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Freedom- the search for it in modern politics.





ocalhoun
Is there any modern politician (say, in office within the last 10 years) who really care(d) about people's freedom?

Sure, there are plenty worried about making people healthy, wealthy, and/or wise, but what politician has made (or is trying to make) us more free?

(Keeping in mind that I mean 'freedom to do' not 'freedom to have', as in the freedom to have health insurance...)
Afaceinthematrix
It depends on where you are. In many places of the world, the freedom of speech seems like it is a dying freedom that no major politician has ever gone out of their way to protect. It's quite sad actually.

Although I have read about politicians in many developing countries that have made life better and more free for their citizens. Although my knowledge on politics is far inferior to my knowledge on other subjects so thinking up examples of these wonderful politicians off the top of my head is far too arduous.
Ophois
I'd say the Dalai Lama.
I know he's more of a spiritual leader, but he's also the leader of the Tibetan government in exile. I believe he truly cares for not just his people, but all people.
deanhills
Edwin Griffin?
http://www.freedomforceinternational.org/freedom.cfm?fuseaction=issues
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/G._Edward_Griffin
ocalhoun
deanhills wrote:
Edwin Griffin?


Ophois wrote:
I'd say the Dalai Lama.


Well, I was thinking more along the lines of actual politicians, but at least there are some people out there.

After thinking overnight about it, the only freedom I can recall any politician fighting for recently would be gay rights, specifically gay marriage.
deanhills
ocalhoun wrote:
deanhills wrote:
Edwin Griffin?


Ophois wrote:
I'd say the Dalai Lama.


Well, I was thinking more along the lines of actual politicians, but at least there are some people out there.

After thinking overnight about it, the only freedom I can recall any politician fighting for recently would be gay rights, specifically gay marriage.
Well, maybe your topic is a good one from the point of view that many people must be wondering about it, such as Edwin Griffin? How free are people really and how democratic is Government?
handfleisch
The fight for equal access to health care is very much a fight for freesom, as seen currently in Obama's attempt to get the USA on par with the rest of the civilized world by getting the universal health insurance that all other first world countries have. Many people of low or middle income lack the freedom to change jobs, and they even have to join the military and risk getting killed, just to maintain health insurance for their families. It's a freedom everyone in Europe enjoys, a right acknowledged in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the freedom of medical access.

There are many other ways that the Obama admin has fought for freedom. One is increasing the public's freedom to know what their government is up to, without the government being able to claim it is secret. This also increases our freedom to have our privacy, since it makes the government more accountable for warrantless wiretapping of private citizens.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/09/23/AR2009092301958.html?hpid=topnews
Quote:

Obama Tightens State Secrets Standard
New Policy May Affect Wiretap, Torture Suits

The Obama administration on Wednesday announced a new policy making it much more difficult for the government to claim that it is protecting state secrets when it hides details of sensitive national security strategies such as rendition and warrantless eavesdropping.
Ophois
handfleisch wrote:
Many people of low or middle income lack the freedom to change jobs
As much as I agree with you on getting health care reform done, I have to disagree there. Every American, in any income bracket, has the right to change jobs. It might not always be the best move, but it is a freedom we have.
Quote:
and they even have to join the military and risk getting killed, just to maintain health insurance for their families.
Nobody is forced to join the military, not for insurance or any other reason. Plenty of jobs offer decent insurance. I am a Paramedic, and EMT school is not that long or expensive(especially with grants), and almost any idiot can pass the NREMT test. And that is some of the best insurance a civilian can get.

I agree with the rest of your post though. This administration has done quite a bit to reverse the 'Big Brother' policies that were laid out before. Although, Obama didn't have much of a choice there. Had he not done something about the illegal wire-tapping, torture, illegal search and seizures, etc., he would have been lambasted like no other President in history. I'd like to think he did it because he truly cares, but it was a political maneuver, more than anything else. Though I do think he truly cares about the health care issue, and cares about the people it affects.
ocalhoun
handfleisch wrote:
The fight for equal access to health care is very much a fight for freesom,

Yes, but the freedom to have not the freedom to do that I was looking for.
Everyone is free to get medical care, just like how even people who are starving to death are free to eat.
That they lack the ability to is not a matter of freedom, but a matter of providing for them.
Quote:
Obama's attempt to get the USA on par with the rest of the civilized world by getting the universal health insurance that all other first world countries have.

Is that all it is, really? I had noticed the exact same motivation when he was talking about his high-speed trains too...
handfleisch
yeeawwn/groan. ah shoulda known better.
Bikerman
ocalhoun wrote:
handfleisch wrote:
The fight for equal access to health care is very much a fight for freesom,

Yes, but the freedom to have not the freedom to do that I was looking for.
Everyone is free to get medical care, just like how even people who are starving to death are free to eat.
That they lack the ability to is not a matter of freedom, but a matter of providing for them.
This strikes me as an abuse of the word freedom. One is clearly not 'free' to do or have something if it is impossible, practically, to do so.
'Let them eat cake' springs to mind.
handfleisch
Bikerman wrote:
ocalhoun wrote:
handfleisch wrote:
The fight for equal access to health care is very much a fight for freesom,

Yes, but the freedom to have not the freedom to do that I was looking for.
Everyone is free to get medical care, just like how even people who are starving to death are free to eat.
That they lack the ability to is not a matter of freedom, but a matter of providing for them.
This strikes me as an abuse of the word freedom. One is clearly not 'free' to do or have something if it is impossible, practically, to do so.
'Let them eat cake' springs to mind.

Yes. That's what I meant. It's such a narrow and rather strange definition of the word "freedom" as to make it --and the whole thread-- meaningless. But that's par for the course
ocalhoun
Bikerman wrote:
This strikes me as an abuse of the word freedom. One is clearly not 'free' to do or have something if it is impossible, practically, to do so.
'Let them eat cake' springs to mind.

I have the freedom to own a gun, but that doesn't mean the government is going to provide me with one.
I have the freedom to travel around the country, but that doesn't mean the government is going to supply me with transportation.
I also have the freedom of press... that doesn't mean the government is going to supply me with a newspaper column.
Likewise, I have the freedom to get medical care. But that doesn't mean the government has to provide me with it.

If they want to give everyone free guns, free transportation, free news column authorships, and free medical care, that's their prerogative, but don't confuse that with freedom.
deanhills
ocalhoun wrote:
Bikerman wrote:
This strikes me as an abuse of the word freedom. One is clearly not 'free' to do or have something if it is impossible, practically, to do so.
'Let them eat cake' springs to mind.

I have the freedom to own a gun, but that doesn't mean the government is going to provide me with one.
I have the freedom to travel around the country, but that doesn't mean the government is going to supply me with transportation.
I also have the freedom of press... that doesn't mean the government is going to supply me with a newspaper column.
Likewise, I have the freedom to get medical care. But that doesn't mean the government has to provide me with it.

If they want to give everyone free guns, free transportation, free news column authorships, and free medical care, that's their prerogative, but don't confuse that with freedom.
How I see it is if you get those things supposedly "free" from Government, that it is not really freedom, as you have to give up some of your personal freedom to get those. Such as the freedom not to have to pay income tax, the freedom not to have to contribute to medical insurance schemes, the freedom not to have Government in your face all the time, the freedom to be able to drive without a license, the freedom to buy guns as you wish, the freedom to choose any mode of transportation you like (instead of having to worry what the rules and regulations are).
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