G. K. Chesterton’s helpful assessment of fundamental liberty. By his measure, our liberty is indeed threatened.
“The free man owns himself. He can damage himself with either eating or drinking; he can ruin himself with gambling. If he does he is certainly a damn fool, and he might possibly be a damned soul; but if he may not, he is not a free man any more than a dog.” – Broadcast talk 6-11-35
Emphasis mine. Jay at STACLU has a great quote on a similar theme:
“Of all tyrannies, a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end, for they do so with the approval of their consciences.” –C.S. Lewis”
Two Christ-professing Englishmen warning us from the early 20th Century, that to give up our freedom “for our own good,” is not freedom. It is acquiescing to tyranny with thumb in the mouth, iPod buds in the ear and the tv set on an endless loop of Sex and the City reruns.
We live in a world where a candidate trying to be elected president says he will talk to anti-semitic, genocidal tyrants “with no preconditions.”
It is a very strange world. In Venezuela, Hugo Chavez is instituting compulsory spying and snitching, in Russia Vladimir Putin is disappearing satirists and dissenters. In Canada, writers are being silenced for daring to discuss demographics, and in Paris an aging screen siren is convicted of hate speech for having an opinion and expressing it. In Rome, tyrants mug for the cameras (though not without protest! Go Italy!). In England, one lone bishop seems to be all that stands against the overhauling of British Common Law for something quite different.
Here in America, we see someone like the dubious Al “Entrepreneur” Gore – who will not debate or allow public discussion of dissenting opinion on the issue of global warming, thrusting his hoax forward like a determined bull, negatively influencing our economy while reaping incredible profit.
All we can do is hope that the guy everyone is actually calling a tyrant will continue to hold steady in the face of madness and political pressure. And we have no reason to think he won’t. He’s been holding steady against an incessant current, and keeping to a promise, for the past 7 years.
And we’re going to miss him when he’s gone, and no one is left to hold steady against anything.