The Freedom Triangle

Our heritage is defined not by the term “democracy” but by the broader term “freedom”.  Those terms are not synonymous.  Democracy is one part of three that have kept us strong and free.
Democracy is that part of freedom that allows citizens to vote for their leaders instead of taking orders from a dictator, monarch, or cleric.  It’s necessary but not sufficient.
The second part of freedom is a defined set of rights that protect citizens from government excesses.  You could remove the entire Bill of Rights (that’s the first ten amendments folks) from the Constitution and still have a democracy, but you wouldn’t be free.  Government officials could censor your speech, outlaw your religion, search your home at will, seize your property, or charge you with a crime and keep trying you until the prosecution got the verdict it wanted.
The third part of freedom is responsibility.  It starts with being an informed voter, but it really means that citizens take responsibility for their own lives and their country’s future.  Those who signed the Declaration of Independence, pioneered westward, farmed the soil, built our industries and universities, ended slavery, and defended freedom in many wars all took responsibility.  You can’t hand your life over to “the system” without also surrendering some of your freedom.
The triangle is strong, but it’s not invulnerable.


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