Which begs the question: What is freedom?
I've been wanting and trying to write about "freedom" for the past several years, but this piece is so spot-on that I think I'll just make a pdf and send that out instead. In our house, so disgusted are we by the whole MAGA invocation of "FREEDOM!" to justify all sorts of repression and destruction that we started barking out the word to each other, sardonically, with raised fist, every time the latest Orwellian contortion of it came up in the news.
But the bigger distress is not the "freedom" jihad of the MAGAs but the spillover onto some of our leftist friends, who have come to believe that, so long as the "deep state" and the "global cabal" have their hooks in us, none of us can be "free." They see virtually all regulations and mandates as nefarious. I ask them whether it should be OK to ignore "Stop" signs or, for that matter, drive on whatever side of the road you, in your full embrace of "freedom," feel like driving?
And I wonder why for me, as physically uncomfortable as it can be, I feel no more oppressed by a mandate to wear a mask indoors during a pandemic than I do by being required to stop at a Stop sign or drive on the right side of the road in the USA -- while for them it is "tyranny." What is it that makes us so different in our assessment of what freedom is and what oppression and tyranny are?
Agree 100%. I'd like to know what the right wing means when they say a lot of things. Freedom is at the top of that list! Seems they want freedom for their own lives, and slavery and abuse for anyone who isn't a right wing kkkristian nationalist.
To the GOP, freedom is defined by their mega donors and includes such things as the freedom of the extremely wealthy to be exempted from any type of progressive income tax system or to pay zero income tax. The other "entitlement" of this group is the right to control our government, through unlimited dark money, and hence control wage, workplace safety, and environmental regulations for the country, or the cost, quality, and access to American healthcare. This plutocratic group also oversees and continually reviews any rights claimed by most Americans through democratic means via their purchase of Congressional majorities, and if necessary, through the purchase of a Supreme Court Majority, which also may legislate from the bench, by overruling democratically achieved laws.
With our last GOP POTUS, freedom was defined as what was best for the fossil fuel industry, which is very sacred to and supportive of the GOP. The industry defines "freedom" for our whole society. Scientific based concerns and Climate Change are considered considered as "hoaxes" and democratic tinkering. The ex-GOP POTUS even decided that a foreign cartel consisting mainly of Russia and Saudi Arabia, and with the complicity of the American Oil Industry should decide how much Americans and our Allies have to pay for gas and oil. To justify this decision, they threatened the entire American Oil Industry will go bankrupt. A fanciful fiction that had no basis in truth. To "freedom" and all of the terrible consequences, including war and autocratic governments, that it creates:
Great essay, Thom.
There is a target on your back if you are part of the far-right's version of abnormal, and it's their ideology that keeps giving birth to these sad, sick domestic terrorists. I hope the love and sweetness that brought the "Q" community together only grows after their loss.
Can you literally drive a nation crazy? I think these billionaires are determined to do just that by sowing discord. Like the old pick-pocket trick of misdirection, they use the word "freedom" to create actions over there, while in truth, they are using it to steal your wallet.
We need your rationality and the history lessons more than ever, Thom.
Been waiting for this take for a long time. Tired of RepubliCon cooption of all the good words, with little or no pushback. But then they own the ad sector as part of the corporate sector and Americans are already trained from birth to put up with ubiquitous consumer brainwashing. A century of demonizing noncommercial solutions has sewn salt in the soil of the body politic, which now grows little except hate.
It is indeed a curious political and semantic use of the English language to use the term 'Freedom' in the same sense as 'Lockdowns.'
Somehow the confusion in many people's minds ought to inspire all of us take a deep breath and ask some questions.
For example, with respect to health, is it 'freedom' to require the total population of a country to be injected with an experimental concoction that has no scientific, longitudinal data to confirm its efficacy or risk population?
And, is it sound science for a country's or state's Medical Board to threaten hundreds of seasoned doctors and researchers with the removal of their licenses, because they dared to question the implementation of unproven vaccination schedules?
Finally, is it backed by multiple scientific studies that wearing a face mask, and limiting an individual's oxygen intake, has a documented protective guarantee?
At this time almost 50% of the US population has lost complete faith in mainstream medical practices, and the term 'Sick-Care' is being used instead of 'Healthcare.' https://pnhp.org/news/health-care-vs-sick-care/Annual flue shots with efficacy (https://www.cdc.gov/flu/vaccines-work/vaccineeffect.htm) results below 50% for the last 20 years are being paired with Covid 1-2-3 shots with mixed results, and the pharmaceutical industry is going after adding the latter series to the vaccine schedules for children who had a near-zero risk (https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32926083/) rating compared to the over 65 cohort (https://www.acsh.org/news/2020/11/18/covid-infection-fatality-rates-sex-and-age-15163).
Many, many independent voters cannot support some of the highly positive programs supported by Mr. Biden and the current elites running the Democratic Party due to a very personal sense that their health is being threatened by the one-size-fits everyone 'Sick-care' adopted by Mr. Biden, Dr. Faucie, CDC, the Gavi Foundation and the FDA. These voters do not feel free, and they have only found some degree of safety via their support of conservative politicians, so far.
However, many of these voters would very much like to be able to support higher tax rates for the Billionaires, Medicare-for All and a robust Social Security System covering people who have no more pensions.
Mr. Hartman's use of the word Freedom, in this posting, is, perhaps, unnecessarily divisive and incendiary. Millions of Americans and Europeans are being driven into ultra-conservative voting patterns in order to increase the profits of the pharmaceutical corporations, and our children are facing long-term health risks with an unnecessarily high number of mandated mRNA experiments.
It might be far more effective to let our functional medicine doctors https://drhagmeyer.com/what-is-a-functional-medicine-doctor/, naturopaths https://www.nccih.nih.gov/health/naturopathyand scientists practice freely, without name calling, or threats of license and employment loss. The cohort of 65+ and the cohort of people with immune system challenges deserve adequate health support, but, really, not to the extent that it damages other people.
Indeed, in a crowded urban environment the words 'Freedom' and the word 'Lockdown' are in an existential face-off that deserves a deeper scrutiny than we have allowed.
Mr. Hartman citations:
Rightwing Billionaires and their Republican shills, on the other hand, want us to think that raising the top tax brackets on people who take in more than $400,000 a year (Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act) will take away our freedom. In fact, raising those tax brackets is what built the American middle class between 1940 and 1980, when the rate paid by those in the top bracket was 74% to 91%.
America needs a healthy conversation — a debate, even — about freedom
Late in 2020, a group of “freedom fanatics,” shut down the Covid vaccination operation at Dodger Stadium, slowing down the process for hundreds of people before the police stopped them.
They called it an “Anti-lockdown Freedom Rally and March,” saying “We’re not going to stop until we get our freedoms back.”
They’re the same type of folks who argued that lockdowns and mask mandates were unconstitutional violations of their freedom, and spent much of 2020 proudly refusing to wear masks because “freedom.”
They even occupied the Michigan Capitol with assault weapons in a preview of January 6th because, they said, Governor Whitmer’s efforts to prevent Michiganders from dying of Covid were assaults on their “freedom.”
As NBC reported, that invasion was preceded by months of events like one where:
“Dozens of demonstrators took to the Michigan Capitol in Lansing for a rain-soaked protest Thursday — the third such event in the past month — demanding their ‘freedom’…”
The right wing poses an existential threat that Democrats don't seem to know how to counter. All they do in response is demonize progressives and lurch further to the right when it comes to militarism, policing and health care. That brand of fascism will only stoke theirs as well as foment the division that enables the blaming of the other side while failing to look in the mirror.
Absolutely correct. EVERY Democratic politician should be shouting this from the rooftops. But what do I hear? Crickets...