"Where freedom is, there is my country." Benjamin Franklin
"Where freedom is not, there is mine." Thomas Paine
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“I am free, no matter what rules surround me. If I find them tolerable, I tolerate them; if I find them too obnoxious, I break them. I am free because I know that I alone am morally responsible for everything I do.” Robert A. Heinlein
For Abraham Lincoln, there was no difference in kind between serfdom and slavery. Only a difference of degree. And we, as members of the productive classes of a modern welfare state, know exactly what he means. We toil and work and earn bread, and others eat it.
On Tuesday, November 6, 2012, the people of the United States expressed their pleasure in the continuation of the policies that have brought this country to the brink of financial ruin, economic stagnation, diminished expectations, redistribution not only of income, but of opportunity itself on the basis of race and gender and class, the disregard of the most sacred tenets of religious belief, and the willingness to euthanize the defenseless within the womb and those enfeebled by old age and illness. And we, the productive, find ourselves to be the new 47 percent, valued only because we can be taxed. What are we supposed to do?
For some of us, the answer is to consider our alternatives among the countries in which our civil rights and economic freedoms are well secured, at least adequately so; where standards of living are higher, or at least rising; and, where rates of crime are lower, or at least not much higher. Countries such Australia, New Zealand and Singapore, or Chile, Costa Rica and Panama, or Estonia, Ireland and Switzerland. For the first time in our country's history, millions of persons born in this country live overseas, and many of our consulates are not only back-logged with persons seeking to come here, but with persons seeking to leave. Many of us are ourselves sons and daughters of immigrants, of those who came here seeking freedom and opportunity. Why would we stay if freedom and opportunity are elsewhere?
For others of us, the answer is to recommit to the effort of convincing our fellow citizens of the folly of socialism, perhaps after a period of disengagement from the disappointment of this year. To be missionaries of the truth right where we find ourselves. Or, at least to delay the collapse of this country for a while, allowing the newly free countries of the world to more fully realize their potential.
I will not stand in judgment of the decisions of anybody in this regard. During the time of slavery, most of those held in bondage did not run away, but remained with their families. Same thing during the time of communism. Only a few of those held in captivity behind the Iron Curtain tried to escape. Most learned to live as well as they could in the circumstances in which they found themselves. As they said in the former Soviet Union, "we pretend to work, and they pretend to pay us."
But for those of us born and raised to be free men and women, how could we ever bear to live under the rule of others. The very idea crushes us. Let me just say this to all of you who feel like me crushed by the idea of living in a democratic socialistic state, to hold on to the spirit of freedom within you. No matter that you may be in a prison the size of a cubicle or the size of a continent, it is that spirit that makes you who you are and who you must be. I will close my dear brothers and sisters with a verse from the Bible. "Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty." (2 Corinthians 3:17)