Is America Still The ‘Land Of The Free?’
Is America really the “land of the free?” We may have been initially founded and constructed as such; but each year, the land of the free becomes increasingly the land of the regulated, oppressed, disparaged, and dependent.
Gallup regularly conducts global polls to assess citizens’ perception of their levels of freedom around the world. In 2006, 91% of US residents were satisfied with their “level of freedom,” which was among the highest in the world. Last year’s iteration of the survey indicated only 79% of Americans are satisfied with their level of freedom. Such a precipitous drop in a few short years dropped the US to 36th place among the 120 nations sampled. Cambodia, Uzbekistan, Paraguay, and Rwanda are among the 35 nations more satisfied with their levels of freedom.
America was founded differently than any other nation in human history, which is what we refer to as American exceptionalism. Our founding documents guaranteed rights of free exercise of religion, free speech, free association, freedom from government oppression and illegal searches and seizures, among others. These rights and freedoms, our founding documents asserted, were “inalienable rights” derived from God, not granted by government–that “all men are created equal,” and that among those precious rights were “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness (property).”
Every year, those liberties are assaulted afresh by an ever-expanding governmental reach into our personal lives. Even those fundamental rights that are codified by constitutional amendment as our Bill of Rights are under assault. Freedoms of religious expression, speech, assembly, arms, illegal search and seizure, and due process are eroded with every congressional, legislative, and council bill, act, and statute–and are increasingly rarely upheld through judicial review. More