Freedom is good. Everyone is for freedom, but it means different things to different people. For the Netherlands’ Party for Freedom (PVV), it means banning the Koran and putting more people in prison. For many US libertarians, it means the ability to pollute without consequence. For the Tea Party, it means deporting illegal immigrants and disallowing gay marriage. For President Obama it apparently means waging unauthorised war. So it is somewhat tempting to just ignore the word “freedom” as a meaningless slogan that people use. However, freedom is a real thing, and sometimes, even when sloganeering, politicians are correct to say that something reduces freedom. For instance, Obamacare is one of those things. When proponents of Obamacare say it doesn’t reduce your freedom, they’re clearly wrong. Freedom is one of those things that everyone claims to cherish, and so there are political gamesmanship reasons for denying this. But come on: before, you could be rich and avoid purchasing health insurance, and now you can’t.
Which brings me to this rather obvious point: there isn’t one giant freedom – there are many different ones. And some freedoms are more important than others. There are freedom of political dissent and freedom of assembly. And then there are freedom to buy inefficient lightbulbs and freedom to define your own units of measurement. All four are real freedoms, and if absolutely everything else was left equal by the change, I’d rather have all four of those freedoms. But only two of them do I actually care about. One reason I’m so unconcerned about the freedom-destroying aspects of Obamacare is that I don’t see how the freedom to be rich and not have to pay for health insurance is so very important. Obamawise, I’m much more concerned about the waging war without authorization thing.