Hillary Clinton And Barack Obama On Freedom - Saying The Right Words But Acting The Wrong Way

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Hillary Clinton recently gave a speech on freedom during her current tour through Europe. She was lamenting the fact that in many countries, the opportunity to live in a free society was being shut down by oppressive governments such as Zimbabwe, the Congo, Ethiopia, Cuba, Egypt, Iran, China, and Russia. According to a July 3, 2010 Associated Press article, her speech included the following concepts and quotes:

- In some countries, "the walls are closing in" on unions, religious groups, and other non government organizations that press for social changes and shine a light on governments' shortcomings.
- She states that "democracies don't fear their own people. They recognize that citizens must be free to come together, to advocate, and agitate."
- She felt that some governments are "slowly crushing civil society and the human spirit."
- In a related statement, President Obama declared that he is concerned about "the spread of restrictions on civil society, the growing use of laws to curb rather than enhance freedom and widespread corruption that is undermining the faith of citizens in their governments."

However, before we start criticizing how other countries deal with the concepts of freedom and liberty, maybe Obama, Clinton, and the rest of the American political class should consider how these very concepts are in conflict with what is happening to freedom in America today. Consider their statements above with the reality of what is currently going on in America:

- Obama is worried that corruption will undermine the faith of citizens in their government. Consider corruption in America today:

1) Every year, most members of Congress give away billions of dollars of taxpayer money to special interests who agree to turn around and funnel campaign donations into these same politicians'' re-election campaigns, corrupting our election process.
2) The ex-governor of Illinois is currently on trial, accused of trying to sell Obama's vacant Senate seat to the highest bidder. If convicted, he will join a long list of Illinois politicians who are currently in jail or who have already served their sentences for corruption.
3) Who can forget the numerous ex-Congress members who have recently been convicted for taking bribes and other crimes including the one who hid his bribe money in his freezer?
4) Let's not forget Congressman Charles Rangel of New York who is under various investigations for a number of potential financial related violations.
5) If not paying taxes is a form of corruption, and I think it is, how many high ranking people in the Obama administration, and those that never made it into the administrations (e.g. Tom Daschle), did not pay the proper amount of taxes over the years, corrupting the concept of our voluntary tax payment process?
6) When it came to light that the ACORN organization may have been involved in widespread voter fraud and funneled tax payer money into potential child prostitution rings, why was there no in-depth investigation by the Obama administration into the corruption of our voting process?
7) Although not monetary or voting corruption related, consider the following moral corruption examples: Senator John Edwards has a child out of wedlock during an adulteress affair while his wife battles cancer, Senator Ensign of Nevada has an affair with the wife of a friend, Governor Spitzer of New York gets caught cavorting with prostitutes, Governor Sanford of South Carolina gets caught in an affair with a South American woman, President Bill Clinton's adultery (enough said), and many other moral corruption examples from our political class.

I think we have gone far down that road of corruption undermining our faith in the United States government, as witnessed by all credible polls showing that only about 20% of Americans approve of how Congressional members are doing their jobs.

-Through the use of gerrymandering to configure Congressional districts, we see the American political class is guilty of "the growing use of law to curb rather than enhance freedom," as observed by President Obama. Senator Evan Bayh of Indiana estimates that only about 20 out of 435 Congressional districts are ever competitive, with gerrymandering almost always ensuring that the incumbent will be re-elected, corrupting our election process.

- Charles Rangel and a Texas Congresswoman likened those opposed to Obama's health care reform plan to those racists that opposed the civil rights movement in the 1960s. This ludicrous position and statement is certainly not in keeping with Clinton's freedom that citizens "must be free to come together, free to advocate, and agitate.

- Speaker Of The House Nancy Pelosi accused those opposed to Obama's health care reform plan as being un-American. Another ludicrous statement and also in conflict with Clinton's freedom to advocate and agitate position.

- While Obama is supposedly concerned about "the spread of restrictions on civil society", he did not hesitate to renew the oppressive Patriot Act, a major encroachment on freedom. If what Clinton claims is true and democracies should not fear their own people, then why does the Patriot Act still exist?

- In late 2009, the Obama administration "went after" the Fox News organization, trying to position it as a political organization and not a news organization. The reason for their attack is pretty obvious since Fox has been highly critical of the Obama administration. No democratic government organization should ever try to suppress opinions, even if they are in conflict with the government's position. Fox has a right to "shine a light on government's shortcomings." Obama's reaction should have been to produce a high performing quality, non-corrupt administration, that would have given Fox nowhere to go with its criticisms. Instead, the adminstration took the low road that was certainly anti-liberty. The fact that a poll by the Public Policy organization in early 2010 showed that Americans view Fox News as the most trusted source of news in America by a large margin shows how disconnected Obama and the political class is from the rest of America and from the concept of freedom.

- Despite the grass roots development and growth of the Tea Party movement, Obama and other Democratic politicians have taken turns at either deriding the movement or viciously attacking it. Rather than celebrating the actions of these concerned citizens and celebrating their right to come together, to advocate, and to agitate (Hillary's words), these politicians would rather crush their ideas and movement in order to maintain their control over the country.

- If anyone is crushing "civil society", it is the politicians in this country. The venomous words they use to constantly attack their opponents and energize their supporters is counterproductive to both freedom and the fixing any of the nation's major problems.

- Those same politicians are "crushing the human spirit" in America with high taxes and onerous national debt that every American feels, significantly reducing the drive to better oneself.

The bottom line is that the American government and those that currently run it have no right to criticize the freedom situation in other countries. From corrupt politicians who use government for their own personal benefit, to those that manipulate the voting process from a campaign funding, voter fraud, and gerrymandering perspective, to those politicians that attack those with ideas that differ from their own, freedom in American is under siege by its own politicians. Americans are not as free as they think they are, are not as free as they once were, and are not as free as they should be, all as a result of the power grab by our own politicians.

While Obama and Clinton get the words right when talking about liberty, as you can see above, their words are nowhere close to matching their actions and the actions of other politicians. The political class needs to take a primer class on freedom as it pertains to individual Americans in order for their words about freedom be in synch with their actions regarding the impact on freedom. If they do not, they should be replaced in November. Until then, we cannot lecture others throughout the world on freedom, not when Hillary's observation that "the walls are closing in," as it refers to freedom in THIS country, continues to become a reality.

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I am the author of a new book, "Love My Country, Loathe My Government - Fifty First Steps To Restoring Our Freedom and Derestroying The American Political Class." I believe that the concept of freedom that our founding fathers understood and the freddom and liberty it provided, has been usurped by today's political class, resulting in a greatly reduced amount of personal freedom in this country. This book examines the current situation and proposes a fifty step plan to return America to its roots of liberty and fredom.

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