"Those who created this country chose freedom. With all of its dangers. And do you know the riskiest part of that choice they made? They actually believed that we could be trusted to make up our own minds in the whirl of differing ideas. That we could be trusted to remain free, even when there were very, very seductive voices – taking advantage of our freedom of speech – who were trying to turn this country into the kind of place where the government could tell you what you can and cannot do."
by:
Nat Hentoff
(1925-2017)American historian, novelist, jazz and country music critic, and syndicated columnist
Source:
The Day They Came To Arrest The Book, 1982
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Reader comments about this quote:
I like it, oops, the government is telling us what we can and cannot do, more and more. Let us return to that time and place when and where options included freedom, so that we may have that choice once more.
 -- Mike, Norwalk     
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    Before you all start respondng to Waffler's nonsense on this subject and it's sure to come, remember, cast not your pearls before swine.
     -- Howard, Bangkok     
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    I have been researching Alexander Hamilton's role in subverting the Constitution, and I can tell you the quote above is dead accurate. Almost as the ink was drying on that document there were swine (thank you Howard) working to pervert it.
     -- J Carlton, Calgary     
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    The current group of misfits in Washington are a good example. Most Americans oppose government "health care" but they will ram it down our throats anyway. Anyway , as any person with a brain knows, Nancy and the gang don't give a hoot about your health, it's all about government control.
     -- jim k, Austin     
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    P.S. Is there anymore disgusting a person in Washington than Harry Reed ? Maybe Pelosi but it's a close race.
     -- jim k, Austin     
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    TO THINK THAT WE COULD ACTUALLY HAVE THE FREEDOM TO CHOOSE ! TO CHOOSE FREEDOM FOR EACH MAN AND WOMEN ! WE SHOULD BE CAREFULL THEY MIGHT CHOOSE TO MARRY EACH OTHER! OMG WHAT IF THEY CHOSE TO GIVE HEALTHCARE TO EVERYONE THEY MIGHT CHOOSE OR CHOOSE OR CHOOSE OR OR WE GOT TO STOP THEM THAT WOULD BE FREEDOM! FREEDOM !!!
     -- CHRIS DAVIS, CHATHAM MA.     
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    When our so called government begins to live by the same rules they place upon us, then i might find an ounce of truth in them. They are not under social security and they will not be under Obamacare.
     -- cal, lewisville, tx     
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     -- Tom Wazoo, Murphysboro, IL      
    CHRIS DAVIS pretty funny tongue in check humor there. Yep, the government doesn't give anything it hasn't first stolen (ahh yes, the freedom of statist theocracies and borg collectives); and then, such as state sponsored healthcare, it was unconstitutional ab initio. Choices, choices, choices, I'm so confused, how, why, what, where and from whom do I steal and/or compel next.
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
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    This is the epitome of the American Ideal.
     -- E Archer, NYC     
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    It is a very seductive idea that THEY can give everyone something for "free" with no consequences. Maybe THEY can just print up a few more dollars and make us all millionaires, then we wouldn't need insurance...right? The price of taking freebies from THEM is that THEY will own you because freebies are never free.
     -- Ken, Allyn, WA     
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    The money they give back to us is the money they took from us in the first place minus a big chunk they kept just for themselves. The deficit will be all ours and our childrens to pay while they go buy a mansion somewhere free of taxes.
     -- Joy, Hansville     
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