Whiting column: Freedom includes responsibilities

Bryan Whiting
Personal Responsibility

Voting is the affirmation of our freedom.

In the United States, freedom is an everyday occurrence, not just a dream. The desire for its permanent and pervasive presence in our environment was the main motivating factor in our country’s genesis and the effort required to assure its continued existence.

Freedom requires caution because it’s easy to take it for granted. We tend to forget the expansive nature of our freedom. We are the beneficiaries of political and economic freedoms. Other countries claim freedom and may be free to differing degrees, but not to our breadth or depth as evidenced by millions who choose to enter our country each year by whatever means available.

Benefiting from the inherent rights of freedom assumes we accept the responsibilities and requirements necessary to maintain its existence and assure it works in the manner necessary to benefit our country.

At its basic level, freedom requires being open to differing views. No matter the issue, our country benefits when we adopt the best solution which is only ascertainable through the rational presentation, discussion and analysis of potential opinions and strategies. When we automatically adopt one party’s view, that party controls our freedom. Results aren’t optimum whenever freedom is limited. When a party view dominates, we’re forced to adopt or reject a large block of issues, instead of considering them singularly. This restricts everyone’s freedom, whether members of either party or those trying to stay independent.

Each of us and our leaders need to role model freedom by taking command of our own lives and not allowing limitation by the desires of any specific party. This requires our leaders to resist allocating any group special treatment to acquire votes. Freedom requires equal action toward and for all. We can’t advocate freedom and feel we deserve special treatment from either the government or other individuals.

Making us dependent upon the government isn’t freedom. Our desiring special treatment works toward that dependency. In contrast, freedom means the government functions for our benefit and is dependent upon us for its continued presence.

Our economic freedom must facilitate rewards for hard work, effort, and competence as opposed to rewards for items we don’t control such as gender, sexual orientation, race, or any other label we choose to identify. Anyone can experience bad times, but our freedom provides us an opportunity to pull ourselves out of that circumstance.

Freedom allows us the opportunity to determine and develop our career; to find our calling such isn’t the case in most systems. We facilitate freedom through the educating the populace. Most systems decide who is educated and career choice is made for them.

This doesn’t mean we have the right to do nothing and expect the government or others to support us. On the contrary, freedom increases our responsibility to take advantage of these educational and career opportunities at a higher level enabling our country to function at its most efficient.

Freedom involves our safety. This requires our being subject to and support laws and enforcement because others don’t understand or accept the responsibilities of freedom. International safety requires national defense because other countries are threatened by our freedom and would rather work to end it, then adopt it themselves. Our responsibilities in this regard are accentuated because Canada, Australia, Europe and other countries attempting to provide an element of freedom don’t accept the responsibility of providing for their own defense; their expectation is we will save them. Most are less prepared than Ukraine to protect themselves whether it be from conventional, nuclear or space-based threats. At the very least it’s their responsibility to accelerate their monetary and military support of our defense capabilities as they develop their own.

Because it guarantees our freedom, it’s our responsibility to support our system. We aren’t for freedom if our strategy is attacking personally or physically individuals who differ in opinion. We can’t be surprised by violence in others if we’re violent. We can’t condemn violence if we use it. If we desire to introduce or expand our values to others it isn’t going to happen with violence or vehement antagonism. It’s hypocritical. It isn’t productive to alienate others possessing differing opinions. That’s a strategy of those who know they can’t persuade in a productive fashion as evidenced by Russia, China and dictatorships.

We can’t promote or support freedom if we’re trying to overthrow the governmental system which not only provides but guarantees this freedom. Revival or adoption of significant changes we may desire can only occur within our system or the system will cease to exist and with it our freedoms.

It can be argued our freedom is impinged when we are dependent upon other countries for energy and goods when it’s not necessary. A degree of political and economic freedom leaves when we’re dependent on them. We are facilitating our money leaving the country and financing those who may use our own money against us.

As citizens, we each have a personal responsibility to facilitate freedom, work for it and support the system providing it. Those entering our country must be willing to do the same because they seek the political and economic freedom we provide. It’s our responsibility to vote for those willing to protect freedom and do so in a manner consistent with freedom.

Bryan Whiting feels most of our issues are best solved by personal responsibility and an understanding of non-partisan economics rather than government intervention. Comments and column suggestions to:

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

Readers around Glenwood Springs and Garfield County make the Post Independent’s work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Each donation will be used exclusively for the development and creation of increased news coverage.