On Saturday, I gave a speech to a local Tea Party group that posed the question of whether or not America can still be considered the land of the free. I have come to the conclusion in recent days that America is in fact no longer the land of the free. I have decided that the title is something that we gave up long ago.
We live in a nation of constantly expanding state power. Whether it be modern examples like the Patriot Act and the NDAA or historic examples like Japanese internment and the Alien and Sedition Acts, the government has always had a general disregard for civil liberties. Throughout its history, the government of the United States has convinced the American people that the small violations of liberty will leave the people safer and better off all around. This lie has allowed the government to lay a foundation of an Orwellian style police state and it has resulted in more than a few small violations of the people's liberty. Don't believe me? Look at the state of New York and do some research on the Patriot Act.
Our founders believed that individuals are "endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights." For this reason, the Bill of Rights was added to the Constitution. Since it's adoption, however, the Bill of Rights has been steadily eroded under the eyes of a constantly expanding government. Some of the amendments, namely the fourth and fifth, have come to the point where they are being violated on an almost everyday basis and the general public says nothing because they don't know about the violations (watch the speech to see what some of the violations are). Others, such as the second and the first, are coming under fire and people are being taught that the principles set forth in the amendments don't apply in every situation. It is important for us to remember that every right is equally important to a free society. If we wish to become a truly free society once again we need to elect legislators and presidents that truly understand and respect the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.
In my speech, I outlined the three principles that I believe will help make this country great again. They are the principles of liberty, prosperity and peace. These three principles should form the basis of our political philosophies and they should be the guideposts for political discourse. If we can tell people that we want to foster a system where they can live their lives as they choose, prosper in their own way without interference, and peacefully interact with those around them, we can win the argument.
Although America is no longer the "land of the free" and it hasn't been for a long time, it is not to late to create a nation that truly lets liberty flourish. I have not lost hope in America yet and I honestly believe that we are on the verge of a Liberal (think Milton Friedman and Friedrich Hayek) awakening in this country. It is time to get involved and it is time to stand up for liberty. I hope I can look back in twenty years and say, "Yes, America is the land of the free." Let's make it happen. Let's make America great again.