Government & Politics

'Freedom' Is More Than a Word

The president tries hard to redefine a word to serve his own leftist agenda.

Mar. 4, 2014

On Friday, Democrats held their Winter Meeting at the Capital Hilton, where Barack Obama spoke to the gathering about what “freedom” means. “As Democrats, we’ve let the other side define the word ‘freedom’ for too long,” Obama declared to his fellow Democrats. Naturally, he then so distorted the meaning of the word as to render it unrecognizable.

“Freedom,” he said, “is the peace of mind of knowing that if you got sick, you won’t lose everything. Freedom is the ability to change jobs and start a new business, chase a new idea without fear of losing your health insurance.” So in order to ensure this “freedom,” Obama and his fellow Democrats passed an unconstitutional law (Supreme Court acrobatics notwithstanding) to force everyone to participate in the system or pay a fine. We’re surprised they didn’t call that the “Freedom Fee.” That law is having major consequences throughout our economy, as employers account for its cost by reducing employee hours, laying off employees or simply not hiring new ones. Then again, the administration has turned this on its head by calling it “freedom” from the constraints of work.

Moving to immigration, the president said, “Freedom is the knowledge that your future in this country is secure; you’re not going to be treated like a second-class person once we fix our broken immigration system. That’s freedom.” No, freedom is the Rule of Law – the security of knowing that the law will be enforced faithfully and fairly, not tossed aside to benefit a favored political constituency. Besides, in this case, when Democrats say “freedom” they’re really promising illegals “free stuff.”

Speaking of favored constituent groups, Obama added, “Freedom is the ability to go into a store or a restaurant without the fear that you’d be refused service because of who you are or who you love.” Clearly, he was furthering the shameful misrepresentation of the Arizona bill on religious liberty, which would have generated none of the discrimination he warned it would. So again, we must object. Freedom of religion is a right guaranteed in our Constitution, and it’s not subject to the politically correct whims of the professionally aggrieved.

“So we’re not ceding that word,” Obama concluded. Democrats, he said, will continue to advocate “freedom for ordinary Americans to honestly pursue their dreams.” To do so, they will forcibly confiscate money from some in order to give “free” stuff to others, and foist ever more burdensome regulations on the nation. Up is down; left is right.

Obama’s wordplay is a good example of why we prefer the word “Liberty” to “freedom.” We suspect that’s why he chose the latter, too. Freedom is a somewhat smaller word, often meaning freedom from some need or want or constraint on choice. By contrast, Liberty encompasses not just freedom but empowerment and responsibility. Leftists abuse power and take no responsibility. Liberty was bequeathed to us by our Founders, and we have a responsibility to preserve it for the next generation.

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