Letter to the editor: Freedom meant something to the founders


I hope you had a great Independence Day celebration. We cooked hotdogs, shot a few fireworks and watched our grandboy entertain us with his glorious almost 2-year-old activities! In the background was all the noise about the debate and who will or will not replace the Democratic nominee, the surprising win of Labor in Great Britain, and the heat.

For at least a hundred years, our politicians at the national level have managed to disappoint and alienate most average Americans. Anyone blaming one party exclusively for our current problems simply has not paid attention. The issue has never really been about which political party. It has always been about which political ideology. In that regard, it comes down to the choice between liberal and conservative.

From the time of Woodrow Wilson to the time of Ronald Reagan, the liberal ideology had very little to oppose its world view, and then from Reagan to the current time, the same more or less applied with liberal and neoconservative ideas holding sway.

Now the conservative ideology seems to be gaining strength because of the obvious results of liberal ideas. Average Americans are simply not impressed with overzealous ideas that replace merit with identity, or traditional values with social experiments. How this will play out in the next election is on the mind of most people.

We hear politicians and pundits talking about democracy, the rule of law, inclusion and diversity, but we don't hear much about right and wrong, good and evil, and freedom and responsibility. Most of us on a daily level find ourselves struggling to do and think the right thing.

Most of us do not live in the world of ideological debate, but we have a fairly sophisticated notion about what makes sense and what does not. We are not easily fooled, but we do succumb to bad ideas if they are the only ideas we ever encounter.

While we do not need to romanticize our founding fathers and mothers, we do need to understand that freedom meant something to them. It meant they were willing to sacrifice a great deal to secure that freedom for themselves and those who came after them.

When I hear folks criticize them for ideas that were the common lot of humanity in 1776, or for not being repositories of perfect behavior, I am reminded that most of us usually merely try to get along and would not put forth much effort to right egregious wrongs foisted by elites across an ocean crossed only by wooden ships!

In the current crisis most of us want to be left alone generally. We do not want a government handing out favors or listening to those with deep pockets. Most of us deeply respect our Declaration of Independence and our Constitution and would prefer the government provide a playing field that is fair where any of us can compete at whatever level of skill we possess, while providing care for those who for whatever reason are unable to compete meaningfully. For those of us who follow all of this very closely it is easy to long for the days when information was very hard to gather but very easy to evaluate. Today the information available is very easy to gather and impossible to evaluate. And of course this makes for such confusion that many have simply given up on the call. Don't. Our freedom is utterly dependent upon being as informed as possible. A person who only reads and listens to one side will never be able to make an intelligent choice. And, if we do not make intelligent choices, we have only ourselves to blame.

I'm proud to be an American. Most of us are. Be informed. Talk with people. Challenge bad ideas and wrong facts. This is what our history has provided. And this is what those original settlers brought with them, along with their Bibles, a commitment and a belief, that God was somehow guiding them for a purpose they could not comprehend. Somehow I believe He is still watching to see if we will be faithful to our aspirations of "Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness."