(Archive - Week of November 7, 2004)

Obsession with American freedom must continue

It is wrong to believe that every person on earth is entitled to publicly express their opinions. The First Amendment of the Bill of Rights to the U.S. Constitution grants this right to Americans, but the United States is not the entire earth.

Many citizens of other nations on earth do not enjoy freedom of speech. We Americans have fought many battles of war to preserve this freedom and defended our Constitution. Join a political party and be a patriotic American.

I guess I've always been an obsessionist. What's that you say? You can't find the word in the dictionary? Well, frankly Scarlett … My considered reply is, it should be there. And maybe with a nudge from people like me, it will be someday.

I've carried around a whole bunch of obsessions during my life. Thus, I'm an obsessionist. No, I'm not going to bore you by listing things like fun, baseball, sleds, fireworks, books, candy, movies or even girls.

Actually, I probably should dwell on girls for a while – they've certainly consumed enough of my attention through the years, in a matter of fact, they still do – but I've never really gotten a fix on those mysterious creatures, so my obsession is still strong, although not even close to understanding it. I'll delay any explanation until I get a better handle on the feminine mystique.

Some folks, no doubt, believe obsessions are a negative kind of thing. There is the ring of zealotry about them, isn't there? But, I prefer to think of mine – and yours, if you have any – in a more positive context.

When I reflect on the founders of our nation, I focus on their obsession for freedom. That ringing phrase of Jefferson's, “We hold these truths to be self evident that all men are created equal,” challenged not just a nation but the natural order of things, didn't it?

My heart is filled with gratitude and respect when I ponder those obsessive madmen who framed a constitution and fought for a new nation's freedom and that beloved malcontent.

Then, when I sit back and reflect on the condition of our government and our society today, I am less assured that people regard freedom and justice as sacred trusts.

I fear that some are unduly challenging our First Amendment and sometimes ignoring it. I fear that compromise and consensus – building and polls (the antitheses of obsession) are the guiding principles of political life. I fear that we are no longer the apostles of freedom and justice for all.

A little obsession about this matter would mean a great deal to citizens like me.

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