Archived Story

It’s great to live in a county called Freeborn

Published 10:14am Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Column: My Point of View, by Jerrold Dettle

I wasn’t born in a county named Freeborn, but I wish I had breathed this pristine and clean air first. Do you believe our air is free, we are free and our county will be called Freeborn forever? I certainly hope so, and I know you share this dream with me.

Jerrold Dettle
Jerrold Dettle

But would any of us have imagined 20 years ago that our National “Security” Agency would be secretly recording the private life and personal details of nearly all Americans? And then utilizing when necessary for gaining political power, the vivid details that even we personally would have difficulty recalling.

As one after another credible “whistleblowers” comes forth from the NSA, TSA and IRS with shocking revelations, one wonders if the meaning of the word free has eroded beyond reclamation.

In the year of 1969, would the average college zealot ever think that recent occurrences in places like Benghazi, Cincinatti or the White House Press Room would not be assigned an independent prosecutor to investigate?

Just providing a thorough investigation by a neutral special prosecutor would be helpful to the American people, if it only gave the citizens peace of mind and a feeling of transparency. After all, did not every student at the time want to know the truth about our leaders, and did not everyone in Freeborn County believe in justice, individual rights and the American Constitution as taught by nearly all parents, teachers and houses of worship in the county? Were not institutions such as the Department of Justice, the Treasury and the FBI generally honored and respected, rather than currently being referred to as “Departments of Injustice”?

If the record is correct, the required reading in all public schools in the day was complete with political prophets like Alexis de Tocqueville, George Orwell, Ayn Rand, Montesquieu, Ben Franklin, George Washington and Thomas Jefferson — all of which warned their readers of the dangers awaiting those who vote for heavily centralized governments.

Did the Pulitzer Prize Winner F. A. Hayek become the harbinger of the future in Freeborn County and America, when he wrote this?

“The idea of economic security is no less vague and ambiguous than most other terms in this field; and because of this the general approval given to the demand for security may become a danger to liberty. Indeed, when security is understood in too absolute sense, the general striving for it, far from increasing the chances of freedom, becomes the greatest threat to it.”

The seemingly sudden loss of hope for preserving the word free in Freeborn County did not occur overnight with the dominance of the Democratic Party in St. Paul or Washington, D.C. This climate of fear in individuals has been created systematically. A simple study of history will show us in clear detail why all previous democracies have failed in a relatively short period of time. Remember how quick great cities in the past have had their names changed from words like Freeborn, Liberty and Hope to names like Istanbul, Stalingrad, Leningrad and Ho Chi Ming City.

Richard Neuhaus in the book “The End of Democracy” described change this way: “It is only blind hubris that denies the USSR or Nazi Germany cannot happen here or may be happening here.”

“The United States, long the primary bearer of the democratic idea, has itself betrayed that idea and has become something else.”

“What is happening now is a growing alienation of millions of Americans from a government they don’t recognize as theirs.”

“The displacement of constitutional order by a regime that does not have and cannot command the consent of the people.’”

The idea that a state (Minnesota and the USA) can increase a budget by billions and trillions and then pay for it with increased taxes has never ever worked. Why are these politicians that we elected last year doing this? It is because they are ignorant of history and determined to repeat it.

What happens when a heavily centralized government enters the second phase of its utopian quest?

Leon Trotsky, who knew this history as well as anyone, describes it this way before he died: “In a country where the sole employer is the state, opposition means death by slow starvation. The old principle, he who does not work shall not eat, is replaced by a new one. He who does not obey, shall not eat.”

If this frequent historical event does occur in this wonderful area of Freeborn County, Minnesota, I will find solace in remembering this thought of Rudyard Kipling and thinking of Freeborn County friends.
“God gave all men all earth to love,

But since our hearts are small

Ordained for each one spot should prove

Beloved over all.”

Jerrold Dettle is a member of the Freeborn County Republican Party.