COMMENTARY: Restoring Freedom: Now or Never (And how to do it)

Big government has been crushing the United States for the past two decades. The last 8 years in particular signaled a potentially irreversible slide towards socialism and permanent debt. In typical American fashion, in the 11th hour, the citizenry acted by purging the Presidency and Congress of embedded insiders by handing the reigns to (hopefully) anti-establishment Republicans. Now, for the first time in many decades, there is a real opportunity to improve the state of liberty for all Americans. But to do so, it is essential that we understand what has gone wrong and why. The good news is: It’s really quite simple.

According to most Americans, the United States have been in decline for a long time. Though different polls ask different questions, they’re really assessing the health of the American Dream, which Dictionary.com defines as the following:

  1. the ideals of freedom, equality, and opportunity traditionally held to be available to every American.
  2. a life of personal happiness and material comfort as traditionally sought by individuals in the U.S.

America is known the world over for Freedom and freedom has two components: economic and social. What we’ve seen happen over the years is the framing of every political issue (and the two major political parties themselves) as a choice between one or the other. The news media, entertainment industry, professors and pundits have beaten us over the head in a constant assault saying that we must choose between the two because we can’t have it both ways. My response? “Yes, we can!”

Democrats have been branded as the champions of social freedom and Republicans as champions of economic freedom. This often intentionally fallacious narrative is responsible for the steady loss of both economic and social freedom as both parties slide towards the left ideologically, allowing and encouraging the growth and reach of government to degrade the American Dream. Like two giants interlocked in mortal combat, they destroy everything in their path as helpless onlookers watch them roll down a hill. Except that now there is a real opportunity for the incoming administration and everyday Americans to control the narrative once again and expose this false choice wherever it arises.

Economic and social freedom are neither mutually exclusive nor mutually inclusive. In other words, one doesn’t have to suffer for the health of the other. In fact, true freedom can only exist when both are fostered and in harmony with each other. This idea is exactly what our founders intended and exactly what we have forgotten.

Rightful liberty is unobstructed action according to our will within limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others. I do not add ‘within the limits of the law’ because law is often but the tyrant’s will, and always so when it violates the rights of the individual. – Thomas Jefferson

How many times have you heard someone refer to themselves as “socially liberal but fiscally conservative”? Time and time again, our understanding of liberty has been perverted by this false choice. What we should aspire towards in every political case is a balance where both social and economic liberty is fostered. If one must yield for the other, the cause is not just; the result will be to serve as yet one more step towards our Republic’s decline and the continued destruction of the American Dream. To do this though, both the Executive and Judicial Departments must return to the day when they regularly admitted that they could not implement a seemingly good idea because they had no constitutionally enumerated power to do so.

The most recent Presidential election demonstrated that the American public no longer trusts corporate left-wing media so we don’t need to spend many resources countering them. Where it does matter, however, is on social media where Americans are increasingly getting their news. When you see a post based on this false choice, point it out. Eventually, it will stick because it’s simple and because truth cuts through everything else.

Posts similar to this one have been circulating around social media for years. Many who have the respect our veterans deserve will simply like or plus and share a post like this without weighing it against both social and economic freedom. On its face, it looks like a simple pro-veteran post and a good idea. But in fact, it’s the false choice. It suggests that you either support the socialist notion of caring for our veterans or you’re against them.

I am rigorous defender of both our veterans and armed servicemen and women. (See my song “For the Heroes 2.0” from my latest album “Pawns” below.) However, if someone serves two-years in the military in a non-combat role, are they entitled to have food, housing, health care and work provided by the American tax payers for the rest of their lives? That’s not only ridiculous; it’s not the America our veterans fought for. Social justice for our physically and psychologically wounded veterans can be accomplished in a number of ways without destroying us economically. One way would be by issuing vouchers to veterans in need of medical service so that the V.A. is forced to compete with the free market. This would enable veterans to get immediate service elsewhere while the V.A. gets its act together. And there are many other proposals out there that balance social and economic freedom.

And as part of an essential long-term strategy, Americans must insist that their local schools begin teaching civics again. Social Studies and Humanities classes have fostered this false narrative and entirely failed to teach the next generations the basics about both our system and form of government, and how it enabled our Republic to be the longest-standing, free nation in the history of the world.  Our founders knew how important it was.

“A primary object should be the education of our youth in the science of government. In a republic, what species of knowledge can be equally important? And what duty more pressing than communicating it to those who are to be the future guardians of the liberties of the country?” – George WashingtonChildren should be educated and instructed in the principles of freedom. – John Adams

As lovers of liberty and guardians of the American dream, each of us must first expose this false choice wherever we find it. Then we must counter it with the demand that any proposed legislation, ruling or regulation meets the criteria of balancing both economic and social freedom. If we do this in two areas, we can finally eradicate this false choice so that one day, like smallpox, it exists only in a few government buildings and universities.

For The Heroes ©2004/2014, Matt Fitzgibbons (ASCAP)
Whether you take me for the fool I know that I can be,

Whether you see me eye to eye or if we disagree,

I’ll be your friend, until the end. I’ll see you through.


Whether you heal the casualties, or you kill to keep us free,

Whether it’s goods that you prepare, or you help bring them there.

For all you’ve done, for everyone. I won’t forget.

For the heroes. For them all

They keep the oath they took so we won’t fall.


Whether you feel that you’re alone, or you fear your life will end,

know you’ve got three hundred million friends.

For everything you’ve done I sing. You’re in our prayers.

For the heroes. For them all

They keep the oath they took so we won’t fall.


Matt Fitzgibbons

Matt Fitzgibbons is founder of PatriotMusic.com, he is a multi-talented musician, historian, philosopher and 2016 political analyst.

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