Four centuries ago, the Pilgrims of the Mayflower landed at Plymouth Rock. They were fleeing religious persecution in the Old World. This is to say they were seeking freedom in the New World.
All these years after the Mayflowers voyage, the world has changed, but the reason to come to America remains the same: freedom. Thats it. Thats the whole deal. Freedom, and the opportunities that come with it.
Think about it. Why else would anyone choose to come here? We have a mediocre K-12 education system. We have a good healthcare system if youre rich and a middling one if youre poor. Sure, we have a social safety net, but how many people who immigrated to this country come to America for Medicare or social security?
Pilgrims, both old and new, came here for freedom. They came here because, in their former country, they couldnt say what they thought, worship their god, or pursue happiness in their own way. They came here because they dont want to be imprisoned or killed for being a member of the wrong party or the wrong religion. Take these freedoms away and America is reduced to a middle-of-the-road European country without the fancy historic architecture.
So, its fair that we take our freedom seriously in America. Its the thing that sets us apart. We havent always gotten it right, there are certainly dark chapters in our experiment in self-government, but for those who come here, freedom is still the ultimate prize. For those lucky enough to be born here American freedom is an inheritance worth more than all the riches in Silicon Valley.
For the past few months, we, a free people, have willingly accepted restrictions and lockdowns in order to slow the spread of a deadly virus. Some of these measures were necessary some were not. But now, we have governors and county health bureaucrats telling us we cant congregate with our families to celebrate Thanksgiving.
Those skeptical of such policies are scapegoated as anti-science. But, as in most situations, skepticism is healthy, and these particular arguments are worth having, especially when the same government leaders canceling Thanksgiving (Newsom, Murphy, Lightfoot to name just a few) are ignoring their own rules. The hypocrisy of the ruling class is hard to stomach. Indeed, the very idea of a ruling class is anti-American. These are the same people that often selectively based on their political preferences choose between which protests to allow.
So no, the ability to have Thanksgiving with ones friends and family is not about mashed potatoes and gravy its about the freedom to peaceably assemble with whom you choose in your own house. Truly, if you arent free to peaceably assemble in your own house, its only a matter of time before other freedoms erode. Todays turkey dinner is tomorrows political meeting.
Many will say that these rules from the governors will not actually be enforced. Maybe so. But if they can make the rule this time, theres no guarantee to say it wont be enforced next time.
Still, others will say this is a small price to pay to stay safe and save lives. Indeed, there will always be voices calling to trade freedom for safety. But this is a false choice. With prudence and responsible leadership, we can enjoy both freedom and safety.
Of course, freedom has a flip side: responsibility. Not coincidentally, this reality has caused freedom to go out of fashion lately. If you are free to choose, you are also responsible for your choice. In the end, acting responsibly is one of the foremost ways we preserve and protect freedom.
Yes, this does mean wearing masks when appropriate during a pandemic, not because the government said we had to, but because its the responsible thing to do. Yes, it means limiting our contact with the elderly and vulnerable. Yes, it means being thoughtful about handwashing, maintaining distance from others where possible, and thinking twice about high-risk activities.
In my family, were scaling back our Thanksgiving significantly. Were taking precautions. I think you should too. But, this Thanksgiving, how many and whom you choose to gather with in your own home is none of my business. Frankly, its none of the governments business either.
When addressing free people about matters essential to their liberty, government leaders must persuade not coerce. The refrain trust science is not enough its a political cudgel, meant to cut off debate. To be sure, theres a place for science to inform policy decisions, but science doesnt have a say about freedom of speech and freedom of assembly. Theres a reason they dont teach the first amendment in chemistry class.
In America, we get to have our debates and make our mistakes out in the open for everyone to see. Its all very messy, sometimes its even embarrassing, but its freedom. And the alternative is much worse: a ruling class exempt from the rules sitting in back rooms deciding what we can and cant do, deciding where we can and cant go, deciding what we can and cant say.
After 400 years, the original idea that drove people from all over the world to our shores remains: freedom. Its still what makes us unique. Its still the reason to come to America and the reason to stay. Its still something to be thankful for and something to fight for.
The rest is here:
- Opinion | No, Vaccine Mandates Arent an Attack on Freedom - The New York Times - November 2nd, 2021
- Academic Freedom Alliance Letter on the University of Florida Situation - Reason - November 2nd, 2021
- Vaccination, Freedom and Responsibility - Coronavirus Coverage - State of the Planet - November 2nd, 2021
- Freedom football rules 2nd half to beat Liberty, claim city title - lehighvalleylive.com - November 2nd, 2021
- 'Economic freedom' rankings are contrived, meaningless nonsense - The Real News Network - November 2nd, 2021
- Central Valley Right to Life group claims vaccine protection law prohibits freedom of speech - Visalia Times-Delta and Tulare Advance-Register - November 2nd, 2021
- Bitcoin Community Projects Communicate The Message Of Freedom - Bitcoin Magazine - November 2nd, 2021
- Investigative Journalist Roohollah Zam Tops November Ranking Of The One Free Press Coalitions 10 Most Urgent Press Freedom Cases - Forbes - November 2nd, 2021
- Stalin inaugurates exhibition on freedom struggle - The Hindu - November 2nd, 2021
- G-20 Needs a Freedom and Prosperity Agenda More Than Ever - Heritage.org - November 2nd, 2021
- When Jane Johnson jeopardized her freedom for the people who aided her to escape from slavery - Face2Face Africa - November 2nd, 2021
- Letter: Responsibility of Freedom | Opinion | thepilot.com - Southern Pines Pilot - November 2nd, 2021
- Positive Vibes Only: Mayorkun Performs Liberating Track "Freedom" From His New Album 'Back In Office' - grammy.com - November 2nd, 2021
- Do vaccine mandates violate or support our freedom? Avoid anyone who thinks this question is easy - The Dallas Morning News - November 2nd, 2021
- Passing reveals pursuit of happiness, freedom and safety - District - November 2nd, 2021
- Freedom to Roam: The Rhythms Of Migration - Folk Radio UK - November 2nd, 2021
- Diversity Dialogues Raise Issues of Women's Rights, Sexual Identity and Individual Freedom - University of Arkansas Newswire - February 20th, 2021
- Capitol Talk: Antifa; 'Religious Freedom', And Limits On Local Control - MTPR - February 20th, 2021
- John Mayall: The blues have given me musical freedom - Olean Times Herald - February 20th, 2021
- Greta comes out in support of Disha, says freedom of speech and right to peaceful protest non-negotiable - The Tribune India - February 20th, 2021
- Mosaic Announces Long-Term Partnership with Freedom Forever - PRNewswire - February 20th, 2021
- Creative freedom restricted by cloaking it in religion - The Hindu - February 20th, 2021
- Statutes of Liberty: Freedom of Information Act Requests are Free for Immigrants and U.S. Citizens - ARLnow - February 20th, 2021
- Woman who fought for racial equity as a Freedom Rider reflects on the past, gives outlook on the future - WLWT Cincinnati - February 20th, 2021
- Rescue horses move to Freedom to teach, provide therapy for people in need of rescue - Boothbay Register - February 20th, 2021
- Sudan: Forces of Freedom of Change refuses army appointments as governors - Middle East Monitor - February 20th, 2021
- Freedom Foods sees another CFO depart troubled Australian dairy business - just-food.com - February 20th, 2021
- Opinion | Give Fred Gray the Medal of Freedom, because no one deserves it more - alreporter.com - February 20th, 2021
- Biden Has No Time to Lose on Freedom of Navigation Operations Against China - Foreign Policy - February 20th, 2021
- The scars of solitary: Albert Woodfox on freedom after 44 years in a concrete cell - The Guardian - February 20th, 2021
- Washington Spirit owners, Freddy Adu, and more: Freedom Kicks - Black And Red United - February 20th, 2021
- Readers Write: Impeachment trial, freedom of speech, the cold weather - Minneapolis Star Tribune - February 20th, 2021
- What the Trump administration meant for freedom of information requests - Columbia Journalism Review - February 20th, 2021
- Freedom and security: On social media platforms operating in India - The Hindu - February 20th, 2021
- 'You have to stay strong': 102-year-old freedom fighter's message to Disha Ravi - Hindustan Times - February 20th, 2021
- Freedom | Definition of Freedom at Dictionary.com - December 3rd, 2020
- Freedom - Wikipedia - December 3rd, 2020
- Medicare Advantage Plans for Florida at Freedom Health ... - December 3rd, 2020
- Freedom of Religion or Belief club formed at BYU - The Daily Universe - Universe.byu.edu - September 18th, 2020
- Freedom 76 At Grandview Will Be Live On FloRacing - FloRacing - September 18th, 2020
- Aviation Analysis: Revival of Fifth Freedom Flights? - Sam Chui - September 18th, 2020
- Trump Attacks The 1619 Project: U.S. Wasnt Founded On Slavery And Oppression, It Was Freedom - Moguldom - September 18th, 2020
- PAUL TIYAMBE ZELEZA - Beyond Political Freedom to Inclusive Wealth Creation and Self-Reliance - The Elephant - September 18th, 2020
- Backyard pool will bring joy and freedom to Niagara Falls boy - StCatharinesStandard.ca - September 18th, 2020
- Parson James Talks New Single, Lockdown, and Artistic Freedom - vmagazine.com - September 18th, 2020
- Private Railways Will Have Freedom To Set Their Own Fares: Government - NDTV - September 18th, 2020
- McCarthy focused on election, not Freedom Caucus push to remove Pelosi - Roll Call - September 18th, 2020
- Julian Assange, and Press Freedom, on Trial in London - Democracy Now! - September 18th, 2020
- Heres How to Retire at 45 with Financial Freedom - Investment U - September 18th, 2020
- Freedom and Madison off to a 'super' school year - Conway Daily Sun - September 2nd, 2020
- Freedom and Independence group formed to combat Soviet terror founded 75 years ago today - The First News - September 2nd, 2020
- COMMENTARY: Your freedom hinges on freedom of speech - The Cherokee One Feather - Cherokee One Feather - September 2nd, 2020
- Will it be Freedom Hilly cross country course? - The Macomb Daily - September 2nd, 2020
- Joliet Township Sued Under The Freedom of Information Act; Unauthorized Fees - Edgar County Watchdogs - September 2nd, 2020
- OPINION/LETTER: Gun range noise is the 'sound of freedom' - Cape Cod Times - September 2nd, 2020
- What was the Red Sox best trade-deadline acquisition? Freedom from luxury-tax penalties - The Boston Globe - September 2nd, 2020
- Fortify Your Home on the Cheap, Part 2 - America's 1st Freedom - September 2nd, 2020
- Sen. Gardner touts vaccine progress, pandemic legislation at Steamboat Institute's Freedom Conference in Beaver Creek - Steamboat Pilot and Today - September 2nd, 2020
- 'Zombies of the Corn' haunted attraction set for 8th season of frightful fun in Freedom - TribLIVE - September 2nd, 2020
- President Armen Sarkissian: Artsakh Was the Spark Which Lit the Fire of Freedom - Armenian News by MassisPost - September 2nd, 2020
- One Database to Rule Them All: The Invisible Content Cartel that Undermines the Freedom of Expression Online - EFF - September 2nd, 2020
- Personal freedom is still limited in most of the Islamic world - The Economist - September 2nd, 2020
- 'Mental Freedom' part two - The River Reporter - September 2nd, 2020
- Tuesday Freedom Kicks: Gelmin Rivas to D.C. United, continued fallout at Real Salt Lake, and more - Black And Red United - September 2nd, 2020
- Freedom Means Something Different to Liberals and Conservatives. Heres How the Definition SplitAnd Why That Still Matters - TIME - August 31st, 2020
- Trademark Parody and Freedom of Speech in the U.S. - JD Supra - August 31st, 2020
- D.C., Loudoun lose, Weston to Juve done & more: Freedom Kicks for 8/31/20 - Black And Red United - August 31st, 2020
- Letter to the Editor: The real meaning of freedom - The Bakersfield Californian - August 31st, 2020
- Bass: Exercising freedom to be exposed to COVID-19 - Berkshire Eagle - August 31st, 2020
- Dean Cain: NYC becoming land of the flee as people leave in search of more freedom - Fox News - August 31st, 2020
- In Conversation: Georgia Anne Muldrow on Finding Freedom as Jyoti - FLOOD Magazine - August 31st, 2020
- Watershed moment for freedom of speech: Prashant Bhushan on SC verdict. Read full statement here - Hindustan Times - August 31st, 2020
- Trumps ban of TikTok and WeChat would reduce Americans freedom of speech and harm foreign investment in the U.S. - MarketWatch - August 31st, 2020
- Letter to the Editor: It's All About Freedom - Centralia Chronicle - August 31st, 2020
- CLARK B. HALL: Rare images record freedom in the making - starexponent.com - August 31st, 2020
- Tantrum Or Freedom Of Expression Over Face Masks? - wcrz.com - August 31st, 2020
- This is my freedom of speech - Newnan Times-Herald - August 31st, 2020
- There are limits to freedom - Mount Airy News - August 31st, 2020
- Freedom in the Muslim World - Cato Institute - August 31st, 2020
- Shevar Perry to Open Solo Exhibit Moments of Freedom August 24th, 2020 - Suburban Journals - August 31st, 2020