If you listen to conservative talk radio, youd think conservatives are the only ones who care about freedom. They call themselves patriots and wrap themselves in the flag in a show of false superiority. But, truth is, moderates and liberals want freedom, too. The difference is in the way we define it.
For example, conservatives seem to believe freedom means being able to do whatever they want without restriction. They seem to equate freedom with money…the more money the more freedom. And some seem to believe the color of their skin gives them more freedom than others.
Some believe corporations should be free to exploit natural resources without regard to the quality of our air and water. They believe corporations should be free to sell foods that slowly poison their customers. They believe corporations should be free to sell any product no matter how flawed or dangerous. And they believe corporations should be free to use their money and influence to control our government.
Moderates and liberals, on the other hand, believe corporations should be regulated to protect our families and our environment.
Many conservatives believe that they should be free to impose their religious and moral beliefs on others. To tell others who to marry and who to love, and what they can do with their bodies. Some believe they should be able to control who votes.
Some believe they should have the freedom to speed, to tailgate and to run red lights. Some believe they have the right to ridicule and intimidate others. Some believe they should be free to cheat, lie and steal. Some believe freedom is tied to the barrel of a gun.
Others, like me, consider such people to be bullies and cowards.
Thats the difficult thing about freedom. Everyone has a different definition. With more than 300 million sharing this land, freedom requires compromise and we should never allow any ideology to co-opt it. In fact, the only thing standing between your freedom and mine is government; the system of representation and laws our Founding Fathers had the wisdom to create. We cant permit conservatives to claim ownership of it.