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Freedoms ringing less and less resoundingly

Published 9:37am Tuesday, June 24, 2014

My Point of View by Al Arends

“Sweet land of liberty, let freedom ring.”

This is part of a great song that I sang many times as a boy growing up on a farm in Iowa. I don’t hear it much anymore, and I wonder if we, the American people, are failing to remember what made this country great? It is an experiment dreamed up by our Founding Fathers who had lived under the rule of monarchies, dictatorships and governments where all the decisions for the people were made by political rulers who thought they had all the answers. Our Founding Fathers knew that government could give or take away a person’s freedom. That’s why the Constitution developed by such great leaders like James Madison and Thomas Jefferson limited the powers of the federal government.

Al Arends
Al Arends

I don’t believe the Democrats today believe in the principle. I believe that they advocate for bigger government where most positions are made by politicians and bureaucrats in Washington and St. Paul. They constantly are limiting what individuals and businesses can do, paying little attention to our Constitution, and I don’t think it will be too long where they will try limiting what we say. If we look at the IRS, who deliberately went after conservative nonprofit organizations, challenging their tax status and their beliefs, we know that they were trying to limit their free speech.

If we look at President Obama’s health care law, we know that the Democrats are trying to control our health care system, limiting the doctors we see and determining what kind of care we will have. This law has increased medical costs by over 30 percent in southeastern Minnesota and both our federal Rep. Tim Walz and state Rep. Shannon Savick have voted and support this legislation. Yes, they know what is best for us, not our doctor or nurse, and it is costing us 30 percent more.

I could go on and point to other actions that these legislators have voted for that take away our freedom, but the most grievous actions they have taken are the bills that have dramatically increased the debt that our children and grandchildren will have to pay off. Need I mention, a $90 million Minnesota Senate building that is used about three months a year.

Have they ever voted to reduce spending? Historically, the federal government operates on 18 percent of gross domestic product and currently it is devouring 23 percent of GDP. This has resulted in an increasing federal debt over $17 trillion. Do you think freedom will ring for our children when this huge debt will have to be paid?

In a recent article in the Minneapolis Star Tribune written by professor Chuck Chalberg, he said that our country was at a crossroads.

He wrote, “America will lock ourselves into a future as a European social democracy or will dramatically turn away from that course.”

He said that “the Affordable Care Act is proving to be an unworkable monstrosity … that it must give way to a single-payer system or to an assortment of decentralized, un-European marketplace and/or state-level solutions.”

He mentioned a French philosopher who came to the United States in 1830. Alexis de Tacqueville predicted that the American people would become like sheep and shepherded by a federal bureaucracy where they make all the decisions because bureaucrats know what is best for us.

I look at our president, who I believe feels he knows what is best for us and that he is the great shepherd and we are the sheep. I believe that Walz and Savick feel the same way. That is why they are big supporters of Obamacare.

If we continue down the path that they are heading us, will freedom ring for our children? Will our children have the liberty and same opportunities that we have had?


Albert Lea resident Al Arends is a member of the Freeborn County Republican Party.