Legislative Update - September 2017
What Does Freedom Mean to You?
I was talking to a motorcyclist at a gas station recently and handed him my ABATE lobbyist business card. He read the “Dedicated to freedom of the road” and asked what that meant. So I posed the question back to him, “What does freedom mean to you?” We had a good conversation and it got me thinking about our freedoms and how ABATE is involved in trying to protect them. We have all heard Janis Joplin sing the words, “Freedoms just another word for nothing left to lose.” Is it really that? What does freedom mean to you?
Freedom, according to The American Heritage College Dictionary, is a noun meaning “liberty of the person from slavery, detention, or oppression.” When our Founding Fathers wanted a free country, this is what I think they were trying to achieve. They fought for their own freedom from oppression from King George. While it may have taken many years for all Americans to be free from slavery, it happened. Our nation’s military has time and time again fought and shed blood for the freedom of people all over the world. Is that the freedom of the road that we, as an organization, are dedicated to? Is that the freedom you are dedicated to?
You may get a variety of answers when you ask the question, but I want to share what freedom means to me. Freedom is about choice. How I choose to live my life without someone dictating on what I can be or can’t be. Freedom is the ability to choose your own destiny. No matter where that road may lead. Freedom is our Constitutional rights. I know this is a sticky point for alot of people and I will talk about that in a moment. Our Constitution outlines out just a fraction of the freedoms we have as Americans. Read it sometime. You’ll be amazed at what is actually in the words that Jefferson wrote.
There are so many ways that people try to limit our freedom. Freedom is a noun, remember? So it is something that can be limited and taken away if you allow it to be.
THERE OUGHT TO BE A LAW…
I cringe every time I hear those words. I want to grab the person by the collar and shake them and yell into their face “Not only No but Hell NO!” Do you realize that once a law is on the books, it never goes away? That’s right. The only way to get rid of it is to pass another law. Job security for politicians.
Saul Alinsky wrote in his book Rules for Radicals that “the greatest enemy to individual freedom is the individual himself.” That is one of the most profound descriptions of oppression I have ever read in my life. So many times, we as a people, tend to be our own worst enemy in the cause to advance freedom. Self-oppression.
“OK Snowflake. Time to go to your safe space now.” Yes, I have said that. I know it may sound cold and harsh but let’s be real people. Freedom of speech is the ability to speak your mind even if another person doesn’t agree with you. The world has become to politically correct in so many ways and that offends me! I have said it before and I will say it until my last breath, I will defend another individuals right to speak their opinion no matter what that opinion is. Because if we limit the free speech of those we disagree with, then what is stopping someone to do that to us?
Freedom means having the choice. Liberty means using it to do what is right.
And remember that “Freedom is a team sport”.
Be good to one another!
ABATE of Arizona
State Designated Lobbyist