):

    Cassandro (View Comment):

    Freedom is strange because most of us think of freedom as the presence of something, or the positive existence of a condition, or of a state of being. But freedom is defined as, and seems to be only definable as, a freedom from something, specifically the absence of any compulsion, the most extreme compulsion being slavery of every sort.

    Freedom is, as @ Seawriter said, not license. Once the shackles come off, one is still left in a moral universe, with moral and temporal responsibility to choose good and to act rightly.

    Paul describes himself as a slave for Christ, and yet in this yoking and bridling of fleshly desires, freedom is found.

    Freedom from what? Freedom to do what?

    There’s a big question mark on the object of our freedom in the quote provided and our civic education for our kids largely leaves that hanging. Freedom from government? But the laws are government, so that’s not right. Freedom to do what we choose is right? Well, we aren’t fully on board with that, either.

    That just creates confusion and the lack of a cohesive vision for this country’s pursuit of freedom leaves future generations fractured as different civic values of freedom are passed from generation to generation.

    I know what I’m teaching my kids. But someone else is teaching their kids that freedom means something very different from what I think it means. And, well, that’s freedom. And disaster.

    I look at it more this way.

    “For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death.”

    “So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.”

    As for slavery itself, this gets back to the Biblical meaning of slave and bondservant and such.  Slaves were free to dedicate themselves to a life of servitude to a master, but it was voluntary and not done under compulsion.  The same with coming to Christ.  We willingly exchange one master for another.

    “For when you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness. But what fruit were you getting at that time from the things of which you are now ashamed? For the end of those things is death. But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the fruit you get leads to sanctification and its end, eternal life.”

    • #16
  17. Stina Member
    Stina
    @CM

    Cassandro (View Comment):

    Stina (View Comment):

    Cassandro (View Comment):

    Freedom is strange because most of us think of freedom as the presence of something, or the positive existence of a condition, or of a state of being…

    Freedom is, as @ Seawriter said, not license. Once the shackles come off, one is still left in a moral universe, with moral and temporal responsibility to choose good and to act rightly.

    Paul describes himself as a slave for Christ, and yet in this yoking and bridling of fleshly desires, freedom is found.

    Freedom from what? Freedom to do what?

    There’s a big question mark on the object of our freedom in the quote provided and our civic education for our kids largely leaves that hanging. Freedom from government? But the laws are government, so that’s not right. Freedom to do what we choose is right? Well, we aren’t fully on board with that, either.

    That just creates confusion and the lack of a cohesive vision for this country’s pursuit of freedom leaves future generations fractured as different civic values of freedom are passed from generation to generation.

    I know what I’m teaching my kids. But someone else is teaching their kids that freedom means something very different from what I think it means. And, well, that’s freedom. And disaster.

    I look at it more this way.

    “For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death.”

    “So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.”

    As for slavery itself, this gets back to the Biblical meaning of slave and bondservant and such. Slaves were free to dedicate themselves to a life of servitude to a master, but it was voluntary and not done under compulsion. The same with coming to Christ. We willingly exchange one master for another.

    “For when you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness. But what fruit were you getting at that time from the things of which you are now ashamed? For the end of those things is death. But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the fruit you get leads to sanctification and its end, eternal life.”

    Christianity explains what the freedom is from. So free from sin and slave to Christ is not oxymoronic, because there is freedom from death being a slave to Christ and not so being a slave to sin.

    We know what freedom is from and freedom is for in Christianity.

    In American civics, the rhetoric that Jerry finds objectionable does not define the from and for. There is some evidence of the forefathers having some concept or vision of it, but they left it nebulous, rendering it meaningless. Now, anyone can put their own spin on it and force the government to honor it through democracy.

    That makes the minority view of freedom unfree.

    • #17
  18. Rodin Member
    Rodin
    @Rodin

    Every election season starts the moment the polls close on the last election. It is tiring and absurd, and yet it is real if “self-governing” is to be a thing. Freedom does not exist in the absence of self-government. 

    • #18
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