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The Kids Are Alright

I very rarely get the opportunity to discuss politics with college age kids, something I truly miss from my days debating ideas in the philosophy department at Virginia Tech, but when I do, it is a treat! See, if we are going to conceptualize the future success of a freedom movement in America, we better understand why it is that “the kids” aren’t interested in freedom.

So what is freedom? We’re being philosophers now, so we must define our terms.

Now, my granddad, a southern baptist preacher and merchant marine in World War II would define freedom by virtue of the responsibilities it requires of us and the moral character required to sustain it. My father, the business owner, would talk about the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, about free markets, capitalism, and how wonderful it would be if businesses weren’t regulated into oblivion. Myself, the high school drop out, philosophy major, who DID finally graduate from something, who was too smart to listen to his granddad or his father growing up, would over-conceptualize the idea of liberty to the point of defining it by what it isn’t.

But what about the kids today? How do they define freedom?

Freedom, to them, is “gay rights” (Don’t see why religious marriage needs to be recognized by the State), legalization of marijuana (I support it), rights to abort children, access to free health care, welfare, housing, cell phones, etc., and so on. In other words, to Generation Y or the Millennials, Freedom is Democracy. Democracy is the freedom of the majority to define, for good and all, the way it’s going to be.

So, earlier this morning I got to speak with a Millennial about freedom and government, and I had the opportunity to ask him the following question:

“If freedom requires the government to enforce it, how is it freedom?”


Birds Chirping.

A man struggles to light a cigarette.

A woman from New Jersey pumps her own gas for the first time.

Freedom Councling USA

The youth says, “Without government, how can we make sure everyone… well, not “make“, but to ensure the rights that the people want? The government is supposed to serve the people, so if the people want something, the government has to be able to create the system that makes it happen”. (Italics my emphasis)

So I had the opportunity to ask, “Then, so freedom is everyone being forced to live according to the will of the many?”

He says, “That might not be freedom, but that is Democracy and America is a Democracy”. (Clearly, a victim of public education).

So, here is where we come to the obvious question: if the majority supports slavery, then slavery is ok? if the majority supports segregation,then segregation is ok? if the majority supports Donald Sterling, then Donald Sterling is ok? If your friends all jumped off a bridge, would you jump off it too?

There is no answer to the question, that if freedom requires the government to enforce it, how is it freedom? Freedom isn’t enforced. Rights are enforced. This is why the Democrats will tell you that health care is a right, and that welfare is right, and that food stamps are a right, and housing is a right, and a $25 dollars an hour minimum wage is a right! Being a United States Citizen, even though you crossed the border illegally, is a right! In fact, according to Jeb Bush, it is an “act of love”. According to John Boehner, Eric Cantor, Senator Marco Rubio, and Senator McCain, illegal immigration is a necessary step in furthering our “free” capitalist system. (Don’t believe me, just ask the Chamber of Commerce).

Freedom needs friends, today more than ever. Nobody seems to understand what it means to be free and children and college students and young adults are supposed to be the ever-embracing bastions of freedom from generation to generation. They used to wear flowers in their hair and slide through the mud naked at Woodstock. They wore mow-hawks and listened to punk music in video arcades during the 80s. In the 90s we just did whatever the heck we wanted because we wanted to do it (and, thanks to Reagan, our parents could afford it). Kids today, however, believe that freedom is loyalty to government, obedience to government, obedience to the majority, to the DEMOCRACY. I haven’t seen this kind of frightening obedience to the state since Fascist Germany.

No “outreach program” is going to work here.

Parents, teach your kids about freedom. Grandparents, teach your grandkids about freedom, if your kids won’t do it. Older brothers and sisters who have gone out into the work force and realized how hard it is to live and operate in an overtaxed and over-regulated world, teach your younger siblings about freedom. Talk about freedom. And Kids, if your instinct is to pursue freedom, then DO NOT BE AFRAID TO DECLARE IT, despite what your teachers and sheep-minded friends might say to you. Freedom is the pursuit of happiness. The absence of freedom is, well, you do the math.

Kids believe what they are told, either by their parents, teachers, favorite rock artist, or favorite character from Harry Potter. Are you making your influence known? Are you thinking about how to explain freedom to kids? To college students? To young adults? Can you explain it to yourself?

(Now, if there was one subject I wish I could sit down with Dr. Dave Brat and talk about for an hour, it would be this one. Oh, and whether or not to bother investing in a 401K).




About Steven Brodie Tucker

Graduated with a degree in Philosophy from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. Also studied economics and political science at George Mason.

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Tom White Says:

Nothing is more conservative than a republican wanting to get their majority back. And nothing is more liberal than a republican WITH a majority.

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