Mixed-Up Freedom

A Mixed-Up Idea Of Freedom


Leonard Zwelling

         The editorials are too numerous to list. Finally people are
coming to their senses about what the real threat to America is. It is not the
coronavirus although that is real and a threat. For now. I really believe that
by this time next year we will have many effective vaccines against covid-19.
Let’s just hope the anti-vaxxers don’t prevent the United States from reaching
herd immunity via vaccines or we will reach it the old fashion way through
thousands of unnecessary infections. Corona is real, but probably not a
long-term threat to the U.S. In fact, had the United States mounted a
coordinated response to the virus as have many European nations, we might well
be out of the worst of it now and on to full economic recovery. If Mr. Trump
loses in November and it’s the economy that takes him down, he has no one to
blame but himself and his fellow Republicans in the Senate and the state houses
around the country. We could have done a lot better. Instead, because of awful
national and some local leadership (Texas, Georgia, Arizona, Florida), we are
still in the throes of the worst of the pandemic and it threatens the safe
opening of schools this fall in contrast to what is happening in Europe.

         Despite all of this, the virus is not the number one threat
to the United States and its freedom. Sending federal troops against peacefully
demonstrating citizens despite the urging of local officials to stay away is a
real threat. If the American military is being used against its own citizens,
we are starting to approach a banana republic. This cannot be allowed to stand
and many mayors of large American cities are resisting the Trump
Administration’s efforts to wage war against American protesters. But are they
in control? Not in Portland.

         It has come to this. Trump’s people view mask mandates as
invading their freedom, but federal troops in the streets as a good idea. Whose
idea of freedom is that?

         I have received a bit of pushback on a recent blog that
advocated for a reluctant vote for Joe Biden as he was not the best or
brightest of the Democratic contenders and seemed to back into the nomination
with the approval of the Democratic National Committee. The DNC has learned
nothing from 2016 and its forced acceptance of Hillary Clinton as the nominee.
They’ve done it again with Biden. One reader thought I was too hard on Trump.
Another thought that demeaning the qualifications of Biden was a terrible
injustice as Trump is simply too bad to have around any longer. I must have hit
the sweet spot if I am getting bombarded from both sides.

         Nonetheless, Trump has really overstepped his authority by
sending unmarked federal troops to Portland and threatening to do so in other
cities because the crime rates are rising (and apparently they are). This is
for the mayors to handle not the U.S. Army. Defunding the police seems like a
really bad idea to me.

         We need to both be free to peacefully protest and be made to
wear a mask as many large retailers are doing. Wearing a mask is patriotic as
Mr. Trump said (despite him rarely doing it).

         America is still the greatest and strongest democracy on
Earth, but somewhere in the last few years our priorities have gotten all
screwed up. We cannot have federal troops moving against demonstrating
citizens. If crime rates are up in some big cities and the mayors can’t handle
that, vote them out. The solution is not to send in the Marines.

         By contrast, your freedom is not infringed upon by forcing
you to wear a mask any more than it is to drive only when sober. Some laws are
there to protect the other guy. That’s American, too.

         Freedom may seem elusive at times, but not here. No federal
troops in the streets and wear the damned mask.

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