The one word that President Bush has uttered the most during his presidential tenure is the word freedom. I can recall several speeches where every few sentences the word freedom was used relentlessly by President Bush. It was as if President Bush could not escape from using the word Freedom, ironic as that may seem.
But is the word freedom secret wordspeak for something else? Is Freedom a code word for another word that is rarely used in Presidential speeches? Is it also possible that it is not just President Bush that overuses the word freedom? Does our whole society habitually overuse the word freedom when another word is actually meant?
Is it possible that whenever we talk about how free we are as a nation, how we are free to follow our dreams, how others have the right to be as free as we are, that we are really talking about something different? Have you been trying to figure out what the mystery word is that we have cast aside and replaced with the word freedom?
Is freedom, prosperity?
How many times has George Bush used the word freedom when he was really talking about prosperity? How many times do tax protestors talk about freedom from the tyranny of taxation without acknowledging that their desire for freedom is caused by the prosperity generated by law abiding businesses? How often do feminists use the phrase "free to choose" rather than "free to prosper" when they speak about terminating a pregnancy? If you haven't noticed, I am asserting that EVERY political and social group across the entire spectrum of our society prefers to use the word freedom rather than prosperity.
Yet is it possible that freedom only exists because prosperity exists?
If freedom really existed outside of prosperity, would I not have the right to do a job well done, even if I lost money doing it, for my entire life? If I was truly free to do the publicly acknowledged "right thing", and it caused me to not make a profit and instead lose money, would the government acknowledge my noble goal and waive my taxes? What behavior or act would I be free to continue to do on a regular basis if I was not prosperous, other than be homeless and hungry?
If Freedom is a code word for prosperity, then why do we continue to use the word freedom when we really mean prosperity? Could it be that deep down we are ashamed to say we are a prosperous country, nation, people, person? Just what is it that we are ashamed of? Maybe we are not ashamed to use the word prosperity and there is another reason.
Is it possible that it would be more difficult to manipulate and convince others if we talked about prosperity rather than freedom?
Dare I say that the word freedom is a more manipulative word than the word prosperity? If the word freedom is a word that is used to peacefully manipulate minds, than the word freedom may only exist as an oxymoron. Manipulating others by using the word freedom is an action taken by someone who is not free, but rather driven to be prosperous.
When George Bush states that the people of Iraq have the right to be as free as the people of the United States, would that statement carry an equal mandate if he had stated "The people of Iraq have the right to be as prosperous as the people of the United States". Does Iraq have the right to be as prosperous as the United States, or is equal prosperity an immeasurable myth that would never gain public acceptance? Is the word "freedom" the great pacifier that clouds the thinking person from contemplating about prosperity so they instead just go along with the plan at hand? Did George Bush use the word freedom to convince us to go to war in Afghanistan and Iraq because his speech writers probably knew that the word prosperity would not be as convincing, or manipulative?
If George Bush states that, "Terrorism is threatening your freedom", it becomes easier to then agree that we must defend ourselves against terrorism by going to war. But if George Bush states that "Terrorism is threatening your prosperity", doesn't that make you think for a moment, to ponder why do the terrorists want to stop our prosperity, there must be a reason they don't want us to be prosperous, no???
Our government is not supposed to negotiate with terrorists, and that may be why we are not supposed to question the government when they say our "freedom" is endangered and we must fight to protect it. The problem as I see it is that if we fight a war with the stated goal that that war will help keep us "free", but to win the war we must rely on resources from the very region where the terrorists reside, then that seems to be a contradiction that cannot allow us to either prosper or be free.
I believe we can only win a war in Iraq and Afghanistan if we can abstain from their resources, yet remain prosperous while we abstain. If we cannot achieve that agenda, then we need to do much much more than "win" a war, we need to create alternate modes of prosperity that do not rely on the resources of the lands we are fighting wars in.
I would ask anyone who has read this editorial that from now on, whenever you hear someone utter the word free, or freedom, that you instantly substitute the word prosperity in it's place and see if that changes how you feel about their statement. At least then you will be listening to an honest accounting as you contemplate how the new found meaning of the message makes you feel.
Middle aged guy.