It’s been a while since we’ve heard from Parkland shooting survivor-turned-gun control advocate David Hogg, so let’s see if he’s gained any wisdom over the last couple of years. Hogg shot to stardom in 2018 with his precocious crusade to ban guns, but perhaps he’s come around to a more reasonable way of thinking when it comes to little details like the Constitution and American freedom. People can change, right?
“Freedom to me looks like universal healthcare, free college, housing for all, quality food for all who need it, social mobility and good paying union jobs,” Hogg tweeted Saturday. “It doesn’t look like blind obedience to authority, a massively overfunded military and a couple hundred billionaires that control our government.”
Ah. Well. Never mind.
Hogg is the latest left-winger who is trying to change the definition of freedom. According to the Founders (and literally every American with the sense God gave a goat), freedom means fewer government restrictions. It means the government – to the extent possible – stays out of our lives. It means that, as long as you’re not harming society, hurting people, or ripping them off…well, you’re pretty much good to go. The government will stand back and let you do your thing. After all, something (say, for instance, 200+ years of American innovation) good might come out of it!
“Real freedom isn’t living under the thumb of giant corporations,” wrote Sen. Elizabeth Warren last year. “Real freedom isn’t living in debt, one crisis away from disaster. Real freedom isn’t watching opportunities snatched up by the rich and powerful. Real freedom comes when everyone has the opportunity to prosper.”
Her buddy Bernie Sanders has also said similar things: “It is not freedom when you have to work three jobs just to survive. It is time to say that real freedom must include a living wage and economic security.”
These populist messages have their place, perhaps, but the problem is that with increased government comes decreased freedom. This is an equation that will stand until the end of time. Money doesn’t grow on trees. And until it does, all of this funding has to come from somewhere. It has to come from coercion – either the coercion of the taxpayers or the coercion of business owners, tradesmen, and skilled providers (of healthcare, education, etc.). That’s the polar opposite of “freedom.”
Whatever we take from the government comes with a price. And when those services are “free,” that price is likely to be more expensive than you can imagine. You may not pay for it with dollars and cents…but you’ll pay for it.