Democratic Underground

Is Freedom Really Free?
November 30, 2001
by kder

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Is freedom really free? Last year during the election I was in the Intensive Care after I got hit by a car. My mom and the nurses and the doctors all were watching the election returns. Everyone who came in to look after me asked me about the election. Most of them voted for Al Gore. After I was discharged and went home, I was bedridden for a very long time, and all the news reports were about the recounts and the Supreme Court ruling.

For a year now, I have listened to my mother and others discuss their political beliefs and my beliefs are similar. Freedom is more than politics, yet politics puts a heavy burden on our freedom.

What is freedom anyway? The most basic freedom is free thought. No one can own what I am thinking? Yet, can they? We can be brainwashed with propaganda. Is our media really reporting the truth? Or are they reporting what they are told to report?

I am under the impression that nothing is free. Men die in wars. Mothers lose their sons. Children lose their dads. My uncle has shrapnel in his body and a steel plate in his head from Viet Nam. He suffers everyday. He certainly is not free.

I'm just a kid, but I pay taxes on stuff I buy in the stores, so I support something within our government with each purchase. So whatever service or freedom is involved it is not free.

I know since the World Trade Center tragedies, we are on heightened alert, and I guess there are no easy answers to preserve our way of life, but this is what Benjamin Franklin said way back in 1759:

"They that give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety."

The current administration and Attorney General Ashcroft are changing laws to change the way we live and the freedom to go on with our daily living is no longer the same. I just moved from Florida, and Governor Jeb Bush has the whole state under Martial Law - so if the police stop you your rights are not the same as before. Even the ACLU's web site has information on knowing your rights.

President John F. Kennedy said in a speech once: "We are not afraid to entrust the American people with unpleasant facts, foreign ideas, alien philosophies, and competitive values. For a nation that is afraid to let its people judge the truth and falsehood in an open market is a nation that is afraid of its people."

It seems to me, that whatever freedoms we may have are not free, but are prime to be taken away from us. A better question is how do we preserve our freedom? I'm not sure I know how to answer that. Maybe we need look back in our own history books and learn from Jefferson, Franklin, Kennedy, Roosevelt, and Churchill, too and from them we can learn to be brave and stand up for ourselves in our own nation.