Reflections on Freedom
By Phil Perkins
July 4, 2011
The Casey Anthony trial has provided, in a way unparalleled since O.J. Simpson’s in 1995, an entertainment outlet, media circus, and metaphor for where our culture stands all at once. And in the middle of it, an immature young man’s “flipping the bird” to the prosecuting attorney with no explanation said as much about our state of affairs as all the other courtroom shenanigans that had, in the end, very little to do with resolving a precious little girl’s apparent murder.
To the judge’s credit, he threw the book at the young man, sentencing him to six days in jail for his crude display in the courtroom. However, the man-child’s inability to explain why he did it—or simply not having the guts to admit why—was galling. Obviously there was a reason, however ludicrous. Perhaps, in his humiliation at being caught, he didn’t want to risk further embarrassment by saying the prosecutor was, in his opinion, a “fascist pig” or some equally repulsive description. His objective was clearly to minimize the damage, and in that sense he behaved like a typical liberal. All sizzle and no steak. The trial itself has followed a similar path; if the lead defense attorney went down any more blind alleys he would need night-vision glasses. And if the Anthony family was shown to be any more dysfunctional than their testimonies and innuendos indicate, they would make the crews of “Two and a Half Men” and “Family Guy” seem bland by comparison.
Isn’t this young man’s “bird” what so many leftists in media, academia, and politics are flipping us in heartland America every day? And then not admitting it because to do so would be to admit that they are using bullying and intimidation tactics to shove their agenda down our throats?
The 4th of July has become a reflection of our culture—a lot of sizzle but not much meat to be found. Oh sure, there are the obligatory displays of flags and more flags, patriotic ads, and some towns may still even have parades. But Thomas Jefferson and the Declaration of Independence have become little more than a side show—or to use the courtroom vernacular, a sidebar. Within a generation’s time, Jefferson has been reduced in stature from an American icon to a hypocritical and even philandering slave owner. And with every body blow to the reputation of this nation’s founders, the left find it a bit easier to chip away at more of our freedoms. In today’s judicial system, liberals have found a very effective way to chip away on a continuous basis.
The recent ruling by a federal judge upholding the individual mandate on purchasing healthcare insurance is just the latest potential erosion of freedom we are facing. The inability of our political leaders to show any serious resolve about reining in the federal spending leviathan is clearly another. As the national debt continues to spiral out of control, so do the freedoms that financial stability produces—freedoms that will be a thing of the distant past to our grandchildren at the rate we are going.
Technically, Michele Bachmann may have been off in her argument that the Founding Fathers fought to end slavery. But not by as much as her liberal detractors would have you believe. George Washington issued instructions that his slaves were to be freed after his death. John Adams never employed slaves and his son, John Quincy Adams, was a leading abolitionist. Our liberal detractors often forget that the introduction, or preamble to our Constitution states in part, “in order to form a more perfect union.” No one of sound mind has ever claimed that our “union” was perfect. But it has been demonstrated over the last 235 years to be superior to the governmental systems and societies of any other nation on this earth. That we are spending so much time drowning in our own cynicism these days doesn’t make this demonstrated superiority any less true.