Who's Right About "freedom": Republicans or Americans?

Thom plus logo A spokesman for Donald Trump's campaign said, on CNN this morning, that they don't require people to wear masks at Trump rallies and events because "freedom."

Republicans have a bizarre notion of what that word means.

As President Franklin D. Roosevelt pointed out in 1933, "a necessitous men is not a free man."

If you're hooked up to a ventilator and can't breathe, you're not free.

If you're sick and can't afford to pay for healthcare, You're not free.

If you're hungry and can't buy food for your family, you're not free.

If your landlord has thrown you out in the street because you can't pay your rent, you're not free.

If you're afraid to hang out with your own family because you don't want to die from coronavirus and your government is refusing to do comprehensive testing and contact tracing, you're not free.

The majority of Americans, polls show, want to join the truly free advanced democracies of the world.

They want a national healthcare program so that nobody will ever go bankrupt because they got sick. They want free education through college and quality primary schools so every young person's full potential can be developed for the benefit of all. They want food and housing to be rights, not privileges, as Franklin Roosevelt proposed back in 1944.

Right wing billionaires have hijacked the word "freedom" over the last few decades.

They've told us that "freedom" means the right to die in debt, to remain uneducated, and to be hungry and homeless. They argue that "freedom" means the right of a small number of rich people to suck up all the assets and resources of society, leaving almost nothing for the working class. They say that the real meaning of "freedom" is more tax cuts for billionaires and more poison and pollution from industry.

It's time to take the word freedom back.


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