Welcome to Yearning to Breathe Free...my new blog.
As a frequent visitor to and participant in the discussions on many other blogs, I've been meaning to start my own for quite some time but just haven't ever worked up the motivation to jump in and start one until now. But here it is - Yearning to Breathe Free: A blog dedicated to commentary and discussion of events, trends, and ideas from a libertarian point of view. Much of will be covered here will pertain to politics, economics, cultural issues -- local, state, national and even international in scope -- and perhaps the occasional discussion of the arts, entertainment, sports, and so forth.
What do I hope to accomplish with this blog? Well, a number of things. First and foremost, would be to arouse and engage in some serious discussion about the issues that we face our daily lives, and the ideas behind them. Whether its particular issues on the local, national, or international levels, or a discussion of general philosophical principles, I hope to engage in some give-and-take, not only for my own education, but others as well. Like the Unrepentant Individual
pointed out, one can always hold out hope that one is making a difference
. Perhaps, this blog could contribute, in some way large or small, to spreading the virtues of individual liberty, personal responsibility, private property, free markets, and most importantly, limited government.
So, why the name "Yearning to Breathe Free"? I thought about this for a while. In fact, it was the biggest reason for my delay in getting started. I wanted a name that would make a statement about who and what I am about. One day an acquaintance asked me, “what is it you want most out of life?” My answer was quick and unequivocal: liberty. I want to be free. Note, I did not say that I want a beach house in Miami, or a rewarding and lucrative career, or a wife and two-point-five children living in a house with a white picket fence in an upper middle class suburban neighborhood. All of those are swell things, are worth striving to obtain, and can bring much happiness into one’s life. But you see, Liberty, unlike those other items, isn’t something that you must earn. Liberty is a birthright. It exists in all of us as part of our being. We can either allow it to be taken from us, or we can fight to hold on to it. I chose to fight.
In an age when most political dialogue – from both the left and the right - is focused on issues of security – material, emotional, or physical – liberty seems to be an afterthought. Someone I know has even asked me, “what good is liberty if you are dead?” They say that the Constitution and the Bill of Rights weren’t suicide pacts (even though the Declaration of Independence was, in essence, just such a pact...with the signers pledging their lives
, their fortunes and their sacred honor to the pursuit of liberty). If giving up some liberty results in added security, then by all means, the trade must be made. Sure, its unfortunate to lose a little liberty here and there, but, as the argument goes, we must never spare any expense to secure our…umm…security.
That’s when it hit me. Those immortal words composed by Emma Lazarus
perfectly express my longing for liberty. The poem inscribed at the base of the Statue of Liberty tells of a land of opportunity and prosperity, all made possible because of a unique embrace of liberty. Immigrants fleeing the stodgy, repressive, and regimented societies of the Old World, looked to America as a place where they would be free to pursue a life of their own. America was a land of opportunity, where everyone, newcomers and natives alike, could revel in freedom, while government remained relatively confined to certain limits. The result was an explosion of wealth unlike ever before in the history of mankind. If one wanted to "breathe free", one could sail to America.
But the sad truth is, America has abandoned the vision of the Founding Fathers. We are no longer a nation that seeks “to secure the blessings of liberty for ourselves and our posterity”.
Instead, we are more concerned about being “secure” enough to make it home each night to watch the latest episode of Desperate Housewives. Liberty, which made possible all of the things we enjoy today, is now taken for granted. We’d prefer to focus our energies on doing whatever it takes to preserve whatever material comforts we may now have, without regard to what future expense we are incurring. We have become a culture of slaves, dependent on government handouts, and tremble in fear at the requirements of personal responsibility. Sadly, for those of us who wish to "breathe free", there is no America to which we can sail.
When Ben Franklin
observed, that the people “who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety”, he was offering some very sage advice. There is no security when you have no liberty. When Patrick Henry
proclaimed, “give me liberty, or give me death”, he was expressing outrage at the thought that security was something that liberty could, and should, be traded for. In their day, Mr. Henry and Mr. Franklin were yearning to breathe free, and so, it is in their spirit, and the spirit of the rest of that band of revolutionaries who staked a claim over 200 years ago, that this blog has been started.
I welcome the participation of all visitors, whether you are a libertarian, liberal, conservative, moderate, independent, progressive…regressive, whatever! I hope that people of many political and social views will stop by for a visit now and then, read, comment, tell your friends, pass the word around, and so on. To the right are a listing of blogs and bloggers that I regularly read….in alphabetical order. Not all of them are libertarian, but they all are useful, informative, or entertaining in some way or another, and I encourage my readers to check them out. If you have a blog, let me know…I’m always looking to expand my circle of reading.
So…with all of that in mind, I welcome you again to Yearning to Breathe Free. Let the blogging begin!