Sunday, June 9

It Only Took Me Fifty Years, but Finally, I Think that I Fully Appreciate the Value of Freedom

Back when I was in grade school, I did not have a very high opinion of my teachers, but in retrospect, I have to admit that they were pretty good.  If I could, I would like to go back and apologize to them as I was not the most well-behaved student.

They taught us well, demanded that we learn, and did not tolerate disobedience or unruly behavior.  (I spent at least ten percent of my first eight years in school serving sentences resulting from disciplinary actions.)

In addition to having us learn the “three R’s”, they taught us about morality, citizenship, and living a good life in general.  I recall them teaching us about the founding fathers of this nation, and how they deserved our admiration and respect.  I can still remember my friends and I, being admonished in third grade for joking about the names of some of our great presidents.  Referring to them as “George Worn-out Washing Machine” and “Abraham Tinkertoy” earned us a reprimand in front of the entire class.

Of course all this occurred before the cancer of the NEA and other teachers unions along with the liberal indoctrination of people majoring in education in college took their tolls.  Public education today is nothing like it was prior to the mid 70’s.

One of the things, I remember the most was, being taught (or more accurately, the attempt to teach us) the value of freedom. Even in music class, we would sing patriotic songs.  I can still hear the voices of the students singing the song “Freedom Isn’t Free” as I would walk past the music room. Even back then, I realized that I did not fully understand it.  I suppose it was something that was much easier for teachers and other adults who had lived through World War II to appreciate than it was for kids like me, whose only experience with war amounted to what I would see in a five minute piece about Vietnam, on the rare occasions that I would be watching the nightly news.

When I became an adult, I started to appreciate freedom more, but only from a selfish point of view.  I resented the restrictions government placed upon me, particularly from the DMV and DNR as I was trying to run a business.  I especially resented zoning ordinances passed by people who earlier in life, did the exact same things that they were now trying to prevent. (e.g. parking a semi tractor in one’s driveway over the weekend)

Even now, one of the things that upsets me the most is the requirements of various licenses and what one needs to do to maintain them.  If you know anything about pesticide applicator and cosmetology licenses, you know that they are just artificial barriers to entry into those fields, because enforcement of violations, only affects people who are charging for their services.  They do nothing to regulate anything a homeowner puts on their plants or lawn and have no effect on anyone doing anything to someone elses hair, as long as it is being done free of charge.  In other words, the licenses do little more than generate revenue for the state and curtail one’s freedom to work his or her way into starting a business.

When it came to gun’s, I was only concerned about my guns, I didn’t much care about any restrictions that had been placed upon people in some far away city.

I now realize that freedom is so much more (and so much more important) than I ever thought it was.  Freedom of the individual, is the only thing standing between us and a tyrannical government. As we see in what’s happening in the news right now, no government be trusted to avoid the abuse power, and if a government has the ability to intimidate individuals or groups of individuals, the only mechanism to prevent such abuse is eliminated.

What we’re dealing with now is no longer just a conservative issue.  The intrusion of the state into the affairs of the individual has long been contrary to traditional liberal values.  It’s time for people on the left to stop blindly supporting people and policies that have just as much potential to negatively and permanently affect them and the things they value.

Those in charge of the executive branch of our federal government say that all of this is in the name of preventing terrorism.  An ounce of prevention may be worth a pound of cure, but freedom is worth more than any amount of prevention if that prevention comes at the cost of individuals’ ability to defend themselves and speak their minds.


The Conservative Wife said...

Ha... I spent my entire 9th grade year in are not alone Neil... my "disobedience" came from my chemistry teacher who didn't know a thing about chemistry and would get VERY irritated when I would ask a question. OK, so maybe I was asking things that were far beyond his reach and maybe I purposefully researched these questions knowing full well he wouldn't know, but he was always sooo smug... I agree, however, that looking back, I could have been such a better student and I should have cared about things that didn't affect me directly. I guess it only took me 43 years...Got ya beat by 7 there. :)

neil schnurr said...

Now, if at least one half of everyone else learns the value of freedom, most of our problems will be solved.

conservativeBC said...

The other half have traded their freedom for a false sense of security...

neil schnurr said...

My mother said this to me many years ago: "We had freedom, but we wanted security, so they bound us in chains and then we were secure."

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