According to John McLaughlin the most overratted issue of 2009 is “Freedom”…
“When faced with economic uncertainty people don’t want freedom. When they can’t see their economic future they want the nanny state.”
I have been staring at my screen contemplating on what to write …
“You Can Kiss My Freedom Loving Ass” seems to be the best I have to offer at the moment…
We used to watch the ‘McLaughlin Group’ every Friday night for years on PBS along with ‘Washington Week’, ‘Now’ and then a local journalistic round table that gave a review of the week in politics.
We stopped watching quite awhile back because we were so frustrated by the shows.
Did you know that John McLaughlin was a speechwriter for Nixon?
He is good friends with Pat Buchanan and Dick Cheney?
Mort Zuckerman is not a bad guy, because most times he is highly critical of the “new” GOP, and most times he appears unbiased.
I can’t watch the youtube vid you’ve provided, but I will say that if it is Mort saying people don’t want freedom in bad economic times that that sort of surprises me, but then again, not really.
Is Monica Crowley still on that show?
I miss Tony Blankley, even though he was a true Bush-shite and neocon for years until it all started falling apart and then he changed his tune.
It was McLaughlin himself, j’avaz, who made the comment about Americans wanting a nanny state when economic times get tough. It guess he feels it’s more patriotic to starve to death when your job has been outsourced, than to take food stamps or unemployment and thus become a communist! 😮
We stopped watching McLaughlin, too. The constant, incessant interrupting of people in mid-thought was maddening.
Okay, thanks for the clarification!
It does not surprise me that McLaughlin would say that.
We did peek in not too long ago, and McLaughlin was predicting that Cheney’s popularity was going to grow from the 18% approval he has to 30% to 45% to 70% and he predicted that Cheney would run for president in 2012 and win.
We haven’t peeked since.
Ye gods, j’avaz. That’s like cracking open the door to the basement and spotting an axe-murderer crouching there!
In my view, it would be easier to judge whether freedom is overrated, in a situation where we are not free than in a situation where we are. A prisoner, for example, would be better able to decide the worth of freedom, provided he had had it at some time. Having it before, but not having it now, is what enables him to make a good comparison rather than just some dreamy, hypothetical one.
Incarceration is the contrast he needs to see the worth of freedom.
This doesn’t mean that you can’t make any judgements about freedom at all, in an atmosphere of freedom. You can. You can point to some individual freedom you have, like being on this site right now and being able to speak freely in a post, and then say of it, “It’s ok, I suppose. But overrated. I mean it’s not the Third Heaven or anything like that.”
But would you ever go on to say anything like this? “I’d be just as happy, possibly even happier, in a country where what I say when I blog, is monitored, where I can never say anything against the ruling political party, or anything about religion, we can’t even mention religion—not that I care because I hate religion anyway—, in a country where, to be honest, we can’t say much of anything at all on a blog, there are that many blasted rules. In fact now that I think about it, it’s like trying to blog in a dictatorship! Eff this!!!”
Yes, you would, if, like the prisoner, you’d had it better before.
Hmmmm. There’s something familiar about that awful experience of having once had freedom and then having suddenly lost it….What could it be….?
Could it be the recurring nightmare that I have about being forced to go back to HuffyPuffyLand after having been at PlanetPOV for the past three months…?
That must be it!
I have a question that has been puzzling me for awhile now and wonder if there is an adequate answer amongst the wise ranks of POV. (all of whom need to vote for my Arts and Entertainment poems rather than see this site’s great dictator win when it should be WE little peopl…ahem…anyway)
Is there a book, ….a tome…a volume, of standards or templates for Great Societies? I am aware of the usual works that speak on freedoms, theocracy and even communism, yet what I haven’t discovered is an all encompassing, timeless compendium of knowledge that spells out precisely WHY a Republic should, in fact, act more like a Democracy when said Democracy is functioning under Capitalistic Consociationalism. Odd, no?
See, in truth, America functions more like…well…Confederated Corporatism at the end of the day with a nod to some Plutocracy.
Freedom…it seems is as murky and definable as anyone would like it to be. It is more of a ‘feeling’ than an ideal to found a Republic or ANY organization on. Freedom is great. However, I personally would LOVE the freedom to not be under the contsant threat of bankruptcy by missing ONE payment on a debt while corporations STRIVE to accumulate this debt for themselves. I would like the freedom to not worry that I may become homeless through no fault of my own. I would like the freedom to be ABLE to pursue my life, my liberties as I define them and my happiness as I define it without having to worry that I have no health insurance and others with a vested interest in me NOT getting proper health insurance are in control of SO many of my….freedoms.
I,…we…are not ‘free’ here in America. It’s pretty good…no question there. But try and take 2 months off work to rediscover who you TRULY are because society has sculpted you into the perfect consuming machine that is terrified of losing your job and everything that falls away from that. Is this what we are to be ‘free’?
Sadly, I think I personally would be a more productive member of humanity if for a second I thought my keepers would defend me against tyranny, heal me when I’m not well, reward me for being constructive and creative, allow me to flourish and thrive on personal success and allow me to learn from my failures without those failures meaning I can no longer participate in society. We desperately NEED a government like this, I feel. I realize there is no Utopia…only the one in my head….So if it exists there,..why one earth can’t it be manifested in reality?
Sweden and Norway probably come closest to what you describe, and I think the people there are more psychologically “free” than Americans, because they trust their government to make the best decisions on their behalf and know they won’t end up living on the street.
The last company I worked for was a Finnish company that was majority owned by Finland. Of course the business ran completely different in the US and Finland. The biggest difference by far was how the company treated it’s employees in both countries.
I would like to take the time to personally thank KQuark,kesmarn and UncleB for their well thought out and informative responses… I have been working on an addendum all day but each time it ends up sounding like a High School entry to a Masonic Lodge
“What Freedom Means To Me” Essay contest…
😆 personally I would love to read it.
Freedom is probably one of the most individual concepts.
It’s also the most fleeting of personal experiences.
I agree that each individual conceives Freedom or Liberty within a context that is personal to them…
The reason I didn’t post the addendum was JM’s statement was more of an insult to the working/middle class of America than an assault on “Freedom”…
IMO, John McLaughlin stating…
Uncle B thanks for the great links and posts… Your quotes about Rush and ditto heads rings true here where I live…
UncleB, I’d like to point out this conclusion from the Tom Tomorrow link you gave:
The problem with conservatives is that they see freedom and a real safety net as mutually exclusive. Nothing takes away an individual freedom more than being stuck in a job because they need the healthcare benefits for example. I’ve seen numerous people that wanted to start their own businesses simply not take the chance for this reason alone. A viable safety new would actually free us more not visa versa.
“they see freedom and a real safety net as mutually exclusive”
Yep. They try to portray themselves as Sir William Wallace (“Braveheart”) fighting the “good fight’ in the
name of Freedom. [exclaiming “Freeeedddooommm..!” at any opportunity]
In reality, they don’t truly care the least about Freedom/Liberty/Justice (AND safety). They’re just mere
words; used for political expediency and discarded at the merest whim when they see fit to do so..!
In their own words:
“Our civil liberties are worthless if we are dead!”
— Rush Limbaugh
“None of your civil liberties matter much after you’re dead.”
— Senator John Cornyn
“There ought to be limits to freedom.”
— Dubya; Dec. 2000
And for each one of them they enjoy more freedom than most because they have figured out a way to be stinkin’ rich.
Being born to stinkin’ rich fambly sure helps!
In regards to Conservatives and Freedom, “some tidbits” from an article I read at http://www.smirkingchimp.com/thread/11193 .
If conservatism is the ideology of freedom, how come they’re the ones who fought against the American Revolution?
If conservatism is the ideology of freedom, how come they’re the ones who are always trying to take that freedom away from us, especially women and minorities? Why did they fight against the effort to end slavery, or to give women and minorities the vote, or to protect them from discrimination? Why are they still supporting efforts to disenfranchise minorities?
If conservatism is the ideology of freedom, how come they’re the ones who bitterly opposed the New Deal at a time when Americans were ravaged by the Great Depression and the only freedom they were desperately seeking was from unemployment, starvation, humiliation and death? We should give thanks for their efforts ever since then, though, as they’ve been kind enough to keep trying to liberate seniors from the hell of receiving their Social Security benefits, bravely volunteering Wall Street to carry that burden instead.
If conservatism is the ideology of freedom, how come they’re the ones who are always propping up foreign dictators, like Saddam, Musharraf, Mubarak, Marcos, Pinochet, the Shah, Batista, the House of Saud and apartheid South Africa? Why did they, in some of these cases, secretly topple democratically elected governments to install repressive regimes, which they then assisted in the torturing of their own citizens? Exactly which definition of ‘freedom’ does that fall under?
If conservatism is the ideology of freedom, how come they’re the ones who are always trying to control other people’s sexuality? Why are conservatives always telling us whom we can sleep with and what we can do in bed, even including whether we can use birth control?
If conservatism is the ideology of freedom, how come they’re the ones who are always trying to make sure that the state takes control of women’s bodies, denying them reproductive choice and freedom?
If conservatism is the ideology of freedom, how come they’re the ones who are always trying to tell us who we can marry? How come they believe that the state – which they always seem to hate, except when it is at war – should be able to make that most personal decision for us?
If conservatism is the ideology of freedom, how come they’re the ones who are always blocking the environmental regulations which are the only hope to keep our bodies free from carcinogens and other harmful effects?
If conservatism is the ideology of freedom, how come they’re the ones who refuse to allow us to die with dignity when we have a terminal disease, instead thrusting the state into the most personal and private decision a human being can make?
If conservatism is the ideology of freedom, how come they’re the ones who are denying many of us the freedom to live by forbidding the stem-cell research that would likely produce cures to all manner of diseases now killing of millions of us every year?
If conservatism is the ideology of freedom, how come they’re the ones who are always trying to have the government jam their religion down our throats, in direct opposition to the intentions of the Founders? The United States Constitution makes precisely the same number of references to the Christian god as it does to the Jewish, Muslim, Hindu and Zoroastrian. That would be none. What kind of freedom is it for everyone’s tax dollars to support one group’s religion, or for our government to impose a single religion on all of us?
If conservatism is the ideology of freedom, how come they’re the ones who are always telling me I should leave the country if I don’t approve the latest war for lies they’ve cooked up? How exactly does ‘shut-up or leave’ qualify as freedom of speech?
Very well said.
Tiger, there’s so much going on today here that it’s hard to keep up with everything. But I think you bring up a topic that is too important to overlook.
I honestly think McLaughlin and most of the Republican Party of the 21st century do not have the slightest idea of what the word means. Which, of course, does not stop them from attaching their OWN meaning to it!
What they mean by freedom is:
1. Freedom for them to make as much money as possible, by any means possible–legal or illegal–without consequences.
2. Freedom from paying taxes (themselves).
3. Freedom to oppress minorities, women, children–whomever they want–without being held accountable.
4. Freedom from having to give a damn about the handicapped, about children, the elderly or the mentally ill.
And many other forms of “freedom” from being an adult member of a civilized society.
Whereas the Founding Fathers had an entirely different definition of the word.
One that did not involve the government’s obligation to infuse unimaginably huge amounts of taxpayers’ money into private corporations which had deliberately and arrogantly swindled the populace.
One that involved rich, white property owners risking their lives, their fortunes and their sacred honor (instead of NOTHING) for an ideal.
And many other types of freedoms, all of which had their corresponding RESPONSIBILITIES! (Fancy that, McL!)
McLaughlin, Limbaugh, Beck, et al need to invest in a dictionary, a History of America for Dummies, and a copy of the Declaration of Independence. Then–when it comes to throwing the word “freedom” around casually–they might have a flippin’ clue.
How could any American say “Freedom is overrrated”?
Kris Kristopherson is a “Freedom Loving Great American Songwriter”
This is one of my favorite Kristopherson songs…
OOPPPS: thought I was replying to Jan…
S’okay, Tiger, I got yer drift. I do like me some Kristofferson, but now I have to go do some actual work on the Interwebs, so I’ll catch ya later.
from Janis Joplin, “freedom’s just another word for nothing left to lose”
I don’t know how this fits, but it’s the first thing that came to mind. I also see many layers of meaning here – for example, it’s when you have nothing to lose that you’re most truly free!