What does “freedom” really mean to you?
Underneath all of the rankling, ugly acrimony that has widened the inexorably deepening chasm between the so-called “left” and “right” of American politics is this fundamental question. The differences between how these groups define the word today could not be more stark. At its core, what we bear witness to is a nation descending into a cycle of 21st Century fascism that will perpetuate as long as the GOP can find and fund its autocrats to motivate a minority base into enthusiastic compliance… while the Democrats continue to find ways to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. Here’s a more detailed explanation of how the definition of “freedom” differs, based on legislation enacted over the last few years in multiple states:
From the right side of the aisle:
Free•dom (n) – The belief that we are endowed by our Christian God certain inalienable rights, chief among them:
- To ensure our populace is free to practice the Christian religion as it sees fit and to ban from public visibility those who worship false gods and prophets who are anything other than the European Christian God;
- to ensure any fetus conceived is carried to term and born regardless of viability, harm to the mother, and/or method of conception;
- to ban from public discourse and/or education, at any public institution of learning, a historical perspective that casts any negative light on white, European Christian legacy, regardless of nuance or accuracy;
- to legislate how any human being can express their gender identity in any manner in any setting whatsoever other than what they deem to be either “man” or “woman”;
- to maintain a stockpile of however many firearms in whatever configuration imaginable with no oversight by any outside authority whatsoever and without accountability for any way those firearms may be used;
- to ban people from entering any port of entry into this country who are possessing of a pigment in their skin tone that is considered anything other than “white” or who are from a nation other than what is defined as Western Europe;
- to ban any potentially negative aspersion cast in any public forum that might be construed as to insinuate any governing body or individual may be acting in a racist or discriminatory manner;
- to ban any flag from being displayed on public — and in many cases, private — property other than the United States flag, the Gadsden flag, or the Confederate flag;
- to ban any oversight of environmental pollution by any corporation by any municipality, district or state body;
- to deny the existence of any sexual orientation other than “straight”;
- to require that any person writing or broadcasting any material — either through print, broadcast or digital means — that mentions any Republican elected official must register with the State;
- to seize the children of any parent who is deemed to have been providing that child with gender-affirming care in any manner, including on the basis of the color of the clothing that child is wearing;
- and to ensure access to voting only for those who embrace all of the above in its entirety.
From the left side of the aisle:
Free•dom (n) – The belief that we are naturally born with inalienable rights as humans on this planet, chief among them:
- To worship any deity we choose or none at all;
- to a fundamental level of housing and medical access;
- to clean, potable drinking water, medicine and food;
- to equity in access to all rights regardless of the color of our skin;
- to express our identity — in any manner we choose as long as it does not physically impact another person — including religious, gender, cultural, or other identity;
- to present as objective and accurate a portrayal of American history in all levels of education so that we can continue to evolve into a society that learns from its mistakes and makes better decisions for all of us;
- to leave conception, procreation and reproductive health in the hands of the people and their medical practitioners, free from the legislative control of outside interests;
- to speak our opinions in any manner on any topic while understanding that freedom of speech in this manner does not guarantee freedom from consequence (outside of legislative prior restraint);
- to enact reasonable firearm guidelines that ensure people who want to visit harm upon others are not enabled to do so;
- to allow people to marry each other regardless of sexual orientation and enjoy all the rights therein;
- to accept any asylum-seeking refugees from any country regardless of that country’s location on a map and regardless of the refugee’s skin tone, and provide a clear and expeditious path to citizenship for anyone who wants to be an American;
- and to ensure easy, unfettered and widespread access to voting for any citizen of this nation.
What does “freedom” mean to you?