What I find most amazing about the Republican party’s rhetoric and claims that Democrats and Liberals are undermining freedom is the fact that most Republicans appear totally clueless that the GOP is the political party most involved in undermining freedom.

The most notable aspect of this is the issue of abortion, although it’s hardly the only one. The battle to outlaw abortion is obviously a restriction on the right of women to be free of religion-based restraints on their body. No matter what religious or other grounds one cites, any restrictions limit women’s freedom to choose.

Roe v. Wade, or the rights that the Right to Choose movement support, do not restrict the rights of women to choose not to have abortions or not to use birth control. A right-to-choose approach doesn’t force any woman to have an abortion or to use birth control. Yet some of the anti-abortion laws on the books in some states not only effectively forbid abortion, but are so restrictive that they limit medical care, in many cases involving medical problems having nothing to do with birth.

The same applies to banning books in libraries. If you don’t like certain books… don’t read them. But banning books in libraries restricts the freedom of others to read, particularly for people who cannot afford to buy books.

Republicans also tend to oppose environmental laws, including those that impact human health, effectively requiring millions of people to breathe heavily polluted air for the sake of profits of a handful of companies. The right to excessive profit trumps [in some cases, literally] the right of the majority to breathe cleaner air.

Republicans are also the ones opposing efforts to make voting more convenient for those who live in areas inclined to vote for the other party.

And, of course, it was a Republican President who tried to overturn the free will of the American people to choose their President… and a good half of them, if not more, support a man who did his best to undermine freedom.

Yet they insist that they’re for freedom, and the Democrats aren’t.

9 thoughts on “Freedom?”

  1. KevinJ says:

    Most people associate the word freedom with their individual ability to choose what they want to do, including vote, read, etc.

    Today’s Republicans are imitating various tyrannies in interpreting freedom as their freedom to choose for the rest of us.

    It’s about as un-American as it gets…by historical definitions of “American,” anyway…

    1. Postagoras says:

      This is well said!

      Today’s Republicans want the freedom to do what they want. And everyone else also has the “freedom” to do what the Republicans want.

  2. Tom says:

    “Freedom” and “Civility” in 2023 seems to be defined by; “I can do what I want and you can shut up.” And this attitude is not for Republicans alone as noted two years ago: in

    “Finding Peace from the Culture-History War: A Historiographical Message for the Times” at

  3. Zach says:

    The right for women to have abortions is based upon the assumption that an unborn child is not a person in need of protection.

    With the suggestion that after birth abortions (aka infant code) have a have a place. It could be argued this is just the first step down a very dangerous path.

    1. That’s not the question. Both have rights and need protection. The question is at what point do the rights of the unborn supersede those of the mother. Anti-abortion crusaders believe essentially never, while most Americans believe that time is similar to what was laid out in Roe v. Wade.

      1. R. Hamilton says:

        Why? If one supposes that at some point (viability, perhaps) that’s a life, it’s still at least a specific potential life from fertilization or implantation up to then, separated only by time and normal development from being an actual life. No metaphysics or religion required. Any exclusion of metaphysics cuts both ways, so barring a date like viability, we cannot say it is OR is not a life in the earlier time.

        Anyone has the right to self-defense, certainly not excluding women. But that only applies if their life or health is at risk significantly higher than is normal for a given activity. One doesn’t get to take a life if that life is inconvenient, disruptive, or emotionally or economically burdensome, so why be able to take a life or even a specific life-to-be?

        Certainly if they chose the activity leading to pregnancy, they could have chosen differently or taken precautions (which are increasingly supported by insurance, now). Even if they didn’t, no child chooses their parents. They could be given medical care through delivery plus six months, lost wages, and of course any baby can be put up for adoption. That would mitigate as much as possible without taking a maybe-life the consequences of what they did not consent to.

        Actions have consequences, and just because nature did not make men and women identical is no reason to shift the consequences to the innocent – save for this: if anything, men ought to be held even more accountable for their actions or failure to take precautions or whatever. More broadly, all attempts to equalize what nature made unequal, when carried to extremes, are suspect. No that does not refer to skin color or ancestry. But it may in limited cases refer to gender, or to physical predispositions to conduct. Some conduct (violence) with occasional predispositions is illegal. And not all legal conduct is equal, the government grants all sorts of incentives and disincentives on legal conduct. So there’s room for local variation as to what legal conduct is protected vs public nuisance.

        None of that strikes me as terribly liberty-threatening. Biological females can refuse sex or take precautions or file charges against a rapist (a number of free choices there), and other special cases can simply moderate their public conduct.

        No doubt it’s boring that my opinion is what it’s always been. Too bad. A substantial fraction of the country feels the same way, not that questions of maybe life and death should be decided by majority.

        1. KevinJ says:

          > not that questions of maybe life and death should be decided by majority.

          You mean like laws that institute the death penalty or not? You don’t want a majority deciding that?

          I’ve never lived in a tyranny, but I’ve visited one briefly (East Germany). I’ve never been denied the freedoms that our majority-rule laws provide…but I did lose some of them in basic training.

          Did you maybe not word that the way you meant to?

        2. But the vast majority of the U.S. doesn’t feel as you do, and deciding by the wishes of the minority means we’d no longer be a democracy.

  4. Hanneke says:

    Their labelling has been quite Orwellian for some time now. I think that’s the word for it? Calling things by good and positive sounding names and slogans, while in fact doing the opposite of what an ordinary person envisions when they hear those words.

    From the way they name their thinktanks and astroturf groups to the slogans they campaign on, the PR spinning of what they really, practically, aim to achieve into words no-one could object to is very strong, and has been for decades.

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