Let’s Start With Freedom

This is the first in a series of articles that Mr. Lord has offered for publication and the Monadnock Ledger-Transcript has given permission to Mr. Lord to republish.

As Published by the Monadnock Ledger-Transcript 03/25/2010, Page 10

BY John M. Lord JR.

The Monadnock Ledger-Transcript has kindly asked the Peterborough Republican Committee to submit occasional columns on topics of our choosing. We plan to use this forum to address ideas and issues that we believe are a concern to people in our region and to Americans generally, such as the economy, education, deficit spending and taxes.

We promise you that these won’t be tedious policy papers or partisan polemics; rather, we will try to speak plainly, neighbor to neighbor, about how we can work together to put our state and country back on track and re-energize the collective sense of optimism that has suffered during this prolonged recession.

Let’s start with freedom, America’s founding value and most inspiring virtue. Since our War of Independence from Britain almost 230 years ago, generations of Americans have held freedom sacred and defended it at great cost. To “Live Free or Die” has been our literal commitment as a nation and our active defense of freedom continues today with brave young Americans serving in the armed forces in distant, dangerous places. Thanks to all those who have served and supported this great cause, we remain a free nation, the envy of hundreds of millions who still live under oppression.

American freedom has many dimensions and is unique, even among developed, democratic countries. Our most important freedoms are enumerated in the Constitution, including freedom of religion, freedom of speech and freedom of association. These specific rights are emblematic of the Constitution’s fundamental goal of protecting the individual from the power of the state. Those who framed the Constitution had an abiding faith in the ability of every individual to decide what is best for them, to pursue happiness in their own way, to live their lives with minimal intrusion by government.

The principle of maximizing personal choice and responsibility while limiting the role of government remains at the core of the Republican philosophy and shapes our approach to problem solving. Later columns will discuss how this bias for the individual applies to specific issues that we face as a society today.

Given our paramount concern for freedom, it is natural that Republicans have always placed a top priority on national defense. Regrettably, there are factions and forces in the world working to undermine our nation and our way of life. The attack of 9/11, the development of nuclear weapons by North Korea and Iran, and the more recent attempted “Christmas bombing” have shown us that our enemies are not abstract and that intelligence lapses can be mortal. A parallel priority at the state and local levels is keeping our streets safe and our homes secure.

We think that most folks will agree that protecting our homeland and our homes is "Job One" and we must allocate the resources necessary to do the job. Thanks to tough-minded intelligence/ defense policies instituted by the last Republican administration, we are prevailing in the fight. It promises to be a long struggle, but we will win in the end. And though we are all feeling the sting of the economic downturn right now, we can still take pride and satisfaction in knowing that we have our most cherished asset: Freedom.

John M. Lord Jr. is a member of the Peterborough Republican Committee.