Goodbye, Liberty! 10 Ways Americans Are No Longer Free
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10. We're losing the right to representative democracy.
On issue after issue, the wishes of most Americans are ignored or marginalized by the nation's political and media elite. Views that are held by most Republicans – and in some cases even by most Tea Party members – are dismissed as “extreme” inside the Beltway. While 75 percent of most Americans and 76 percent of Tea Party supporters opposed Social Security cuts to balance the budget, leaders in both political parties were meeting to negotiate those cuts. (They were scuttled by a fallout between President Obama and House Speaker John Boehner; similar cuts were being negotiated between Speaker Newt Gingrich and President Bill Clinton when the Monica Lewinsky scandal erupted.)
Most Americans want tighter control on US banks, and that's considered politically impossible. They want much higher taxes for millionaires, which is also dismissed. Meanwhile, the nation continues to pursue policies that benefit the most unpopular institutions in the nation, according to that Gallup poll: big corporations, HMOs, and Wall Street banks. The only thing on Gallup's list that's more unpopular than these three institutions? Congress.
The Cause of Liberty
We need to take back the language of freedom. Freedom's struggle is the struggle against Big Wealth. That's the right argument, and it's a winning argument. As John Adams said many years ago:
“Human nature itself is evermore an advocate for liberty. There is in human nature a resentment of injury, and indignation against wrong ... If the people are capable of understanding, seeing and feeling the differences between true and false, right and wrong, virtue and vice, to what better principle can the friends of mankind apply ....”
In the words of Corey Robin, “It’s long past time for us to start talking and arguing about ... the principle of freedom.”