'Freedom' has become a buzzword for Bush

Published: Monday, January 24, 2005 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Sunday, January 23, 2005 at 10:32 p.m.
In his inaugural speech, President Bush spoke the word "freedom" 27 times.
Smiling crowds of invited ideologues heard his message after walking through metal detectors, in front of bomb-sniffing dogs, while being viewed through the scopes of snipers, after being criminally frisked, while being monitored by cameras, under hovering helicopters, in a no-fly zone, where protesters were confined to off-site camps, after they had their shoes X-rayed and their nail clippers confiscated.
All Americans had the freedom to attend the event that they financed through tax dollars, as long as they had one of a few secure, noncounterfeitable invitations handed down from the Bush Inaugural Committee, typically in exchange for a healthy contribution, favorable political deeds or lockstep endorsement of policy, after a stringent background check.
The president vowed to bring freedom and democracy to oppressed peoples of the world. Over the next four years, many will embrace democracy whether they want it or not. They will be freed from tyranny, and if they resist, they will be jailed and/or killed. They will be free to elect someone we install.
Don't be fooled by the happy buzzwords of liberty. Freedom must be earned, protected and cherished. By definition, it cannot be installed with a heavy hand. Ironically, while our nation attempts to install freedom elsewhere, those forced to accept it resent our actions and strive to create an environment that compromises freedom here. Then we freely give it away.
Kevin M. Folta, Gainesville

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