America’s national anthem says we are the “land of the free.” The American Pledge of Allegiance states we are “one nation … with liberty … for all.”
Today there is a great deal of outrage about our liberties being taken away under the guise of personal and public health and safety (just because of some deadly virus), and it made me wonder about the lack of outrage directed at the following “infringements” upon our freedom.
Under penalty of law, monetary fines and possible incarceration, we:
- have to stop or yield at traffic lights and signs.
- have to drive in certain lanes boldly marked by white or yellow lines.
- have to obtain a photo ID license to drive (and keep it with us always) so we can prove who we are on demand, that we have permission to drive, board a plane, cash a check, or even vote, etc.
- have to take a vision test before we get that license (isn’t that personal, private information?)
- have to show proof of paid insurance before we can register a car or buy a house.
- have to pay local, state, and federal income taxes as well as sale taxes.
- have to pay for sewer, water, electricity, and gas use at whatever rate I am charged.
- have to get and keep for our whole lives a number issued by the government.
- have to wear a seat belt while in our cars and restrain small children in car seats or booster seats.
- cannot smoke cigarettes in most restaurants, public buildings, etc.
We can be tracked by businesses, law enforcement, and hackers through our phones, computers, automobile license plates, credit card usage, and by that government-issued nine-digit number. All of these rules are bossing us, compelling us, forcing us to behave, to be safe, and to consider the well-being of others. Outrageous! Worst of all, we have to live with these rules, laws, and infringements for our entire lives.
If only we lived in a world where common sense was merely encouraged—a place where we could ignore past truths, where we could set our own rules based on our individually made-up facts—a world where we did not have to concern ourselves with the health and safety of anyone around us.
What could possibly go wrong? Look for another reality check coming soon.