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With Great Freedom Comes Great Responsibility
Actions speak louder than words.
Often, we talk about freedom in America.
It’s a great thing.
This particular high ideal has allowed the nation to soar to wondrous heights. Freedom is good and virtuous.
But, it also must be earned. For true freedom requires responsibility.
London, UK, 5th February 2022. Protesters dressed as Boris Johnson, Michael Gove and Donald Trump at the Make Votes Matter rally, in protest of the Tory government's unfair Elections Bill. Courtesy of John Gomez and Shutterstock
The past was not perfect.
Yet, saying that people who experienced fighting for freedom (whether it be within a protest, union, or the battles to free Europe) also had a deep understanding of the fragility of democracies is an understatement. Much of the energy supplying America’s Cold War victory was a shared reverence for the terrors of fascism.
Yes, there were excesses. Generally known is the zealous and jingoistic devotion to the institutions of the midcentury and how that influenced an abuse of trust. Systems also notoriously became antidemocratic, like universities. Most of all, hyper-jingoistic attention to one nation is never good. It can create an unhealthy nationalism that excludes the interconnectivity of the world.
It is inspiring to see the Ukrainian people and their leadership rise to this occasion.
At home, we have a divided nation.
Our conservative party is insensitive to the anxieties of people not like them. So, the Ukrainian resistance is a bright spot in a sky of dark war clouds. But, it is hard to come to major conclusions right now.
We do have to be honest about the mistakes made that led to this invasion. Yes, the foreign policy weaknesses of prior administrations and congresses are part of the story.
Ron Johnson in 2013 defensing his opposition to the Obama administration’s request for authorization of airstrikes after revelations of chemical weapons attacks in Syria. He claimed Obama was not decisive. He did not hold Trump to the same standard, who did not seek congressional authorization.
Yet, this criticism can’t equivocate to the horrors of a revanchist Republican political cult.
In our nation, an antidemocratic minority holds disproportionate political power. They have an ability to myopically block presidential initiatives because of antidemocratic relics that inspire dysfunction. That dysfunction becomes weaponized to undermine global democracy.
People all around the world can view the degradation of the Republican Party. They lean towards antidemocratic postures and the careless radicalization of voters in the most powerful democracy. This political snake oil is energized by an orbit of conservative media companies and think tanks.
London, UK, 5th February 2022. Protesters dressed as Boris Johnson, Michael Gove and Donald Trump at the Make Votes Matter rally, in protest of the Tory government's unfair Elections Bill. Courtesy of John Gomez and Shutterstock.