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.”