We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. American Declaration of Independence
Yes, I am getting tired of getting damned sick and tired of being told what to do. I’m getting even more tired of being told what I can’t do. It seems like every time I turn around there’s a new law governing my every day behavior, even in the privacy of my own home. I am labelled politically incorrect, out of touch with “reality”, antiquated, and an old grump by those who seek to tell me how wrong I am for believing what I believe.
Here all this time I’ve been living under the assumption that I lived in America, the land of the free and the home of the brave. Here I thought that I have a right to have my own opinions, and to speak freely about them, even in public. Well silly me.
Maybe because I’ve lived almost 60 years in our America I have to ability to look back and see how much things have changed. Some things have changed for the better, other things, not so much, some even worse. The rights of women to equal treatment under the law, and freedom of our own bodies took an enormous leap forward and then we looked away to other issues thinking that was a done deal. Now as a nation we women are backsliding.
One rather silly example of how times are changing is the example of cigarettes vs. marijuana. When I was a wild and woolly 20 something smoking pot was highly illegal and smoking a cigarette was not any different from having a cold beer on a hot summer day. Well damn, now that I’m older and don’t really care much about smoking the funny stuff, it’s becoming legal and cigarettes are now the evil villain that many think should be legislated by law out of my life. If I want to smoke a cigarette with my morning coffee the only place I can legally do so is in my own back yard. Quite frankly I would be less nervous about firing up a joint in the local Starbucks than I would be lighting up a cigarette.
Every time I turn around there’s a new law about some ridiculous thing that should be no one’s business but my own. There are many silly stupid laws that I’m outraged that our tax dollars pay for the lengthy contemplation and passing of. Things like what size soda pop I can buy, what I feed a child for lunch, how many times I mow my lawn, when I can water it. What kind I medicine I can take or not take, even the decision to stop taking medicine if I so choose to do.
The medicine example has me riled up because I got a call from a nurse working for my insurance company. She explained that they monitor my prescription usage and noticed that I stopped taking blood pressure medicine. She went so far as to say that if I continued down this slippery slope of not taking medicine I might lose my coverage. Highly indignant I explained that I lost 20 pounds and that took care of the blood pressure issue. I also told her to note in my file that I did not want to receive any more calls from a “concerned” nurse and what medicine I consume or do not consume is between me and my doctor. That statement right there is a political hot potato.
Another thing that is bugging me under the surface and just came to the front of my consciousness lately is; what is the real reason my blog is sitting dark and neglected? I told myself and you readers that I’ve been busy with other things. Personal issues, family issues, etc, etc. blah, blah, blah. I did a pretty good job of pretending that was it until it dawned on me that I was lying to myself and making excuses. I did some serious soul-searching and finally admitted to myself and now to you, dear reader, that I had become afraid to speak my mind.
And why am I afraid to speak my mind? There are a many reasons, but a few come to the front. The main one is that I see on the news everyday people in this country with our alleged freedom of speech who speak their mind and get slapped down…hard. Often I think “well that was indeed a rather asinine thing to say, but really? Should they lose their job or even get tossed in jail on some trumped-up charge, or audited by the IRS, for saying what they said?” This well and truly frightens me.