With the news spreading around the internet that Glenn Beck actually believes in AGW (!), I’m almost loathe to say that this post is in response to a comment he made during Friday’s show, but even if the mask is coming off the Beck persona (and it may not be), he does still get some things right. On Friday, he said, “if you look at history, freedom is the freak.” And he’s right. We think, in America, that freedom is the natural state of humankind, but it’s not. It has never been. Free peoples are the exception, the rare, the uncommon, the unusual, the freak. Much more common throughout history are a variety of government forms that all did the same thing to varying degrees: strangled freedom, enslaved people, and imposed unfair, unethical, and ultimately unsustainable restrictions on everything from trade and commerce to suffrage and the human spirit. That’s the norm. So we’ve enjoyed freedoms that are nearly unprecedented in human history. Think about that.
We were given something–a gift, an experiment, call it what you will–by our founders who thought it of vital import to a people that they be free. Free from tyranny. They gave us individual liberty, personal freedom, the freedom to defend our own nation and sovereignty even from our own government. That’s important. The enemy is not always “over there,” some odd little despot in some foreign land who takes it into his head to be king of the world. Sometimes, usually, the main threat, the undoing of a nation and its people’s freedoms, comes from within that very nation. We saw this in Germany, in China, in Cuba, in Venezuela . . . the list is long.
Now, we’ve all heard forever that “freedom isn’t free,” and it’s rarely been more true than it is right now. We’ve fought and our countrymen and women have died throughout our comparatively brief history for our freedoms, paid the highest price to ensure that we are and that we remain free. But what we face now is at least as (and a case can be made for it being more) dangerous than any outside threat has ever been because it’s coming from within. Our Constitution, that document that makes us the freedom freaks of history, is under attack. We know this on some level, and it’s becoming increasingly disturbing to many of us.
So many people expected BO to shuffle to the center, despite mountains of evidence that he’s a narcissistic ideologue. Politicians, like Bill Clinton, can make this shift in part because they are also patriots who, no matter how liberal they may be in some lines of thought, are at rock bottom more interested in preserving our country than in tearing it down (or the cynical may note that they are more interested in saving their own political careers). Not BO. Not ever. In Andy McCarthy’s fantastic, must-read article, Transformation, he outlines exactly why we should be worried, very very worried, for our freedom:
I hear Republicans getting giddy over the fact that “reconciliation,” if it comes to that, is a huge political loser. That’s the wrong way to look at it. The Democratic leadership has already internalized the inevitablility of taking its political lumps. That makes reconciliation truly scary. Since the Dems know they will have to ram this monstrosity through, they figure it might as well be as monstrous as they can get wavering Democrats to go along with. Clipping the leadership’s statist ambitions in order to peel off a few Republicans is not going to work. I’m glad Republicans have held firm, but let’s not be under any illusions about what that means. In the Democrat leadership, we are not dealing with conventional politicians for whom the goal of being reelected is paramount and will rein in their radicalism. They want socialized medicine and all it entails about government control even more than they want to win elections. After all, if the party of government transforms the relationship between the citizen and the state, its power over our lives will be vast even in those cycles when it is not in the majority. This is about power, and there is more to power than winning elections, especially if you’ve calculated that your opposition does not have the gumption to dismantle your ballooning welfare state.
BO will not swing to center, he will not listen to the will of the people, and all I can hope is that our conservative leadership will indeed have the “gumption” to “dismantle [the] ballooning welfare state” represented not only by the healthcare takeover, but also by the other albatrosses that are strangling our freedom.
People depend too much on the government in this country, far more than was ever intended by our founders and far more than is healthy for either the human or the American spirit. If we accept (and how can we not?) that freedom is the freak, then it’s not difficult to see that this push to destroy freedom is not only the historical norm, but very likely to be successful. The freak that is a truly free people will return to a more “natural” state. This all-out effort to destroy freedom has been making an inching, incipient creep into our society, culture, and government for at least a century, and this administration is determined, at any and all cost, to succeed in its bid to “fundamentally transform” the most free, most successful, mightiest nation on earth.
Freedom isn’t free, and it’s not the norm. We must understand both so that we can rally now, more than ever, to ensure that we retain our freedom, for without it, we are doomed, as a people and as a nation. We have eight and half months until the midterm elections, so we must use this time wisely, supporting our conservative and moderate leaders who are resisting valiantly the “fundamental transformation” of our nation, reminding them all that we are not only watching but are guarding our nation and our freedom. Holding off the attack is all we can do now, as peaceful and law-abiding patriots, and we simply must do all we can to stop this administration from doing what it is bent on doing: defying the will of the people, crushing our economy, destroying our Constitution, and enslaving us when we should, against all odds, be free.