No Longer The Home Of The Brave

By: Bruno Korschek | Posted: 15th March 2010

Sometimes things in life change so slowly that you do not realize how things have actually changed significantly until you sit back and reflect on where you are relative to where you were. The other day, while sitting at a spring training baseball game, I listened to the singing of the national anthem which of course includes the words, "land of the free." I realized how far we have allowed the political class to take us away from that concept, "the land of the free." Reflect for a moment on the following conditions and how those conditions deny us the freedom we may have had at one point in the past:

1) You cannot be free if all levels of government take about 40% of your annual income in order to support itself and perpetuate itself. According to the Tax Foundation, the average American household worked until May 29 in 2009 in order cover all of the political class's spending including covering the deficit spending by the Federal government. According to the Tax Foundation, the average American household now sends more money to the political class in taxes than it spends on clothing, food, and housing combined. By taking 40% of our income every year, the government denies and restricts us the freedom of choice to send our kids to a better school, support a charity as we would like, start a small business, buy a better home, or just to do anything we want with the money we earned. If you do not have financial freedom, due to excessive taxation, you are not free.

2) You cannot be free if the political class gerrymanders Congressional districts in order to guarantee that incumbents and the incumbent party is almost impossible to defeat. According to retiring Senator Evan Bayh, he estimates that about 15 Congressional districts, out of 435, are truly competitive. Republican gerrymandered districts will almost always elect a Republican Congressman or woman and Democratic gerrymandered districts will almost always elect a Democratic Congressman or woman. Thus, if you are a Democrat living in a Republican district, your vote will almost always be useless since you have been lumped into a district configured to be overwhelmingly Republican, and the same for a Republican living in a Democratic district. If you vote is useless, you are not free.

3) You cannot be free if the political class decides when and if your votes in the primary elections are to be counted. In 2008, the Democrats' leadership decided that Florida votes for the Democratic nominee for President would not count since the Florida Democrats had the audacity to move up their primary date in order to be relevant. If the political class can cut you out of the election process because of scheduling, you do not have a true voice in electing the country's leaders. If the political class can decide if and when your vote counts, you are not free.

4)You cannot be free if the political class takes hard earned taxpayer money and constantly shovels it out towards businesses, unions, and lobbyists in exchange or reciprical donations to their re-election campaigns. The recent 2010 budget included over 11,000 earmarks, each representing the sale of freedom for donations. If business, union, and lobbyist interest override individual Americans' desires, you are not free.

5) You cannot be free if, at the end of the primary season, party leaders can override the wishes of individual Americans who voted in the primaries and replace their choice for Presidential candidate. The Democratic party has super delegates at their Presidential conventions, special delegates that can override the wishes of all those who thought they had a voice in electing their leaders. If the results your voting depends on the ultimate and final approval of a small cadre or politburo of politicians, who can override your choice, you are not free.

6) You cannot be free if the government can seize your home and property under eminent domain and turn that property over to private interests for development. In the Supreme Court ruling in Kelo vs. New London, the local political class was allowed to seize homeowners' property, for a supposedly fair market place, in order to have private developers remake the area, versus the traditional reasons for eminent domain (schools, roads, bridges). Homeowners had to move against their will, giving up their land and homes. Ironically, the private development project was a flop so that the local political class got nothing for its abuse of eminent domain. If the government can take your property in the name of private development/public good, you are not free.

7) You cannot be free if the government can access your phone records, Internet histories, library activity, etc. The Patriot Act was ramrodded through after 9-11 and encouraged the government security apparatuses to be more aggressive and freedom threatening in the name of homeland security. If the Patriot Act and its potential for abuse is in effect, you are not free.

8) You cannot be free if the government denies the concept of freedom to others outside of the United States. Whether it is torturing prisoners under its control, denying due process to those same prisoners, instituting trade embargoes against long ago enemies (e.g. Cuba), etc., egregious behavior directed against non-Americans makes it easier for the political class to eventually, and subtly, direct that same behavior against Americans. If lack of due process and torture can be potentially directed at you, you cannot be free.

9) You cannot be free if those in the political class hold you and the rest of America in contempt. When Americans used their freedom of speech guarantee and spoke up to argue against the current atrocity called health care reform, Speaker Of The House Nancy Pelosi called them un-American. At the opening of the new visitors center in D.C. a center paid for with American taxpayer money, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid declared that Americans visiting D.C. in the summer physically smelled. When incumbent Congress people accept campaign donations from companies, unions, and lobbyists that do not even do business in their state or Congressional district, they are more likely to reward those out of district and out of state donors than work for the good of their constituents. If your leaders do not respect you and view your interests with contempt, you are not free.

It gets depressing when you take a really hard look at where freedom and liberty stand in this country today. We have allowed the political class to slowly but steadily erode our freedom that is recognized only as we view the deterioration over time. This deterioration is what the fifty steps in "love My Country, Loathe My Government" attempts to redress. We need to act now before the political class makes a total sham out of "land of the free." Visit for more information on freedom and to order the book.
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Tags: financial freedom, baseball game, federal government, freedom of choice, national anthem, american household