Is Freedom Free?

HAPPY INDEPENDENCE DAY!

You do realize that the freedom we celebrate today is a two-edged sword, don’t you?
Freedom means:

I can try anything I like, and I’m free to fall flat on my face doing it.

I can rant about anything I want— and prove to all the world that my education is lacking.

I can work anywhere that will hire me, and face starvation  in the process.

  • I can carry guns in public, and I’m free to buy even bigger ones after those get stolen by the thieves they’re supposed to deter.
  • I have the right to smoke and drink, and die young and on the public dole.

In other words, freedom is not without consequences.Freedom is not for the stupid, uneducated, or weak of heart. Yes, I’m free to say I don’t want to be a slave, a servant, or a data processor, but unless I have some means of support, I can’t just declare myself a writer and sit at a computer all day. I learned that as a teenager. If I want to be free to write, I first have to pay my dues in the servitude of 9-5 jobs. Freedom is never free.

While it’s easy to say we have the freedom to vote for whomever we like, it’s extremely hard to know which box to drop the ballot in. The freedom to vote means taking on the task of learning the differences between the various candidates and determining which ones might be lying or mouthing platitudes. Because, you know, politicians are free to lie and extrapolate and manipulate the truth just like the rest of us. That free speech clause is a humdinger really necessitating an inquiring mind. We test kids on grammar before they can graduate. Maybe we should be testing voters on politics before they can vote. If you believe the spin on TV ads, then you shouldn’t qualify to vote.

We’re also free to believe we don’t need to pay taxes to support our senior citizens, our poor, our sick, or our children. We’re free to believe that we can do all this by cutting bridges to nowhere and red tape. We’re free to believe this. That doesn’t make us right. Last I looked, most of us can’t even balance our checkbooks and we’re operating on credit card debt. Hardly makes us budget experts. I can probably say the same of most congresscritters.

We should wear our freedom proudly, but we should also protect it by educating ourselves. If we don’t, those who have done their homework will be free to manipulate the ignorant at will. Without education and due thought, we won’t be free forever.

And in the interest of supporting myself to be free to write what I like—DEVILISH MONTAGUE will be out tomorrow in your favorite bookstore. If you’re not into Regency romance, how about a mystery?  EVIL GENIUS is available right here at Book View Café and you won’t have to leave your desk to buy it.

Read a good book. Educate your mind. I really don’t mind if it’s someone else’s book or blog.  Just read.

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