Debate:Who gave us our freedoms

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(I don't know if this is better as Namespace "essay" or "debate", so feel free to move it.

I just received one of those chain mails that says "no matter who you support, thank a service member. Without the sacrifice of our military personal, you would not be able to have your opinions here in e-mail." Some of those type letters are just "as a matter of comment", but others are vitrolic, suggesting that we dare not have an opinion against the military, against the president, against the republican candidate 'cause those people are the people who gave us our rights to freely express our dislikes or criticisms of the "right".

And while I do know that the military has a small role in protecting our constitution, there are others who I fell have a far greater role in teh actual protection of our rights to freedom of speech, assembly, assumption of innocence until proven guilty and other Constitutionally guaranteed freedoms.

  • People who get up and march at events for black rights, for the right of women to vote, for gay rights.
  • People who organize communities to say "go vote for your rights, it's important".
  • People who stand out in the rain to protest the illegal detainment of some member of the press.
  • Members of the press who dare to stand against the norm and say "how dare you?"
  • Lawyers, paralegals, secretaries who work for groups like the ACLU, NAACP, HRC, and other groups that are in the trenches protecting our legal rights.
  • Individuals and groups like Islamic Americans who stand up, even against what might be better "political" advice and say "I have the same rights as you". Those same people if they are held against their will simply for being an easy target.

Do US citizens really "owe" the military anything for "protecting our rights?" Or are our rights being protected on a ground level each and every day (and boy if that isn't a push poll, I don't know what is.  ;-) — Unsigned, by: WaitingforGodot / talk / contribs

To answer the question "who gave us our freedoms," the answer would be God, if you're a theist, or no one, free is the natural state we are born into, if you're an atheist. In any case, saying the government our the military gives us our freedoms is like saying I gave you your breakfast this morning, by virtue of not having taken it away. Sure, you can make the argument that they defend our freedoms in a way, but it's been a long time since any external entity has threatened our freedoms rather than our lives. The only real threat to our freedom is our own government. Al Qaeda may threaten our lives, but they cannot make us less free unless we let them. What are they going to do, pass a law in Congress enforcing Islamic law? Threats to freedom come from the risk of being invaded and conquered by a foreign power (not been a threat for a long, long time) or by our government limiting our freedoms. One should keep in mind that they only way our government can take away our freedoms without the support of a large proportion of the population is if a dictatorship is installed. If such were to happen, it would, as always, be the military who would be the force behind the dictatorship. Thankfully, this seems almost as unlikely as an invasion.
I recently saw a clip of Palin getting heckled while making a speech, and she turned to the heckler and said something like "Bless your heart sir, my son is in Iraq protecting your right to protest" to much applause. Made we wonder "what our are rights doing over in Iraq?" DickTurpis 12:31, 9 October 2008 (EDT)
I agree with WFG. Those "support our troops" emails are really obnoxious. There are also some "support the war" ones flying around Facebook & suchlike, some of which are implicitly very racist about Muslims. I kindof see the military as a necessary evil. Countries need to have them, but I find people who idolise the military quite creepy. In much the same way, I really don't like flag-waving. Loving your country is fair enough, but whenever people make a big deal about it, there's often some reactionary message implicit (e.g. if you're a true patriotic, you gotta love the military & hate them commies/moslems/immigrants/foreigners/whatever). weaseLOIdWeaselly.jpg~ 12:47, 9 October 2008 (EDT)