Diminishing Freedom

What is happening to our civil liberties?

We have limits on political donations that prevent us from giving as much as we want to causes we support. We have a right to keep and bear arms that ‘shall not be infringed’ but you have to be granted a permit from the state to bear those arms concealed. We have free speech, so long as the government doesn’t label your speech as ‘hate’ speech. We have a right to be secure in our property, but local governments can take our property and hand it over to private businesses for development of malls or stadiums. We have a right to plot our own financial course, but mommy government will save us from our own mistakes and misjudgments so there’s no real risk (and soon, if this continues, there will be no real reward either).

This country was founded on a doctrine of individual self sufficiency. The founders of this great country recognized that the American people must be free to live their own lives and enjoy their freedoms and, as a result of their own decisions, succeed or fail on their own merits. To make sure we could succeed or fail without undue government molestation, they started with a simple premise: government derives its power from the people alone, and it only has a right to do those things the people specifically allow it to do.

The Constitution lays out the limited powers of government, and specifically explains that any powers it doesn’t give to the federal government are reserved to the states or the people. To be extra clear, the founders spelled out some (but not all) civil liberties that the government would theoretically never be able to trounce: free speech, free press, freedom of religion, the right to keep and bear arms, protection from unreasonable search and seizure, and more.

These values, I fear, are being lost. The federal government does not limit itself to those powers the Constitution granted to it and, more frighteningly, does not protect those particular liberties we are guaranteed under the Bill of Rights. When I see the government abandon its own founding principals and grossly overstep its authority, I fear for the future of our republic and the freedom of our people.

Tyranny comes in many forms, and the slow erosion of our rights is one of the most fearful forms of tyranny I can imagine. By the time most Americans notice they are no longer free—their property no longer secure, their defensive weapons outlawed, their churches closed for daring to preach moral teachings falsely labeled ‘hateful’, and their financial and political freedoms stifled—it will be too late.

Food for thought. . . .

Scott Bradford is a writer and technologist who has been putting his opinions online since 1995. He believes in three inviolable human rights: life, liberty, and property. He is a Catholic Christian who worships the trinitarian God described in the Nicene Creed. Scott is a husband, nerd, pet lover, and AMC/Jeep enthusiast with a B.S. degree in public administration from George Mason University.