Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Freedom - like the road we drive to work, used too much to be appreciated

Today I'm sitting in an office of one of the palaces Saddam built with money from the UN Oil for Food program. This is a stupendous example of real repression, abuse of government power and why you and I are glad we have the freedom we have in the US. Bill Gates may have a palace this nice, but he didn't take the money from anyone - everyone that paid for Gates' products did so because they wanted the product more than the money. Sometime today, I'm likely to read an article by a well intentioned politician who's describing why he should use the coercive power of government to help some part of our population. The legislation, if passed, will take a little money from a lot of us, and will give it to a few of us; it will strike another small blow against liberty. It will have the effect of boosting the politician's career while benefiting one small segment of American society at the expense of the rest of us, and will become part of the albatross dragging down our economy, making us less competitive in the world. It will be a defeat for freedom, but no one will notice. Americans have grown up with an, historically speaking, amazing amount of freedom. In many ways, we can choose how to make our lives good or bad, with the greatest consequence of our bad choices falling on ourselves or our families. However, strangely enough, though we talk about freedom, we don't understand it. We don't know why freedom is good, we fear the likes of Bill Gates more than we fear an overbearing government, and we don't know why we should tell our politicians "no" when they try to "help us" by swapping the harsh reality of freedom for the harsh reality of power politics. I would like to think my military career has not preserved a government that will continue an inevitable march to greater power, leaving less and less liberty for you and for me. We are the inheritors of the great torch of freedom for the world, and inherit a better torch than the one our parents held; let us use our Constitution to defend liberty from all enemies, inside and outside of our nation. Apolloswabbie