Saturday, November 10, 2012

Freedom in America?

I have been thinking a lot about liberty and personal freedoms lately myself, with the outcome of this Presidential election. The ever-widening divides that I see in our country now-a-days seem to be polarizing our nation to an extent much like the issue of slavery back in the early days of our nation's founding. It almost seems to me that our nation has gone full circle w.r.t. "freedom" and "liberty." During the revolutionary and civil war eras individual freedom was the ultimate goal and so many were willing to sacrifice their lives in an effort to secure their “unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” Declaration of Independence

Contrast this to the modern United States of America today, where people in the United States seem to have absolutely no problem with willingly giving up many of their hard-won freedoms in order to get “free-stuff” from the government. It seems as if there is this huge disconnect with our country’s rich history and where we came from.  I have to wonder if our education system is failing our children and young adults in this respect?

John Stossel took a camera to the celebration rally for President Obama, in Chicago, on election night. He asked several people of varying ages, gender and race “So what does President Obama’s win tonight mean for freedom [in America]?” And not one single person asked had an answer. Some were just completely dumbstruck and speechless. Others said “Ummmm, I don’t know?”, with a pained and puzzled look upon their face. Clearly, few --if any-- had even stopped to consider the implications of their voting choice upon the very principle on which our nation was founded.  People just don't seem to understand what "freedom" means anymore or that it should even be important to them.  That just boggles my mind?!

There is definitely some more searching for answers and a way forward while pondering this topic, I think. Watch the full “Stossel” episode here (Democracy question above starts at time= 1:00 minute):

Watch: "Stossel" television episode 11/8/2012

Have you ever seen the movie "Equilibrium", with Christian Bale?  Makes me wonder if we are headed towards a society where freedom of thought is the thing that the "State" wants to outlaw, replacing independent thought with feel-good emotion and stuff as opposed to a pill maybe?  Of course, George Orwell's novel 1984 is another great narrative on this theme.

Well, perhaps I've given you something to ponder for yourself?  Or maybe not?  But, in closing it is my sincerest wish that more Americans will embrace and rediscover our country’s rich history in an effort to explore where it is that we have come from so that we can move forward with wisdom and insight toward a hopefully brighter future for our now floundering nation.  ... Toward this end, might I recommend a great place to start might be to actually read and truly contemplate the words of the famous document that started it all, the Declaration of Independence  and then follow it up with a reading of the Constitution of the United States of America --it's really not that long, break it up into the various articles and then the Amendment themselves if you need to and there are lots of useful on-line references to provide additional information and insights should you need further input and/or explanations. 

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