In an interview with 60 minutes this weekend, Mitt Romney was asked what his primary focus would be for the country should be win the election. He stated that he would bring “Freedom” to the country. Freedom.
Ok, I am being snarky because I understand what he is doing there completely. It’s all in how to drill down and define “freedom” really.
For the Libertarian/Conservative leaning folks it means freedom from as much, if not all, government intervention in your day to day life.
With some key exceptions of course.
Government still gets to restrict marriage to heterosexuals only. Totally fine to keep an entire group of people as second class citizens without all the rights and benefits of marriage because, you know, they don’t approve. Or really, their church doesn’t approve.
Government still gets to cut funding to Planned Parenthood effectively removing it from some areas.
Government can also allow insurance companies to restrict the health care they cover for women specifically. It will be totally OK to make it tons harder in both those examples for women to pay for birth control, well woman care and to make decisions about their own bodies.
Basically, again, because their church doesn’t approve of women having the ability to make those choices you see.
So government…err..churches…er…government…wait, aren’t those supposed to be SEPARATE?! Yeah, anyway, they can set restrictions – intervene even, in the lives of women and LGBT citizens.
Suffice it so say that my definition of freedom is a tad different.
Those government mandates and regulations that the right seems to think is chaining them to some imaginary fence preventing them from living their lives as they would choose?
Well, those mandates help to pay for a few things that I view as ENHANCING people’s freedom.
Oh, by people, I mean the less fortunate. Gasp! Horror!
Access to healthcare and insurance coverage is a basic need for everyone, rich or poor. Contrary to something else Mitt Romeny said on Sunday night, access to emergency rooms does not exactly suffice as an alternative to insurance and being able to see a regular doctor. I know because I have watched my older son struggle with this.
Emergency rooms wont help if you have ADHD or depression or need cancer treatment or have MS or lupus or Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and any other of the hundreds of chronic illnesses that can debilitate someone even IF they have regular healthcare.
In other words, without access to a county/state/federally funded clinic or health insurance, your FREEDOM to maintain your health and your ability to support yourself is greatly reduced.
Without the FREEDOM to marry who you want, you can end up leaving a lifetime partner with no social security benefits, no dependent healthcare benefits. None of the things guaranteed to heterosexual couples. Think of all the inherited government benefits that the widow of Neil Armstrong received upon his death. None of those went to the widow of Sally Ride.
Those are the freedoms that mean something to me.