Sometimes we forget. Like the studs in the walls of our homes, what supports our way of life, for the most part, goes unnoticed. We hear politicians use the word “freedom” as many times as they say “and” these days, but not many focus on one of the most important words of all, liberty.
According to Merriam Webster dictionary Liberty is defined as follows:
The state or condition of people who are able to act and speak freely
The power to do or choose what you want to
A political right
The quality or state of being free
The power to do as one pleases
Freedom from physical restraint
Freedom from arbitrary or despotic control
The positive enjoyment of various social, political, or economic rights and privileges
The power of choice
The word “freedom” only scratches the surface of what liberty means. Our fore fathers didn’t just fight for freedom, they fought for liberty. They fought against a tyrant that only wanted to take our lumber and tax us without letting us represent ourselves. We ripped our liberty from those hands, and have been defending it ever since. Alas, we are at a key moment in history, where we are on the brink of letting a thieving tyrant back into the fold. We forget that the defense of liberty is not only against foreign powers, but domestic.
You see, forgetting is our biggest enemy. We are so caught up in our day to day of consumption and, at times, excess, that we take liberty for granted. Most Americans feel as though the battle is already won, that there isn’t an enemy to fight anymore. This feeling alone has contributed to the dilution of our famous fighting spirit.
They say that history repeats itself. At times, I think, it is more glaringly obvious. Donald Trump is running a campaign that has scared many Americans, in more ways than one. I won’t be the first to make this parallel, but being a student of history, I can’t look away from it.
A quick history lesson:
In the late 1930’s, Germany was a broken nation. Most of the country’s poverty, poor economy and demoralized society, was a result of the crash of the American stock market in 1929, and Germany’s loss in WWI. The people’s spirit was broken. They had lost faith in their government and themselves. A small party, the National Socialist German Worker’s Party, also known as the Nazi party, began to rise in power. At the helm of said party, was a vicious and manipulative man, Adolf Hitler. Hitler didn’t do what typical politicians did. Instead of addressing the issues of Germany in the classic sense, he belligerently went after the cause, and who was to blame for it. He spoke to a minority of German people who resented the commanders, politicians and soldiers who surrendered in WWI, for their loss of national pride. He blamed them, as well as the Jews, Gypsies and Homosexuals for the reason why Germany wasn’t the great power it once was. He told the German people that he would bring their country back to being a powerful nation.
Like Hitler, Trump is just another bully with a comb over, who will say dangerous things to win the people over. He’s already blamed other races for why America isn’t great again, Muslims and Mexicans, to name a few. He appeals to a racist minority of Americans who proudly chant “Make America Great Again.” A minority who blame others for their country’s problems. What do you really think that slogan means? It is harkening back to a day where America was only a great place if you were a straight white male. If they had their say, we would be knocked back to the 1950’s, where freedom was a relative term. We have come too far to merely turn back to an age of racism and ignorance. We are better than that. If Trump comes to power, the American people will have to face a tyrant yet again.
Our liberty grants us the freedom to speak out, express ourselves, and most importantly, to choose. We not only have the choice of where we live, what we wear, and who we want to be as individuals, we have the choice of who leads us. Liberty is the cornerstone of our way of life. We not only forget that it is there, but we also forget that we have to fight to protect it. Now more than ever, we must muster our American fighting spirit, and say no to a man who would make a mockery of who we are. In the words of Vice President Joe Biden at the 2016 Democratic National Convention:
“We are America, second to none. We own the finish line, don’t forget it,”
“Come on! We’re America!”
That quote alone, says it all. For the sake of the liberty of not only yourself, but others. Make the choice to protect what is dear to us.
Biden's Full Speech: