Freedom, 8 June 2010

“Freedom is the natural state of all sentient beings” – Optimus Prime, Transformers

There are a number of primary elections tonight, where Americans get to exercise freedom in selecting their leaders (or their candidates at least). This is a rare thing in human history, and I believe we are blessed to have it. We are blessed to have a degree of self-determination.

I wonder if we aren’t a little like Reese Bobby at times. For those who’ve never see Talledaga Nights, Reese Bobby was the ne’er-do-well father of Ricky Bobby. Any time things started going well, he just couldn’t handle it and had to find a way to mess things up again.

People used to be born into this world with the ruling power structure set in stone above them. Kings would come and go, but freedom was never to be had. Unless you were in that ruling class, you were just somebody’s serf. Then, something amazing happened. We announced to all the world that we would be free:

“Prudence, indeed, will dictate that governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shown that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such government, and to provide new guards for their future security”

We had a freedom that recognized fundamental rights of the citizen. We had a republic. Sure, things were by no means perfect, but experimentation in human freedom rarely is. But alas, I suppose just weren’t comfortable. Over time, we have tended to hand power back to the ruling class, gradually ridding ourselves of the difficult choices and responsibilities of freedom.

I suppose we’re not hard-over yet. We can still voice our discontent at the ballot box. We’re still free.

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