It’s been around 230 years, more or less, since America fought for independence from Great Britain’s tyrannical George III. Our nation was founded on the principle of liberty, that each individual on its soil should have the opportunity to pursue happiness without the interference of unjust laws and regulations. From what I have learned about America’s history, our liberties as Americans have slowly been eaten away from powers that few wish to acknowledge. Maybe the exposing of such people who attack freedom is, in a moralistic society as we have today, the equivalent of social suicide. We shouldn’t be so quick to judge those in authority, those who know what is best for us. I do not wish to conclude such, but there are signs that America may be on its way to losing faith in the ideals that defined and contrasted it from other countries.
For one thing, I’m hearing that the federal government has too much power in the country today. The federal government influences just about everything including religion, politics, economics, foreign policy, and such. It seems to make sense. There are a number of programs and policies in place which give the federal government abilities not given to it by the Constitution. The government is on its way to forcing citizens to partake in policies without their consent. Edward Snowden, an American escaping to Russia, exposed the workings of the NSA, a program designed to tap into the cell phones and emails of thousands of people. Under the Constitution, the government has no right whatsoever to invade the privacy of Americans. Yet due to the “threat” of international terrorism, President Obama’s team urges that such precautions need to be taken to protect Americans from another foreign terrorist attack such as 9/11. Spying on Americans allows the government to discover potential terrorists. The only real question is: does terrorism, in their eyes, mean simply a mass suicide bomber or something more? And if something more, what? If we end up defining terrorism based on politically correct views of the world, then many people suddenly become terrorists, making it more difficult to live in a land that celebrates free speech. Without privacy, personal issues can become public knowledge, harming the personal welfare of many.
In the case of economics, at least since 1913, the Federal Reserve has played a role in jeopardizing the wealth of many Americans. Since the Reserve prints money that devalues the dollar, economic advantage slowly decays. I personally need to understand this more; economics makes sense in some ways but not others. Because the government prints out our money, they offer people countless loans (the debt due to college education is in the trillions). These handouts promise to make our lives better when in fact they make our lives more difficult since you have to spend a fair amount of your earnings paying the government back. I can say that, though I am a little over $14,000.00 in debt, it was worth it. If you’re willing to pay the price, then pay the price. Just be prepared for the potential consequences. Yet if Americans worked to pay their education straight forward, they could have more options in regards to how they spend their money. They should have the right to do whatever they wish with their earnings. And when we owe money to the higher powers, will they not harass us in demeaning ways to get their cash back? Being hounded by tax collectors doesn’t seem to be a pleasant way to live. And all the debt the government has accumulated will make it more difficult as a nation to recover economically; that money has to paid back somehow. This will surely result in someone paying a hefty price: how about the American people? But again, I need more understanding of this issue.
The right to bear arms was given to the American people in the hopes that, if Americans were tyrannized by their government or were invaded by a foreign power, they should defend themselves with weaponry. This right has been staunchly defended against President Obama in the past few years: Americans will be damned if they lose their right to carry a gun. They know all too well, based on history, that the government can run over any group of people who have no right to protect themselves. Maybe even murder them on a mass scale as Adolf Hitler, Mao Zedong, and Joseph Stalin did to their people in the twentieth century. But because there seems to be a growing trend of mass shootings in public schools and malls, many Americans are rethinking their stance of bearing arms. We need a more peaceful society, and the only way to accomplish this is to take guns away from potential murderers. But who is to say that the only ones who have the guns (the police, the army) will not decide that it is “in the best interests of the nation,” to suddenly end the lives of many unprotected people? And besides, criminals will find a way to commit atrocities with or without guns. When people decide to sacrifice their freedoms for unrealistic ideals, we are in deep trouble.
These things bring me to the most important right: free speech. Free speech is what this country ultimately boils down to: the right to say and do as you please, as long as it is in the parameters of law. Such freedom has given people the ability to carry out both beneficial and harmful actions. Yet it is better to live in a risky world in liberty than a “safe” one where speech is always monitored by moralists who think they know what is best for every single individual. Moralism is the great evil of our age, and the only way to defend ourselves from its subtle tyrannies is to speak of freedom and know what freedom is. This applies to many areas and not just politics. It is impossible to avoid. We must be willing to face and come to terms with the worst. Otherwise, our silence will not accomplish any love in our world.