Land of the Free? Not Exactly...
According to The Economist, one out of every hundred American adults is being held in government captivity, giving us a total prison population of well over 2 million (July 24-30, 2010). They are being held for acts that range from importing undersized lobsters to more normal kinds of crimes. But this fact is inescapable: By one objective measure, America currently has the lowest rate of liberty in the world. (Highest rate of imprisonment = lowest rate of liberty).
Americans can proudly say our nation is “tough on crime,” but is it the land of liberty? To boost about American freedom in the 21st Century is a little like a prostitute bragging about her chastity. (Okay, she used to be chaste, but that was a long time ago.)
Unfortunately, America’s world-record rate of imprisonment is only the beginning. Even worse (and more insidious) is the government's ever-accumulating pile of new laws that keep cutting back, bit by bit, from the liberty we still have left. Our legislators think their job is to impose ever more restrictions on liberty, instead of preserving and fortifying the freedom that Americans enjoy.
Every society faces new challenges as values and technology change and bad buys come up with new kinds of mischief. And just about every new challenge is met by a proposal for new curtailments on freedom. The problem is that these proposals are adopted with barely a thought as to whether the need is truly compelling, whether means chosen are narrowly tailored, or whether there are less restrictive alternatives. That is to say, the new laws are written and put into place without anybody TAKING LIBERTY SERIOUSLY.
But this can be fixed. America can go back to being truly “the land of the free.” We’re still a democracy and we can again become the free people we once were if we, the people, just want it. All it takes it putting liberty back into its place among the very highest values that we admire, and demanding that our government representatives do the same—or else vote them out!
No person can serve two masters, not even a Senator, Congressman or state representative. They can either serve liberty or they can serve its opposite—continued adoption of laws that cannot stand up to strict scrutiny. Which of these is served by the persons that you are voting for?