Do we even know what Liberty is Anymore?


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This administration has done more to encroach on our individual liberties than any other in recent times.  They have punched a hole through our constitution and have assaulted the few liberties we have left and we have done very little to stop it.  Somewhere along our journey as a republic we lost our understanding of liberty and with that sacrificed our individualism and possibly the republic.  It started with the progressive movement in the early 1900s and over a span of 90 years it has slowly evolved into the liberty stealing, free market stifling, overreaching beast we all live with today.  We as a people abdicated our responsibilities as citizens to solve our problems by looking inward and turned outward to the state for answers.  How did they answer?  They answered with Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid; programs that seemed harmless at first, but soon grew out of control in terms of costs.  The people became addicted to these below average performing programs and demanded they be fixed.  With each new congress more and more regulations were passed to control every aspect of our lives.  From the amount of water allowed in our toilets to the increasing government interference in our free market system we traded our liberties piece by piece for security and now the bill is coming due.

This is the system most of us were born into; the only one we know.  One where government regulates and controls our lives by confiscating a portion of our earnings, capping our success, encroaching on our property rights, telling us what to eat, how to insulate our homes, what kind of car to buy, how much energy to use, violating our 4th amendment rights with pat downs and body scans in the name of security and telling privately owned companies where they can move in the name of economic fairness.  We are no longer trading our liberties away they are simply taking them from us and using the constitution as the tool to justify their actions.  Where is the outrage?  Where are the people and why aren’t they standing up for liberty?  I contend that we live in an age where people simply don’t understand liberty anymore or they embrace a watered down version of liberty believing it’s the real deal.  I found an article at BREEDS HILL INSTITUTE the other day that addresses this struggle to understand liberty.

Our concept of liberty today is pale and thin compared with that of the Founders.  Today we want to believe in liberty (small “l”), but not so much that we could get hurt. As long as we can still say what we want, worship as we please and have a vote, we say we have liberty.  We expect that the government will prevent us from making mistakes, rescue us if we do make mistakes and provide for us if we fail. The founding generation wanted no restraints and accepted that they would have no safety net if they failed. This is a concept that is foreign to both of our main political parties today, and to most Americans in general.

You see we don’t really understand the liberty of our founders.  We can’t wrap our brains around the notion of a society that views individual liberty as a sacred thing because we only know this liberty-lite version we live with each day.  We can’t comprehend a society with minimal government involvement because we have become addicted to it.  Think about this, whenever some sort of natural disaster occurs the first thing we have been conditioned to do is to look to see how the government responds to it.  The founders fought for a liberty that limited the powers of government and promoted the individual with very few restrictions.  It was this kind of individual liberty that made America great.  Below is some more from the article.

Today, the Constitution that was put in place to restrain Government’s ability to infringe on freedom is regularly violated without much protest and sometimes with support from the public. The Government has been allowed to create new departments and administrations that effectively redefine its powers. Undoubtedly, this expansion has made us safer; but it has had a price. To justify it we have had to redefine what we mean by Liberty.

The Founders saw Liberty as the opposite of tyranny. Freedom from dependence on another’s will. The ability to choose one’s own way without interference.

We have redefined liberty because we know not what we do.  We have lost our way because of the years we traded off our liberties for security.  If we don’t readjust our view of liberty back to how the founders viewed liberty then we will lose the republic and our freedoms with it and that’s simply unacceptable.

Liberty forever, freedom for all!

Original Post: Sentry Journal