[The conversation with Rutherford did make me realize that this might be more appropriate. Allegheny Unprising, 1939, in which John Wayne and his fellow Kentucky Backwoodsmen have to take matters into their own hands when unscrupulous merchants solicit the protection of the distant British Military Authorities in their scheme to smuggle liquor and firearms to unfreindly natives, who use the shipments to prey on the settlers.]
A cousin of mine commented on Facebook recently about the controversy surrounding President Obama signing the Great Health Care Takeover of 2010, and remarking about how funny the “social stream” on it was, with remarks about Socialism and the end of Freedom, complete with some “funny takes” from people who are against what the bill aims to do. He referenced another of his Facebook friends who presumably got this ball rolling with this status:
We seriously need a national philosophical debate about what “freedom” means. I don’t understand how freedom is enhanced when everyone has guns to blow people away or when we have no obligation to provide basic needs like health care to one another. Are the dead free? I find the use of the word “freedom” by many in politics bizarre.
I tend to agree. We do need a national debate about what the word “freedom” means, because there are far too many in this nation who keep trying to confuse it with something else.
I like to start with the dictionary. Presumably, we all speak English, and unless I am trying to define a term of art used in my profession, which usually sends me to consult with my good friends Mr. Black and Mr. Barrons, I prefer to consult with Mr. Webster. Not only was he a patriot, but his definitions embody time-tested meanings and connect this century to the ones prior. I find it to be more informative than the newspeak tumbling from the lips of people with a vested interest in me not knowing the truth.
From my Webster’s Encyclopedic Dictionary of the English Language:
1.the state of being free or at liberty rather than in confinement or under physical restraint: He won his freedom after a retrial.
2.exemption from external control, interference, regulation, etc.
3.the power to determine action without restraint.
4.political or national independence.
5.personal liberty, as opposed to bondage or slavery: a slave who bought his freedom.
6.exemption from the presence of anything specified (usually fol. by from): freedom from fear.
7.the absence of or release from ties, obligations, etc.
8.ease or facility of movement or action: to enjoy the freedom of living in the country.
9.frankness of manner or speech.
10.general exemption or immunity: freedom from taxation.
11.the absence of ceremony or reserve.
12.a liberty taken.
13.a particular immunity or privilege enjoyed, as by a city or corporation: freedom to levy taxes.
14.civil liberty, as opposed to subjection to an arbitrary or despotic government.
15.the right to enjoy all the privileges or special rights of citizenship, membership, etc., in a community or the like.
16.the right to frequent, enjoy, or use at will: to have the freedom of a friend’s library.
17.Philosophy. the power to exercise choice and make decisions without constraint from within or without; autonomy; self-determination.Compare necessity (def. 7).origin: 900; ME fredom, OE frēodōm. See free, -dom—Related formsnon·free·dom, nouno·ver·free·dom, nounun·free·dom, noun—Synonyms
1. Freedom, independence, liberty refer to an absence of undue restrictions and an opportunity to exercise one’s rights and powers. Freedom emphasizes the opportunity given for the exercise of one’s rights, powers, desires, or the like: freedom of speech or conscience; freedom of movement. Independence implies not only lack of restrictions but also the ability to stand alone, unsustained by anything else: Independence of thought promotes invention and discovery. Liberty, though most often interchanged with freedom, is also used to imply undue exercise of freedom: He took liberties with the text. 9. openness, ingenuousness. 12. license. 16. run.
How do we fix America? Any five-year old can say “look to the Constitution and the Bible”. Utter simplistic nonsense. We need policy. The folks represented in the cartoon couldn’t come up with policy if their life depended on it …. and I’m not sure they could recognize good policy if it smacked them between the eyes.
Your cartoon was right on … but not for the reasons you think.