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Praising freedom: While curtailing it

July 07. 2014 10:48PM

Before Independence Day, U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen and Reps. Carol Shea-Porter and Annie Kuster issued statements commemorating July 4. Normally we pay little attention to such statements. This year’s were interesting, though.

Nothing in the content was unusual. For years, Democrats have tended to treat July 4 as if it were Memorial Day or Veterans Day. They issue a line about celebrating freedom at picnics and parades, then they quickly switch to praising the troops. But as right as they are that freedom is won at the business end of a rifle, they gloss over or never even mention what our men and women in uniform are defending.

The holiday is Independence Day. That makes many on the political left uncomfortable. Independence means not being bossed around, either by kings or nanny state leftists. So Shaheen, Shea-Porter and Kuster tend to ignore the true meaning of the day and talk about parades and members of the armed services.

A 2011 academic study published in Psychological Science explains why. “A single exposure to an American flag resulted in a significant increase in participants’ Republican voting intentions, voting behavior, political beliefs, and implicit and explicit attitudes, with some effects lasting 8 months,” it found. As columnist Jonah Goldberg writes on this page, the activist left really does not like America very much.

Leftists dislike liberty, which means they dislike the very foundations of this nation. They want control. They want to rule — not govern, rule.

Shaheen, Shea-Porter and Kuster issued their half-hearted tributes to Independence Day shortly after they had attacked several Supreme Court rulings that upheld American’s constitutional rights to free speech and freedom of religion. They praised “freedom” after attacking it. The praise was insincere, the attacks were not.

In office, Shaheen, Shea-Porter and Kuster work every day to diminish liberty and enhance government power. From Obamacare’s individual mandate to your ability to contribute to political causes you support to your freedom to speak your mind on a public sidewalk, they fall on the side of government coercion.

“What constitutes the bulwark of our own liberty and independence?” Abraham Lincoln asked in 1858. “It is not our frowning battlements, our bristling sea coasts, the guns of our war steamers, or the strength of our gallant and disciplined army. These are not our reliance against a resumption of tyranny in our fair land. All of them may be turned against our liberties, without making us stronger or weaker for the struggle. Our reliance is in the love of liberty which God has planted in our bosoms. Our defense is in the preservation of the spirit which prizes liberty as the heritage of all men, in all lands, every where. Destroy this spirit, and you have planted the seeds of despotism around your own doors.”

“Independence” is a word uttered rarely these days, usually only once a year. If our politicians actually believed in it, we would hear it from them more often, and we would see it in their votes, not just in their annual Independence Day emails.

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