We talk about it. We celebrate it. We claim to cherish it and yet many people don’t understand it. I’m talking about liberty. Here we are moving towards the high-water mark of the election season and our President is attacking and dividing our country instead of promoting liberty and freedom. He’s talking about Romney and his time at Bain Capital. He’s calling him a felon. He’s talking about raising taxes on the “evil” rich. The Democrats in congress have even threatened to drive America off the fiscal cliff if the Republicans don’t give into their demands. He’s bashing the free market, bashing the successful and bashing individualism. Let’s face it Obama clearly favors more control and less liberty. He wants more control over our economy, more control over our energy production, more control over our money, more control over our daily activities and more control over our healthcare. He uses executive orders to impose his will on us and exert more control over our lives. What’s really sad is if you believe the polls, 47.3 percent of the people approve of President Obama’s actions and this is a problem in regards to liberty.
How can so many people discard something we claim to cherish? Why is liberty being cast aside in favor of more governmental control in our lives? Why are there a large number of Americans who seem to be perfectly ok with trading off their liberties in exchange for more government regulation? And how did we regress so quickly from being a proud people who embraced liberty and freedom to a people who now believes we cannot stand on our own two feet without government in our lives? At some point the land of opportunity was transformed into the land of dependency and many are perfectly happy with their piece of the government cheese. This is the reality of the America we live in and the reason a President with such a terrible track record like Obama’s still has a very good chance to get reelected.
In my opinion there are two main reasons why I believe so many Americans don’t understand what liberty is and why they’re so willing to surrender it to the government. The first and most obvious reason is because we simply don’t teach our children about our history and liberty anymore. When my mother and father went school in the mid 1940s the curriculum was rich with the history about the founding of our great nation and the principles of liberty and freedom. They grew up in a time period that just saw the end of the FDR era. It was really the first time Americans got a taste of real federal intervention in their lives and it scared the crap out of them. They wanted no more to do with it and there was a push to reexamine the curriculum being taught to school children. More emphasis was placed on American History and the Sciences. Liberty and freedom was held up against the growing threat of communism. People were proud of their nation back then. They were selfish with their liberties and knew how precious freedom was. What they didn’t count on was the progressive disease of the early 1900s had already infected our institutions of higher education at the next level and a new revised version of our history began to take shape. One that was extremely critical of America’s past, one that viewed our constitution as a living breathing document, and depicted our founding fathers as a bunch of old white guys who owned slaves. The progressives pushed a distorted narrative about separation of church and state and over time removed God from public schools. What was lost by removing God from school was the basic understanding of where our rights come from; God not government. Once we lost this understanding, the rights we were born with ceased to exist and new rights granted by government became the prevailing theme. The progressive trap closed on our rights and with that an appreciation of liberty that Americans was once held so near and dear to their hearts slowly disappeared.
Today when you open up a social studies book you might see a few chapters dedicated to the progressive revised version of history that they’re teaching our children. How can someone embrace or cherish liberty if they haven’t even been taught about it in their early years? How can we expect young people to defend something that have zero understanding about and in some cases actually find repulsive? The answer is we can’t and this is how we end up with a large group of mindless drones who look for the solutions to our serious problems in a handbook of some government regulator. Unless we turn this around and engage our local school boards they will continue to churn out these noncritical thinking mindless drones who will vote for a radical like Obama over and over again.
The second reason I believe so many people have no understanding of liberty is because so many people live in cities. Cities tend to be inundated with rules, regulations, and ordinances. You need a permit for this or a license for that. They tell you when you can water your yard. They tell how your trash must be separated for pick up. They tell you the kind of structure you can build on your property. They tell you the kind of animals you can own. The list goes on and on and the truth is people have been conditioned to accept a life governed by rules and fines. Liberty has no place in large cities. The mindset of the central planners is that people with liberty simply cannot be trusted to make the right decisions, so the city through ordinances and regulation will make those decisions for them. Everything you need can be bought in a store or is walking distance from your apartment. Security is provided by a massive police force. There is no need for guns, because the police will protect and serve. So where in this world is liberty ever embraced and cultivated in cities? The answer is it’s not. There is no reason for it because everything is either at their finger tips or provided for by the city. And as long as you follow all the rules and ordinances life is good. This is why I believe big cities tend to lean hard to the left on the political spectrum. Living in the country is a much different beast.
Living in small towns or on a farm requires people to be more self-reliant and both self-reliance and liberty are cut from the same fabric. This is why rural parts of the country tend to lean towards the conservative end of the political spectrum. They don’t rely on some governmental force to bail them out or to feed them. They feed themselves. Farmers make decisions each day that drive the level of production on their farms and end of the day what they produce is directly related to the amount of effort they put forth. They don’t have a massive police force to protect their property, they rely on themselves. They build to meet a need. They are free to self govern themselves and they cherish the ability to decide their fate. They cherish liberty.
How do we reverse this trend? How do we promote the idea of self-reliance in the cities? How do you reach a large group of people who have little or no understanding of liberty? The answer is through education; source material from the founders. Teaching about the constitution using source documents is the key. Use real life examples of how liberty promotes freedom and how it enhances the human condition. These are a few things we can do to unravel the progressive mess that is now America. We have a mountain to climb and a long journey ahead of us. It is a journey we must embark on because if we don’t there is a very real possibility that liberty will be lost forever in America. And when that happens…game, set, match for the republic.
Liberty forever, freedom for all!