I started playing Assassin’s Creed III today. I’m really enjoying it- I’ll let you guys know how it goes once I make enough of a playthrough for a review. I can tell you this- so far, on the Xbox, reviews are mixed.
Today, even though this is my first real post back, I want to stray back to something that I’ve already told you guys that I wouldn’t be talking about again- politics. I’m creating a new category of posts called Politics Schmolitics for when I want to complain about our country’s leadership.
For those of you who don’t know me (Meaning everyone reading this blog), I am a Democrat. Actually, scratch that. While I vote Democratic, I wouldn’t call myself purely a Democrat, but rather an anti-Republican. I don’t know why, but for some reason, every other word out of the GOP makes me depressed or angry, and whenever I see some egregious fault of the GOP the Dems fill it with some common sense. I favor Democrats in every social issue and half of the economic issues as well. I sympathize with the Republican ideals for economics, but we all know trickle-down economics is bullshit and it depresses the hell out of me that we haven’t pieced that together yet. At any rate, while there might be a better party for me than the Dems, I vote for Democrats primarily because they’re not Republican and they’re not crazy.
So, as most of my political based grudges begin, my rant today begins with NPR, and the story they broadcasted about a retiring representative (whose name escapes me, maybe it was Barney Frank? I can’t remember), and a story of his appearance at some small town-house meeting where some man had a sign where Obama was digitally altered to have a Hitler mustache, expressing his dislike of Obamacare. The representative tears into this man, saying one line that really struck a chord with me- “[The existence of that sign] is a testament to the first amendment… There is no way to [rationally] talk to you.” I think I fudged the wording, but I can’t find the article any more, so eeeh, whatever. Point is, this got me thinking. Why did that man bring a Obama/Hitler crossover poster? What is that man thinking?
Well, simply put, this man believes that Obama is a fascist dictator who is trying to restrict the freedom of America by mandating health care. This brought a startling realization to me. There are a number of terms and phrases that Americans associate with the United States. Simple things, like “Apple Pie” or “Baseball”, and complex ideas like Justice or Liberty. One of our favorite words, Freedom, bothers me though. Somewhere down the line, we lost what the definition of Freedom is. We don’t know what Freedom means anymore.
Let me explain what I mean. Many people today seem to believe that Freedom is our god given right as Americans to do whatever the hell we please, whether or not it’s self destructive or not. I’ve got a bad news flash for those people- that’s not what Freedom is! You’re wrong! There’s no such thing as this “Freedom” that you have constructed- a world in which no rules apply, where the only restriction to yourself is the restrictions you yourself create. This world doesn’t exist, cannot exist.
What Freedom really is, the idea that we can take steps in our own self-interest. It’s our ability to buy pornography, play video games, attend school, earn a living. We do not have to surrender ourselves to any one man just because he says so. Even if the path to expressing your desires on a national level is difficult, it is not impossible. If you look at countries that are ruled by dictators, if you look at the Third Reich and at Hitler’s reign, this is where you can see a lack of Freedom, where people could not voice their opinions, where people could not prosper or act for themselves, where a single man could make an entire country bow to his every whim. America takes this idea several steps farther- look at how well preserved our First Amendment is! We all remember the video “The Innocence of Muslims” that incited the riots in the Middle East a few months back. While we did arrest the director/producer of that movie, it wasn’t for the fact that he had made the movie. (It was for using the Internet when the conditions of his parole prevented him from doing so.) If he had been born in the Middle East, that man would have been hung, but because he was in America, he had the Freedom to be an international jackass.
What Freedom is not, however, is the right to allow our country to flounder and fail. The government is allowed to take preventative measures to ensure that everyone is safe and that what should be considered basic human rights should be maintained. A doctor should be allowed to heal a man without having to worry about whether or not he will be paid, and a patient should be able to receive health care even if he could otherwise not afford it. If you don’t like the idea of Obamacare, of socialized health care, of some short term costs for long term stability, if you think this is a violation of your Freedom to not give a shit about the rest of the country, get the hell out of America. Like those jokers in Texas who think that they should secede from America just because they lost an election, we don’t need dead weight who think that just because we have the Freedom to succeed that we do not also require the Responsibility to ensure that the whole of America succeeds as well. The price of admission of America is that Responsibility, and all that’s needed is a bit of your wallet. Where the hell else would you go anyway? Canada? You still wouldn’t escape socialized health care.