It’s become wildly hypocritical; It’s largely based on out dated tradition; It’s horribly fickle; and it has no coherence or general moral standing. I’m speaking of course, about the Republican idea of “Freedom“. Freedom appears to only apply when it suits Republican America. Republican Freedom is a skewed, manipulated form of the ideals of American Freedom in general. For example, and i’ve spoke about this one before; The Freedom to own a gun whether you’re merely a law abiding huntsman, or whether you’re a 21 year old with an enraged grudge against class mates and teachers; you’re protected by a 2nd Amendment that clearly didn’t expect to be the subject of debate. Although i’m certain Jefferson and Franklin didn’t propose that anyone should be allowed to keep an arsenal of sub machine guns; that the words “well regulated” in the 2nd Amendment shouldn’t be ignored. If I were President, i’d make bullets ten times more expensive than they are now, tax them massively. But what do I know.
Freedom is etched into the American way of thinking. Since the very beginning, the fight that America has undertook has been one dedicated to freeing it’s people from tyranny. “We hold these truths to be self evident; that all men are created equal” cries the Declaration of Independence. There is no mistaking that Thomas Jefferson composed a beautifully written document when he drafted the Declaration. Of course, it hasn’t troubled America that the term “all men are created equal” written at a time when even Jefferson had over 150 slaves of which many received regular beatings may have been slightly ironic. And so the hypocrisy of American Freedom was born. Frederick Douglas speaking in 1852 managed to reconcile America Freedom and the abolition of Slavery quite beautifully. “That which is inhuman cannot be divine.“
In 2009, Republicans appear to take that general level of “Freedom Hypocrisy” to a new level. Freedom today, appears to apply only to economic freedom, for those who already have a significant amount of money. Bloggers like Free America appear to be under the impression that Obama and Pelosi are systematically working to purposely destroy America with their pesky much needed Liberal policies, despite the fact that over the past eight years America has been involved in an unjust illegal war leading to the deaths of over 1,000,000 innocent people; displacement of a further 4.5 million and 5 million orphaned children. Hurricane Katrina striking New Orleans saw the end of the lives of over 1,800 people whilst 80% of the City was flooded, which lead to further deaths of many people who merely couldn’t get to food or shelter because the Republican Government’s response was pathetic at best and ignorantly genocidal at worst. Then of course, you have the worst economic crises in ….well…. ever. When Clinton left the White House, he left a budget surplus of over $230bn. Eight years later, eight years of Republican Government, and America is in the mist of an economic crises. Of course, Republicans like to suggest that Clinton’s surplus was inherited from the Reagan tax cuts. Fine. But then, surely they must admit that Obama therefore inherited a miserable legacy that it will take more than two months to correct. I swear, Obama was in the White House less than a day before Republicans started blaming him.
Anyway, back to “freedom”. Whilst the word itself connotes the ultimate in human existence, it isn’t quite as black and white in Republican America. It suits Republican America to ascribe Freedom to economics. To pay as little in the way of taxation as possible. Whilst a child may inherit a few million dollars, another may be unlucky enough to be one of the 35 million Americans who inherit nothing but the dilapidated and forgotten poverty stricken lifestyles encouraged by poor educational standards and lack of health care, that the Republican Americans are quick to suggest is some sort of perfect system choosing to ignore that “all men are created equally” when it suits them. To this day, at 23 years old, i’m struggling to understand how a system that allows the poverty line for children under 18 to increase from 12.1 million, to 12.9 million between 2001 and 2003; yet at the same time allows those earning over $1,000,000 see their taxes drop with the Bush Tax Cuts, as the mark of a great economic system…. it quite clearly isn’t. I repeat Douglas’ sentiment “That which is inhuman cannot be divine.” Ignoring the plight of those in poverty or dismissing them as “lazy“, whilst simultaneously choosing to ignore the problem of Climate Change despite the overwhelming evidence to the contrary – purely because it might affect their “freedom” to exploit resources for business opportunity, is not real “freedom“.
Freedom to claim that universal healthcare, is some evil socialist manifestation that never works, whilst ignoring that you have universal policing and universal fire protection – just adds to the hypocrisy of “freedom” that Republican America only clings to when it threatens them, regardless of the fact that it may actually help other people. A legacy of “self before others” left by Thatcher and Reagan. Forgive me for not buying into it.
I’m not too sure why Republicans chose to draw the line on personal freedom, at the right for Homosexuals to get married. All of a sudden Republicans have decided that Gay people are sexually immoral devils, promiscuous by nature, AIDs ridden, unable to keep a relationship going, and a danger to children. As if that only exists in the homosexual community. They chose often to quote Leviticus 18:22; “Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination.” As proof that God hates gays and so gays shouldn’t marry. They fail however to acknowledge that if we’re to take the Old Testament into consideration when debating such issues, we must conclude that Leviticus 11:8 with regard to pig skin, stating: “Their flesh you shall not eat, and their dead bodies you shall not touch; they are unclean for you” should mean that anyone who plays American Football, is doomed to hell, a long with gay people. But of course not, because in true Republican fashion, Leviticus 11:8 doesn’t appeal to them because it threatens their life style, and so they pick and chose which areas of the Bible appeal to their prejudices already.
Of course, whilst talking Christianity, it isn’t difficult to come to the conclusion that if God truly did support the Republicans, as ex Senator Norm Coleman suggested, when he told Mike Gallagher; “God wants me to serve“, then you can bet that Jesus would have charged a fortune for all those free EVIL SOCIALIST miracles he supposedly performed.
When you come to the conclusion that Republicans only appear to support ideas like “Freedom” and Religious belief when it suits their prejudices, you have to take a look at the “Pro-life” lobby. “Pro Life” only seems to appeal to Republicans when someone is set to have an abortion. When the Country is destroying a Nation and killing over 1,000,000 of it’s citizens, Republicans don’t seem all that concerned. When stem cell research could lead to the scientists providing mankind with a better understanding of complex cell division, which in turn could lead to life saving treatments and cures…. real pro-life investments….. Republicans tend to oppose it. Minority Leader John Boehner even went so far as to suggest that embryonic stem cells are American lives too, rather than cells. He suggested that Obama lifting the ban on federal funding for Stem Cell research, he had “rolled back important protections for innocent life”. It’s nice to see that Boehner has such deep concern over cells, yet doesn’t seem too fussed about the loss of American military lives, when he stated in 2007 that dead U.S Troops was a “small price” to pay to win the war in Iraq.
The concept of freedom is interestingly two toned, when you contrast the U.S obsession with the word, and how the U.S works across the World, especially with Nations that it disagrees with philosophically.
According to a speech made by Dan Griswold, to Rice University in Houston, in 2005…. “If the goal of U.S. policy toward Cuba is to help its people achieve freedom and a better life, the economic embargo has completely failed. Its economic effect is to make the people of Cuba worse off by depriving them of lower-cost food and other goods that could be bought from the United States. It means less independence for Cuban workers and entrepreneurs, who could be earning dollars from American tourists and fueling private-sector growth. Meanwhile, Castro and his ruling elite enjoy a comfortable, insulated lifestyle by extracting any meager surplus produced by their captive subjects.“
The underlying fact is that whilst America seeks “freedom” (in this case, freedom means the right of American businesses to take over the resources and land of as much of the foreign World as possible) across the World based on it’s own flawed values, it will attempt to achieve it by any means necessary, which explains the disastrous war in Iraq and the inhumane embargo against Cuba. As shown in my last blog, America’s economic dominance may not continue for that much longer, given that Iran have already ceased trading oil in U.S dollars with Russia looking likely to follow.
Economic “freedom” in the guise of pure Capitalism, is not to be considered in the same area as Freedom of expression, freedom of religion, freedom of speech, freedom of opinion, freedom to assemble peacefully. Those are the inalienable rights built into the Declaration of Independence, not the idea that over 12 million children below the poverty line who will never benefit from the resources available to the 5% of top earners who own more than 50% of the entire Wealth of the Nation, as being true “freedom”.
American Freedom, whilst a lovely idea, is horribly flawed, ignorant, racist, inhumane, discriminatory, religiously bias, hypocritical, manipulative, and has been twisted into the skewed mess that Republican America holds so dear today. The idea that “all men are created equal” is a sentiment long lost. If you’re gay, want an abortion, demand action on climate change, or support stem cell research……. freedom doesn’t seem to extend as far as you. Sorry.