By J C Bowman
Freedom. One of the best lines in the movie Braveheart is also the shortest. Here in Cleveland, Tennessee freedom has always had a special place in the heart of citizens. Bradley County witnessed up close and personal the "Trail of Tears" one of the most deplorable incidence in American history forcing the removal of the Cherokee Nation from its ancestral homeland. Freedom for the Cherokees was taken away. From that day on, for the Cherokee and the people who remained the lesson was: freedom that is granted can also be taken away.
Freedom has a different meaning to almost every single person. There is freedom as a philosophy and freedom in the political sense. Everyone has a different view of what freedom really means. Is freedom gaining ground? Or losing ground? How is freedom related to liberty? When you elect leaders you might want to vote for those who view freedom as liberty for the individual coupled with concern by the liberated individual for the liberties of others.
I hope this November when you cast your ballot you have educated yourself on the candidate and the issues. Remember there is no such thing as a "perfect" candidate and that they all have faults and limitations. I often joke but I am not really kidding the enemy of good is not bad, but rather perfect. Keep in mind what you may hear on the radio or TV may not always be correct. You are shocked I am sure. However, with the Internet, there is no good excuse not to do some research on candidates or issues. Many readers have already taken that step.
We know that too often, in political conversations with friends, all we hear is the rhetoric that goes through mainstream media. We should listen to and read articles from both sides of the fence and from sources whose interest may show a different perspective. Strive to develop a comprehensive view to articulate your position better and defend when necessary the candidates and issues important to you. Like me, I know that we all certainly want to make the best choice for our family, community and country.
Many people want to tear down their political opponents. I hear pundit after pundit simply trash the other candidate or party and offer no solutions. They do not put their country first. In this election we are going to get change no matter who wins the election. Government can swing in a multitude of directions. But the change toward freedom is probably not the direction we are heading. More big government is likely on the horizon. In my opinion, that is a step backward.
From 1892 to 1954, over twelve million immigrants entered the United States through the portal of Ellis Island, a small island in New York Harbor. Looking out as I did just a couple of years ago on the "Island of Tears," a name many immigrants gave Ellis Island I reflected on the joy and sadness people experienced when they arrived here in the United States of America. Most came for the freedom we offered. We owe it to future of our country to look at the whole picture, not just commercials and biased media coverage to vote for those who champion the core principles of individual liberty, personal responsibility, private property rights, free markets and limited government.
We should strive to make sure future tears are really those of joy, and cries for freedom are rarely heard because they are not needed. Vote for your conscience, but choose wisely. In dire economic times, which our country is facing, we need more than ever to go back to some of our first principles which our country was founded upon. More importantly we should seek to consciously seek the face of God in earnest, and then vote your conscience.
Certainly I have an opinion in the election. But I am not going to demonize the opponent or the other side. I see flaws in my candidate. I am very glad to see both the color and the gender barrier broken. America is a nation of many people, and our candidates need not be carbon copies of those who served us in the past. As a father with two daughters I applaud both parties thus far. When I told my girls as children they could grow up to be anything they wanted to be, I believed it. If I were African American, Hispanic/Latino or Asian I would want to believe that my children could be anything they wanted to be as well. So, in a sense we all have already won this election. Yet, I fear the breaking of the racial or gender barrier has not necessarily moved us closer to freedom this election cycle. However, as an optimist I have hopes that it can in the future.
Make sure you get and campaign for the candidate of your choice this election. Spend some money if you have it. The economy needs your help. Let's all get on one page: we are Americans First. We also have a responsibility to the rest of the world to show them that freedom is still alive, and America is still the best place in the world where hopes and dreams can still come true with hard work and determination. Freedom. You still have to want it. Do you still want it?
For more on my latest initiative visit
and find out about the Democracy Project. We believe that people worldwide possess the dignity and desire to live in freedom; we affirm the worth of each individual regardless of race, creed, ethnicity, or nationality. Because history teaches that liberty is best attained and preserved when government respects the right of citizens to live under the rule of law, elect their leaders, speak their minds, worship as they please, and own private property, we support efforts to strengthen and establish market-based democracies around the globe. Thanks for reading, remember to vote. People died to give you the right. We don't want freedom taken away.