We Are Still the Land of the Free

By Daniel Nardini

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - CommentaryI have a good friend in Germany. I have known her for almost 40 years. She told me that where she is everyone must wear masks or they will be fined and jailed by the police. Worse, the school where she teaches remains on lock-down, and people must have vaccine passports in order to go from one place to the next. These are not mere “guidelines” in Germany, but enforced by police and even riot police. Even criticism of the government is now according to my friend punishable. Germany is far from being the only country with such harsh laws and draconian rules—freedom of speech to even criticize the governments have become a casualty in too many cases of the corona virus pandemic. Because of these anti-democratic measures, many people in many countries in the European Union are staging riots, protests and even revolts against the authoritarian practices of their governments.

As bad as many of our local and state authorities are, even they cannot restrict or suppress the press. U.S. President Joe Biden cannot overcome the rulings of the judiciary which has overruled him in regards to his vaccine mandates against private businesses employing 100 or more employees. So far, local and state governments have not tried to suppress information online or from news outlets critical of our politicians. Where I live, the local police do not bother to enforce the state-wide mask mandate set by the governor back at the end of August. Why is not hard to figure; the police are now too busy trying their damn best to fight the crime happening in their communities. Whatever people may say of police, police are people too. They see the suffering of those who are unemployed, and the spiraling crime around them. The police would rather enforce the rule of law than the tyrannical rule of arbitrary government policies.

As we are nearing the end of the year, however difficult things may be, at least Americans by and large retain their civil liberties. Most of these freedoms include the freedom to travel from one part of the country to the next (something that is becoming difficult in Germany my friend informed me), and that there are certain things that remain sacred which the government cannot do. One example of this is shutting down the churches or other places of worship despite their claims to try and stop the corona virus. There is no question in my mind that many of the world’s democracies have become in one way or another more authoritarian because of the corona virus restrictions, lock-downs and enhanced police authority. The leading democracies have become more authoritarian, and the authoritarian regimes in the world have become hell on earth. In contrast, America has suffered the least by comparison. So far, Americans by and large still love their constitutional freedoms and rights enough to defend them, and to vote where they feel these freedoms are threatened. It gives me hope that the United States will see the worst of it through.

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