As I sit in my recliner reading and thinking about the day, wondering what I want to write about, I began to reflect on my life. Over my 62 years I have changed a lot. I have grown from a little boy who did not even know how to properly sweep a garage floor, to an Associate Professor at a college. I have grown from a mediocre student to earning a doctorate, not because I am this extremely smart person, but I was somebody who had the support of a wife and children and could finish the work. I had the freedom to accomplish something, to change something, to want to make a difference.
I remember when I stood in Red Square in Moscow, Russia. The young Russian people that I had met while visiting were flush with excitement about their new found freedom. I stood in Red Square looking at the Kremlin, Lenin’s tomb, and St. Basil’s Cathedral, and rejoicing in the change of Russia from a totalitarian government to a quasi-democracy. At least at that point in time!
The freedom to pursue life and liberty is a wonderful privilege, one that has made our country great and economically strong. The connection between freedom and our dreams is undeniable. As I thought about this I began reading one of the books I am currently reading, and the chapter in Asmus and Grudem’s book were discussing the role of freedom in our pursuit of life and liberty.
The freedoms they discussed could be placed in two categories: social and economic, but I believe the connection is strong. If we have the freedom to move upward in social and economic status, depending on our ability to take initiative to do what is needed to advance, then collectively we are better off. However, there may be social barriers to keep me from pursuing that desire. Therefore, there must be freedom for all races, and all national, religious, and ethnic origins to pursue their dreams. If the dominate group creates barriers to this ability to advance then we are not free.
There needs to be a gender freedom too. Women and men must be free to pursue their dreams. This includes the freedom to be educated, the freedom to access information, the freedom to change if we want, and the freedom to not change if we want.
This freedom should be extended to the market too. Employers need to be free to hire and promote based on merit, and to hire and fire in a fair manner. However, workers should be free to be rewarded for their work. And workers should be free to work any job they are qualified for. Companies should be free from the need to pay bribes, and free from excess government regulation. And if we are to be a free country then we must be free to start or end a business based on our own desires.
The connection between political and economic freedom has been demonstrated historically for hundreds of years. Economies suffer within totalitarian regimes, while political leaders fostering democracy tend to create economic and social advancement.
So American voters, we must never forget, that a great price has been paid for this freedom we enjoy. This freedom has allowed us to become the largest economy in the world. We cannot take this for granted. Our ability to earn money, take classes, and improve our lot in life based upon our initiative, and is deeply rooted within the ethos of our nation. If we give this up because we have decided to stay home rather than doing our duty, I am thinking of King David when he had his affair with Bathsheba, we could lose it all.
And that is my thought for the day!