The Nature of Freedom

Freedom has changed. What was once the inspiration that compelled men to lead their families to a distant land in order to begin a new life unencumbered by smothering totalitarianism, it has become some vague notion given only scant lip service when politically expedient. Freedom must be redefined to its original splendor. It must be pushed back up to the status that was once celebrated by all Americans, to the exalted position that our founding fathers knew it deserved. To re-establish freedom as a beacon of happiness should be the priority of every American. But we face an uphill battle. Those who do not understand the nature of freedom have assaulted its delicate façade. Although freedom and man’s desire for freedom will never be stripped from the soul, it has been pitted and tarnished and must now be resurfaced and polished, so that we can once again enjoy the fruits of our god-given status.

It is hard to imagine a people willingly voting themselves into subjugation, but that is exactly what the people of Venezuela did. Since Hugo Chavez was voted into office his government has seized control of the largest telephone company in Venezuela, followed by the largest electricity and cement companies. In February of 2007 his own congress, passed a law that allowed Chavez to “rule by decree.” Most recently, Chavez is seizing his nation’s largest gold mine. Of course, the seizure of private companies is cloaked in a language that sounds well-meaning and reasonable. The Mining Minister of Venezuela commented, “Due to the financial crisis that has extended throughout the world, it’s necessary to recover our gold to increase out international reserves.”

In seven short years that country has slipped into a totalitarian state. It illustrates how a population absent an understanding of freedom can enslave itself.

This is the same path that has been cleared for the United States. Liberal leaders across the country, emboldened by the popularity of Barack Obama, have been doing something that they had heretofore not done: say what they actually think. Congressman Moran from Virginia recently said, “…we have been guided by a Republican who believes in this simplistic notion that people who have wealth are entitled to keep it and they have an antipathy towards the means of redistributing wealth.” Senator Biden recently implied that raising taxes was our patriotic duty. President elect Obama told a tradesman that, “we want to spread the wealth around.” The liberals in this country are telling us what they want to do, very clearly and concisely.

Many Americans are frightened that we will lose freedom to these anti-capitalist sentiments. But there are those who do not see this as an encroachment on freedom, rather as something that they deserve.
This is folly. The government was never intended to provide material wealth to anyone. It cannot without sacrificing freedom. Ronald Reagan said it best when he said, “A government can’t control the economy without controlling people.” Reagan was right. Whenever one man becomes the arbiter of how to spend another man’s wealth, one man then becomes subjugated to another and freedom is lost.

But the temptation of gaining wealth without the requisite work is strong. Peggy Joseph is an American woman who has fallen victim to this temptation. At an Obama rally she exclaimed, “…I never thought this day would come…I won’t have to worry about making a car payment, I won’t have to worry about making my mortgage…” If the government is going to provide these things, can it not also take them away?
As soon as government begins providing, it begins controlling.

In the context of freedom, liberal promises are frightening indeed. The liberal list of promises is quite long. Government will provide your healthcare; pay for your college education; ensure your mortgage payment; control who you contract with and what the terms of that contract are; confiscate earned wealth and give it to those it deems worthy; and as believed by Peggy Joseph, the government will make your car payments. If these things come to bear and the government does provide all of these things, two things must be true. First, the government will also have the power to take these things away. Second, in order to fund these material handouts, the government will be required to confiscate wealth from those who produce it. After all, the government produces nothing, it only consumes. To protect ourselves from this tyranny, we must not fall victim to the temptation. And we must change the way we think of the role of government, specifically regarding taxation.

For too long, the democrats on Capital Hill and liberals across the country have been allowed to frame taxation in their own terms, which are designed to obfuscate the true nature of taxation. Liberals talk about “providing tax cuts” and “giving billions in tax breaks to the rich, while that poor get nothing.”
Except, how can government “give” something that was never theirs to begin with. A tax cut is not the government giving money away. More accurately, it is allowing people to keep more of what they have earned.

Individuals and businesses produce; the government consumes our work. Not the other way around.

To believe that it is the government’s role to provide material wealth is to subject oneself to tyranny. That is not what the United States is. That is not what made the United States the greatest country in the world. We are exceptional in spite of government, not because of it. When the 60 some-odd million Americans who recently voted to be given material wealth by the government come to understand that in doing so they have sacrificed their own freedom, only then will we reinvigorate our blessed United States. When freedom is fully realized it can unleash the maximum human potential to achieve and nothing can stand in the way. But first, we must all come to understand the true meaning of freedom and how it can bring about happiness. Only freedom can bring the safety and security that Americans demand. Let’s join together and embrace freedom. Let’s turn our backs on those who will tempt us with materialism, only to seize power in doing so.

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