Blogs » Politcs Plus » A loss of liberties & freedoms?



I've been hearing about lost liberty and freedoms from my libertarian friends for a long time. To them, not being able to light a cigarette in a restaurant is a lost freedom and a camera installed atop of a traffic light is a lost liberty because it violates their expectations of privacy. That's expected 'cause most libertarians don't buy into the “it takes a village" but instead are steadfast in their individualism beliefs. The extremist who bought into that ideology thinks taxation is theft. We will leave that alone for now because I still bear the scars from thirty years of engaging in a pointless exercise in futility.

I consider myself a civil libertarian, but I soon realized that I was fighting a losing battle because I was expecting 100% adherence to what I thought were infringements on my civil liberties. Of course, I still would like Congress to repeal the Patriot Act and to rein in some powers of the domestic surveillance program. I'm still not totally convinced that we should be targeting U.S. citizens (I believe we did the right thing in killing Anwar al -Awalaki ) without due process. I don't think that we should have been torturing people nor do I think that we should have dismissed habeas corpus. I will admit that I trust the Obama administration more than I did the Bush Administration but in the next paragraph, I gave a perfect illustration of how Republicans are doing the same thing. It’s always been about trust.

When asked to name a freedom that has been lost since January, 20, 2009, many on the right will say, “the individual mandate" that's in the Affordable Health Care Act. The individual mandate won't be enforced (if ever) until the year 2014, but it will get a hearing before the Supreme Court of the United States. It doesn't help when the two current GOP front runners have held the views of our current president in the past. Mitt Romney wrote a letter "back in July 2009, at a crucial point in the debate over ObamaCare when the “public option” was still in play, Romney did exactly that. In a newly disinterred column published in USA Today, Romney offered Obama his Massachusetts plan as a substitute for the public option and explicitly recommended the insurance mandate be adopted." I remember similar arguments made in the 1993 Hillarycare debacle but now Mother Jones uncovered this speech from Rick Santorum back then "He asserted that Republicans were "wrong" to let the "marketplace" decide how health care works. He instead argued that government should play a "proactive" role in shaping the health care marketplace "to make it work better."

It's the same thing for cap-and-trade, individual mandate, and the EPA, as all originated as conservative ideas, but today they are considered losses of freedom, liberty and an impediment on the free market. Only Ron Paul can say that he stuck to his principles because all the others have flip-flopped to go along with GOP platform of the day.

Cardinal Timothy Dolan recently said, “The U.S. government is engaged in “an unwarranted, unprecedented radical intrusion.” A lot of women are saying that some states that are governed by a majority of Republican legislators are practicing a radical intrusion into a woman's right to choose. I've always thought that countries like Syria, North Korea, Iran and others have lost their liberties and freedom; ours are litigated in our court system, and we still have the freedom of the ballot box, even thou we still have to fight voter suppression every now and then.