When is the last time you heard a major politician talk about freedom?
As the policy-wonks and "intellectuals" debate endlessly about "ideas" (in which they really mean "government policy"), we never hear about the most basic of issues ... you know, that little thing called freedom.
Are we really to believe that in America, freedom has become "oh, that's so passe ..."?
With their total and complete dominance in Washington today, the Left - the Progressives - are restructuring our free nation into a complete socialist (anti-free) state (sadly, with the help of too many Republicans). Unfortunately, they have the support of a large part of the American electorate to do so. Why?
Why do so many individuals support the ever-growing Leviathan?
The easy (and true) answer is that Progressives offer hand-outs, particularly economic hand-outs. The more specific answer however, I believe anyways, is that many people view receiving these hand-outs and/or at least making them available - the social safety net - as a form of freedom. Leaving aside (for now) the argument concerning the legitimacy of this claim (whether this is true freedom or not), we can see in effect that people do indeed vote for freedom!
In his book, The Conscience of a Conservative, Barry Goldwater talked about freedom. He ends his first chapter stating (emphasis added):
Thus, for the American Conservative, there is no difficulty in identifying the day's overriding political challenge: it is to preserve and extend freedom. As he surveys the various attitudes and institutions and laws that currently prevail in America, many questions will occur to him, but the Conservative's first concern will always be: Are we maximizing freedom?
President Ronald Reagan consistently talked about freedom. His national popularity exploded when he traveled the country supporting the presidential campaign of Sen. Barry Goldwater, the man who said our first priority should always be "maximizing freedom!"
In a 1975 interview with Reason Magazine, Ronald Reagan told the interviewer (emphasis added):
If you analyze it I believe the very heart and soul of conservatism is libertarianism. I think conservatism is really a misnomer just as liberalism is a misnomer for the liberals-if we were back in the days of the Revolution, so-called conservatives today would be the Liberals and the liberals would be the Tories. The basis of conservatism is a desire for less government interference or less centralized authority or more individual freedom and this is a pretty general description also of what libertarianism is.
Reagan never shied away from discussing the significance of the founding of our nation, or what being an American means either ... FREEDOM!
Ours was the first revolution in the history of mankind that truly reversed the course of government, and with three little words: "We the People." "We the People" tell the government what to do; it doesn't tell us. "We the People" are the driver; the government is the car. And we decide where it should go, and by what route, and how fast. Almost all the world's constitutions are documents in which governments tell the people what their privileges are. Our Constitution is a document in which "We the People" tell the government what it is allowed to do. "We the People" are free. America is freedom--freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom of enterprise. And freedom is special and rare. It's fragile; it needs protection.
I'd like to end this post with a little advice for the Republican Party and their policy-wonks and "intellectuals" too ...
Deep down inside, each one of us, are all individuals yearning for freedom. So put down your complicated policy ideas (which are really nothing more than another version of Big Government), as well as your "strategic" marketing campaigns ... rediscover freedom ...
And then start talking about it!