Where can it be found, the freest nation on planet earth? Well, it has to be the United States, just ask anyone. Why are we the freest nation? Not because we are the wealthiest. Long before we became not only the richest, but also the greediest nation, we still regarded this country as the freest, with testament given from the millions of immigrants (legal and illegal) who have converged upon our shores to enjoy such freedoms. The reasons for these freedoms we so enjoy are:

First, because of the philosophical basis of which this great nation for all was founded. We naturally assume that, not only as individuals, but also as free Americans, have rights, e.g., free speech, right to bear arms, trial by jury before our peers when our government tries to imprison us, seize our property and deprive us of our lives, etc.

Second, we as Americans have a Constitution that limits the powers of a central government to intrude into our lives, at least in theory.

Third, our rights have so far been enshrined in the first ten amendments to our beloved Constitution, once again, in theory.

Canada and England also have a Bill of Rights, but their rights are “dispensed” at their government’s pleasure. It states so right in their laws, which means they are not “unalienable” rights. In all of recorded history, only the U.S. has been founded on the assertion that we the people have rights existing apart from our governing body and not our government’s pleasure. Our Constitution was amended in 1868 as to specify, not even states can violate our “unalienable” rights.

My point here is, how does one determine which is the least free country? First, the country with the most laws to regulate their citizens, and second, a country with the most incarcerated population for the obvious reason. For these two reasons, any reasonable American, or person for that matter, would have to agree with me.

The “true believers,” tell me I will always be free and not have to worry about my freedom, if I just follow rules and obey the law, toe the line and there will be no trouble. Many American Indians, Jews in Nazi Germany and Negros in the post bellum South, toed the line, tried to be good citizens, and still “got the shaft.” Obeying the law doesn’t guarantee freedom.

Another citizen informed that despite all these regulations and laws we encounter on a daily basis, we have safeguards in place in the jury system. My response was, more and more agencies are regulating us without juries. The courts exclude citizens from juries who realize they can nullify bad laws. To myself, this is hardly an attribute to our freedom. I will close with this quote by Johann Von Goethe: “None are so hopelessly enslaved as those who falsely believe that they are free.”

Todd Lauer

Jersey Shore