Freedom Forever

Ryan Heshmati

July 8, 2022 (Illustration Added August 13, 2022)

Americans have grown accustomed to many rights and liberties. Domestically, as many voters and politicians put additional emphasis on personal freedoms, personal choice has become the priority for many. President Reagan cautioned, “Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction.” This message was far less necessary when America was fighting a war of influence with the USSR than it is today as conflicting ideas of freedom and liberty cause conflict within the United States.

Fighting for freedom is anything but foreign to Americans. Abroad, the United States has been active in protecting the republic’s interests over the last century. When, as an example, a threat to freedom came knocking with the attack on Pearl Harbor, Americans reacted with entry into the second World War, some fighting to protect their ideals and others just to support team USA. The beginning of the 21st century was marked with another tragedy, the September 11th attacks, but was also marked by the country beginning a “War on Terror” to protect its freedom again.

Domestically, freedom requires exercise and protection, too. Regardless of where one stands on the abortion issue, the return to peaceful protest to express one’s position, especially now following the controversial Supreme Court decision in Dobbs, is incredibly important to the health of freedom in America. In the same speech, Reagan, referring to freedom, explained, “It must be fought for, protected, and handed on [to our children] for them to do the same,…” Just like how, after the decision in Roe v. Wade, pro-life activists fought for their idea of American rights  and freedom, that opportunity has been passed down to a new generation, some of whom might be frustrated pro-choice activists, who should now be empowered to fight for their idea of American rights and freedom.

Within a few lines, the president painted a vivid picture of many possible futures. He feared if freedom was not fought for, “…one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children's children what it was once like in the United States where men [and women] were free.” Not only did the president point out the mindset which does not appreciate anything until it is gone, but Reagan also made clear how close to being gone freedom really is all the time.

As the United States enters treacherous territory, the American people must remember freedom must never be compromised. The ruling in Dobbs is one of a cycle of tests on American freedom, and it must be with resolve in our ideas that the Country moves forward. Freedom stands not a Democratic or Republican issue, but rather as an American one.