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SENTRY JOURNAL » Liberty, Limited Government » Friday Ramblings: Do we even know what liberty is anymore?

Friday Ramblings: Do we even know what liberty is anymore?

This administration has done more to encroach on our individual liberties than any other in recent times.  They have punched a hole through our constitution and have assaulted the few liberties we have left and we have done very little to stop it.  Somewhere along our journey as a republic we lost our understanding of liberty and with that sacrificed our individualism and possibly the republic.  It started with the progressive movement in the early 1900s and over a span of 90 years it has slowly evolved into the liberty stealing, free market stifling, overreaching beast we all live with today.  We as a people abdicated our responsibilities as citizens to solve our problems by looking inward and turned outward to the state for answers.  How did they answer?  They answered with Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid; programs that seemed harmless at first, but soon grew out of control in terms of costs.  The people became addicted to these below average performing programs and demanded they be fixed.  With each new congress more and more regulations were passed to control every aspect of our lives.  From the amount of water allowed in our toilets to the increasing government interference in our free market system we traded our liberties piece by piece for security and now the bill is coming due.

This is the system most of us were born into; the only one we know.  One where government regulates and controls our lives by confiscating a portion of our earnings, capping our success, encroaching on our property rights, telling us what to eat, how to insulate our homes, what kind of car to buy, how much energy to use, violating our 4th amendment rights with pat downs and body scans in the name of security and telling privately owned companies where they can move in the name of economic fairness.  We are no longer trading our liberties away they are simply taking them from us and using the constitution as the tool to justify their actions.  Where is the outrage?  Where are the people and why aren’t they standing up for liberty?  I contend that we live in an age where people simply don’t understand liberty anymore or they embrace a watered down version of liberty believing it’s the real deal.  I found an article at BREEDS HILL INSTITUTE the other day that addresses this struggle to understand liberty.

Our concept of liberty today is pale and thin compared with that of the Founders.  Today we want to believe in liberty (small “l”), but not so much that we could get hurt. As long as we can still say what we want, worship as we please and have a vote, we say we have liberty.  We expect that the government will prevent us from making mistakes, rescue us if we do make mistakes and provide for us if we fail. The founding generation wanted no restraints and accepted that they would have no safety net if they failed. This is a concept that is foreign to both of our main political parties today, and to most Americans in general.

You see we don’t really understand the liberty of our founders.  We can’t wrap our brains around the notion of a society that views individual liberty as a sacred thing because we only know this liberty-lite version we live with each day.  We can’t comprehend a society with minimal government involvement because we have become addicted to it.  Think about this, whenever some sort of natural disaster occurs the first thing we have been conditioned to do is to look to see how the government responds to it.  The founders fought for a liberty that limited the powers of government and promoted the individual with very few restrictions.  It was this kind of individual liberty that made America great.  Below is some more from the article.

Today, the Constitution that was put in place to restrain Government’s ability to infringe on freedom is regularly violated without much protest and sometimes with support from the public. The Government has been allowed to create new departments and administrations that effectively redefine its powers. Undoubtedly, this expansion has made us safer; but it has had a price. To justify it we have had to redefine what we mean by Liberty.

The Founders saw Liberty as the opposite of tyranny. Freedom from dependence on another’s will. The ability to choose one’s own way without interference.

We have redefined liberty because we know not what we do.  We have lost our way because of the years we traded off our liberties for security.  If we don’t readjust our view of liberty back to how the founders viewed liberty then we will lose the republic and our freedoms with it and that’s simply unacceptable.

Liberty forever, freedom for all!


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  • Trestin Meacham May 13, 2011 at 2:05 AM

    I’ve noticed the same thing I did a post about the government busting the Amish for selling unpasteurized milk. Irecieved the argument that there a reason for such laws. Really? I, as a grown adult need the government to protect me from buying something in which I am full aware of the possible side effects?
    Trestin Meacham recently posted..PARNELL &amp THE ROYAL WEDDINGMy Profile

  • Steve Dennis May 13, 2011 at 5:06 AM

    Great post John, somehow people now feel as if liberty is a world in which the government will protect them from themselves and this is a warped version of what liberty is supposed to represent. It is amazing to me that they left has been able to influence this many people that the government is the answer to all the problems. Not only do the leftists not understand liberty, they do not understand the basic role of our government; they do not understand that the constitution tells the goverment what it cannot do.
    Steve Dennis recently posted..New Hampshire governor vetoes “right to work” billMy Profile

    • John Carey May 13, 2011 at 5:56 PM

      People are comfortable with being told how to live. The are for the most part ignorant on the issues and because if this they can be easily manipulated. This is a sign of a society in decline. This is why people educated on the issues are such a dangerous threat to the establishment.
      John Carey recently posted..Friday Ramblings- Do we even know what liberty is anymoreMy Profile

  • Infidel de Manahatta May 13, 2011 at 1:57 PM

    Everyone always says “Liberty and equality” like they are synonyms. They are bitterly opposed. The only way to ensure equality (like the progressives want) is to end all liberty. Let the liberals worship equality. I’ll take liberty any day.
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    • John Carey May 13, 2011 at 6:00 PM

      Indeed Manhattan! In order for the left to control the masses liberty must die. I’ll take liberty over equality any day of the week. With equality our abilities and capacity to succeed are capped. With liberty…the sky is the limit!
      John Carey recently posted..Friday Ramblings- Do we even know what liberty is anymoreMy Profile

  • Silverfiddle May 13, 2011 at 4:07 PM

    I agree completely.

    I am reminded of a pathology known to afflict prisoners who are recently sprung. They are scared because they have lost the oppressive yet predictable and secure confinement.
    Silverfiddle recently posted..Ill Take The Koran for 500 Alex!My Profile

  • Teresa May 13, 2011 at 11:04 PM

    Unfortunately over the last 40 or so years people have grown up expecting to be instantly gratified instead of working hard and earning certain benefits over time. Many people confuse wants with needs nowadays.
    Teresa recently posted..Bill Whittle Does Some War on Terror Meme Myth-bustingMy Profile

    • John Carey May 14, 2011 at 12:03 AM

      You’re exactly right Teresa. People have become conditioned to believe they are entitled. They are entitled to a portion of your wealth, your property, and your liberty.

  • Silverfiddle May 14, 2011 at 7:46 AM

    Here’s another answer to your question:

    USA Today asks, should we drivers pay by the mile or by the gallon?

    If the politicians have their way it will be both…
    Silverfiddle recently posted..Ill Take The Koran for 500 Alex!My Profile

  • John Galt May 14, 2011 at 12:48 PM

    John, well done, this is the fundamental issue we must resolve in order to go forward.
    John Galt recently posted..The Presidents Consistent InconsistencyMy Profile

    • John Carey May 14, 2011 at 2:26 PM

      I absolutely agree. This must happen on the micro level in the family unit first and it starts with the parents learning what liberty really is from the perspective of our founders. This can grow from this unit and prepare children for when they go to college and face Marxist professors.

  • Jim at Conservatives on Fire May 14, 2011 at 12:55 PM

    Excellent post, John. Go back in time to when the developed part of America was all East of the Mississippi. If the people of that time had the attitude of people today, the West would never have developed as it did.
    Jim at Conservatives on Fire recently posted..Guest Saturday with My Tea Party ChronicleMy Profile

    • John Carey May 14, 2011 at 2:30 PM

      You are so correct Jim. People back then understood what liberty was and why it was so important. I can remember my grandfather’s attitude about government interference. He was 100 percent against any government interference at the local level. He always would say when you let government in the door, good luck ever getting them out. How true his words were.

  • RightHandMan
    RightHandMan May 14, 2011 at 1:03 PM

    How much harder does this hit given the state supreme court of Indiana ruling that private property cannot be guarded by individuals against government agents (police) who don’t have a warrant? Even the dissenting justices concluded that the 4th Amendment can be abandoned in cases of domestic violence…

    Both sides have a perverted view of private property laws and what “shall not be violated” means. Liberty is a fading idea where the individual is now a nussance to the freedom of government rather than the government being a nussance to the freedom of man.

    • Silverfiddle May 14, 2011 at 2:20 PM

      It is amazing how upside down we’ve become. The rights of the state now trump those of the individual.
      Silverfiddle recently posted..Ill Take The Koran for 500 Alex!My Profile

      • John Carey May 14, 2011 at 2:43 PM

        I know what you mean. We’re living in strange days. We need to start being selfish with our liberty again.

    • John Carey May 14, 2011 at 2:36 PM

      And you would think there would be state wide outrage over this Right. I mean think about it, what if there were protests to defend the constitution and libert on the scale as it was in Wisconsin with the unions. I mean we’re talking about the outright violation of our constitution here. It’s absolutely outrageous.

  • Matt May 14, 2011 at 1:50 PM

    That’s an interesting take John, and I have to agree. I would also add that perhaps this is why so many vote for RINO’s. They’re big government and anti-liberty, but slightly less so than the Democrats.
    Matt recently posted..Questioning Global Warming Compared by Committee to Other ‘Falacies’ Like Believing in God- A Personal StoryMy Profile

    • John Carey May 14, 2011 at 2:42 PM

      I think you could be on to something Matt. Perhaps this is indeed why so many people are comfortable with RINOs. They embrace this liberty-lite notion. Enough liberty to give us a taste but not enough to be a free people.

  • Country Thinker May 14, 2011 at 7:22 PM

    Where’s my government cheese, you oppressor?

  • Linda May 16, 2011 at 12:46 PM

    You are absolutely right. Good post, and it sounds a lot like my thoughts on the state of our citizenry today. We indeed do not know what real liberty is like, as a culture. Sadly, I’ve realized that the entitlement mentality is not just for “welfare queens” anymore, but has seeped into the mindset of middle class, employed, even professionals. Like you said: addicted.

    Linda recently posted..The Joy of ReunionMy Profile

    • John Carey May 16, 2011 at 7:14 PM

      Thanks Linda for the comments. Many people don’t even realize how addicted they have become to this federal monster. From food stamps to social security it has embedded itself in every aspect of our lives. We have forgotten liberty in its purest form and settled for liberty-lite or as I like to call it…crap.

  • theCL May 16, 2011 at 2:32 PM

    This is a concept that is foreign to both of our main political parties today, and to most Americans in general.

    People get frustrated with me because I pick on the right just as much as (if not more) I pick on the left. Luckily, some folks (like you John) understand there’s a method to my madness.

    1) Self-reflection: We can’t change the world until we first change ourselves. We’re certainly more than mere victims of “those Democrats,” and being human, we certainly make mistakes.

    2) Liberty will return to America once the political right accepts and champions it again. The left’s epistemology is radically different than our own. We have to make liberty real so they can see it for themselves.

    If we on the right aren’t willing to critique our own ideas and actions, we’re doomed. Little mistakes begin adding up and the next thing you know DC is vastly more powerful than King George III. We must constantly ask ourselves if we’ve adopted progressive ideas, supported legislation for purely partisan reasons, and/or made “beating the Democrats” a higher goal than obtaining and preserving liberty.

    My rhetoric can certainly be strong, but I do not “attack.” What I do is sound the alarm, crying out for some serious soul-searching.

    *cross my fingers … hope this posts.
    theCL recently posted..Best Read 05-08 – 05-14-2011My Profile

    • John Carey May 16, 2011 at 7:23 PM

      Well it posted just fine CL. Trust me I get it my friend and you have played a huge role in making that happen. We need to wake up an realize we’re living a lie and that the liberty of our founders is rapidly disappearing. The great experiment of self governance is coming to end with each liberty we trade away. These sellers of snake oil have worn the hats of both political parties and they have convinced us that they know what is best. We know best and they are part of the problem.

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