The Professor was going over his file of past lectures and editorials to get ready for his next honors class. He felt that he had to get the class thinking in more basic terms. The hubris dominating this political campaign was driving out the discussions on basic issues that are critical to the survival of democracy, much the same way “Gresham’s Law” states that “bad” currency of questionable value will drive ‘good’ currency out of circulation. Certainly old and alleged sexual charges and published purloined emails have dominated this campaign, he thought.
If citizens do not know what freedom is, how can they protect it or even know if they have lost it? Freedom is the existence of individual choices. Without individual choices, there is no freedom. Those who have lived seven or eight decades have seen, sometimes up close and personal, societies in which the basic choices Americans exercise every day were unheard of or imagined. Current Russia and the Soviet Union, Eastern Europe, China, Cuba, Vietnam, and some South American nations have tried various far-left ideologies. In every one of them, individual choices vanished.
North Vietnam under Ho Chi Minh, probably the best political organizer of the 20th century, had the North Vietnamese people organized into to a cascading staircase of political, economic, and social organizations. Everyone belonged to a peer organization with each peer group sending a delegate to the next higher group. There was no real individual choice.
Progressives and communists hate what capitalism and the free market stand for. They do not believe the forces of the free market are real and think greed is the only driving force of capitalism. Progressives will not believe the infinite number of choices made by a free people in a free competitive economy will result only in chaos. Instead, a small group of progressives can make decisions that will produce a vastly more efficient economy and much fairer distribution of wealth.
When you think about freedom, think about if the right of making choices is being taken from you and your family. Don’t be taken in by the words. They don’t mean anything. Look for the signs of freedom being eroded. Do government spokespeople tell the truth, or is their intent to mislead the people? Are there attempts to label dissenters as dangers to be silenced?
A few examples: The Clinton/Obama Administration’s desire to label people who do not believe manmade carbons cause climate change as “climate deniers.” The Administration is reported to have asked the Department of Justice to see if citizens who disagree with the cause of climate variations could be prosecuted. The Benghazi talking points, the benefits of the Iran deal, the claims for Obamacare, the misleading unemployment numbers, and the optimistic reports of the demise of ISIS are other examples of a government that is devoted to managing reports to the citizens.
The very essence of progressivism is to control choice because the political left believes it is chaos when people are free to choose their life’s occupation, their education, reading material, TV programs, news, religion, ways of raising children (including the choice to have children or not), health care, and the people who govern them. The current struggle in America between conservatives and liberals (the far-left liberals are progressives who now control the Democratic Party) is not over some obscure political difference. It is over who makes life’s choices, you or a progressive elite.