Keep off the grass
Some of you will already know that my country of origin is England... I have spent over 25 years in this glorious place, thrilled with the vibrant people and the fact that America was the benchmark by which other nations were measured. Now as an American citizen I still feel honored to live here. If there is a paradise on earth, I am blessed to live in it.
To me what makes America a truly unique place is the freedom of the individual. In other countries, and I am talking about countries that boast a free society of which there are surprisingly few, the freedoms their citizens enjoy are almost entirely government sanctioned collective freedoms. They have freedom of association, freedom of the press, freedom to own property, and of course, freedom of religion but all their freedoms are permitted by government, not an inalienable right guaranteed by the law of the land. To people from those countries, they believe they are free until they measure their liberties to ours. Measure their Constitutional rights to ours.
My first exposure to the American way of life was an earth moving experience. My wife, who is also British was jolted into reality at the same time. It wasn't the high standard of living, or the superior choice of products that impressed us. It was the American's rock solid belief that they were completely free to follow their dreams in any way they saw fit without having to be permitted to do it by government. So long as it was not harming someone else they could do what they wanted. They had the belief that government worked for the people and the US Constitution ensured it would stay that way.
Americans believe British people are free to follow their dreams just as we are here. Ask a British person if they thought they were free and most likely they would be offended at he suggestion that they might not be. And as countries go, Britain or as it is now called, the United Kingdom, could rightly be judged among the freest, but as I have said, it is a collective freedom regulated at the sole discretion of government. British people have only those freedoms their government allows them to have, They have long ago lost their constitutional right to freedom, which in itself can hardly be classified as promoting freedom. Historically, in Britain, individual citizens have little input in how their liberties are managed. The makeup of government is similar to ours, with a tier of elected representatives acting as the citizen's go-between with government employees, but in practice, the average citizen is not encouraged to take part in the regulatory process, so government employees make regulations without the approval of the citizen. In fact it is now almost impossible for the average person to get their voices heard in how their freedoms, or anything else for that matter, are managed. If government want security cameras in public places, they install them, if they want to ban park goers from walking on the grass, they just do it. Every aspect of British life is regulated with little input from those most effected. Hardly the best way to protect individual freedom or even collective freedom but British people seem to have hardly noticed the loss.
In America, citizens are engaged in the governing process at every level. It is not a done deal for government to get what it wants. Increasingly, American governments are becoming more Europeanized and arbitrary in their decision making, trying to sidestep citizen input, but I have witnessed fierce battles between government and its citizens over seemingly the most trivial regulation. That, my friends is what I believe makes America truly different from the rest of the world and what I am pledged as an individual to protect. Once freedom is surrendered to the whim of government, individual liberties will be lost.
This is true of most of Europe. It is almost impossible for the individual to petition for changes. Government has become unsympathetic and arbitrary in its regulation process. Individual freedom is now non-existent in most of the world, but here it thrives. Or does it?
Someone in Bradley County government has taken upon him or herself, to place a "Keep Off The Grass" sign in front of the Bradley County Courthouse. It is an example of the arbitrary regulation of people's activities in a public place, and quite frankly, un-American. Whoever is responsible, and I place the blame on the County Mayor's shoulders solely for lack of a culprit, needs to analyze why the grass is being trampled and how to design the landscaping to accommodate pedestrian activates instead of regulating activities to accommodate the landscaping. In itself, a "Keep Off The Grass" sign is not a big deal, it is where the reasoning for that decision comes from that is the threat to what makes America the only nation that protects the freedom of the individual.
If you can be ordered to keep of grass in a public place..... well, you can guess the rest.
That's what I think. What do you think?
Republican leaders listen closely.
Smaller government means smaller government.
Reducing the cost of government means actually reducing the cost of government.
Not raising the debt ceiling means not raising the country's debt.
None of this is open for debate or negotiation.
Conservatives have spoken, ignore them at your peril.
That's what I think. What do you think?
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