Home Editorials Crushing issues have us debating legitimacy of freedom of choice

Crushing issues have us debating legitimacy of freedom of choice

by William T. Robinson, Jr
William T. Robinson, Jr.

We are supposed to be honored and grateful for living in a democratic country where we are led to believe we have freedom of choice and our concerns and votes matter. Lately, matters have surfaced in our country wherein Americans have a  legitimate right to question the veracity of whether we are truly living in a country where the majority of citizens’ concerns are being considered. In fact, you have many people who would argue that we have a compromised Congress and Supreme Court with hidden agendas doing what they please—contrary to the wishes of the masses.

I think it is fair to say, we have elected legislators serving selective districts catering to issues that are amoral or against the will of the masses in this country. These politicians (basically Republicans) are often guilty of compromising their own morals or what they know is right to keep or attain power. Many find it very interesting but disingenuous how some of these lawmakers use hyperboles or exaggerations to scare people into believing things that are not true.

While some people may be unaware (or just don’t care), it is highly disrespectful and insensitive of these demagogic lawmakers to play on the gullibility of the public. Evidently, they see the majority of the public as fickle and highly credulous. They are experts at playing on these presumed shortcomings. We are grappling at many serious issues that will dictate the future outcome of this country—whether good or bad.

Three of the most gripping issues causing national division are mandates concerning regulations to control COVID-19; the legislation of legitimate gun control regulations; and the reversal of Roe v. Wade, federally outlawing abortions by giving the states the right to decide on the issue’s legality. The common denominator causing so much contention is freedom of choice. It appears people are picking and choosing what rights they personally feel should apply. Rather than catering to certain ‘beliefs’ about abortion, it should be about doing the right thing.

All this can be hypocritical and confusing. At times, it is all about fighting for or supporting one’s freedom of choice—while at others, it is about enforcing mandatory contentious laws mandated by Congress or the Supreme Court. Should the issue be debatable? Do we really live in a country where freedom of choice is an option?

Now let’s look at this from a different perspective. Choices bring about accountability and responsibility. We don’t live in a monolithic country where everyone is guaranteed to be responsible. When it comes to the common good and welfare of the masses, are we not required or expected to save people from themselves or override those who jeopardize the lives of others? Like it or not, that should be a common conversation taking place when discussing what is in the best interests of the public. Doesn’t it make sense that sometimes it can’t always be about you? It should be about what is in the best interests of your fellow brothers and sisters. Are you morally willing to make concessions for the good of the public if it means saving lives?

Let’s revisit the tirade surrounding people defending their right not to conform to legal mandates that would decimate the spread of COVID-19, even though the virus was killing thousands of people. Some of the same people were probably gung-ho against supporting any legitimate gun legislation—even after the school massacres, especially in Texas. We all know anything less than banning assault weapons or upping the age of selling weapons from 18 to 21 is considered trivial. Valuing the life of the unborn over the living is truly controversial as well as problematic when some children are living in pure hell and some would conclude it would have been more merciful if they were never born. 

Now we have Roe v. Wade, legalizing abortion. A segment of the people is celebrating the ruling as a victory for the sanctity of unborn life. Now, remember, a lot of these people celebrating the federal outlawing of abortion (citing the sanctity of life) apparently didn’t consider the lives lost during COVID or school gun shootings as priorities requiring laws to halt those atrocities. Maybe it is humane to legislate laws that may take away your freedom of choice, but not to save human lives.

Where is the adamant outrage of people over those who died due to the coronavirus or those killed during school shootings? Some of the same people putting freedom of choice over past events are celebrating the Supreme Court’s decision depriving women of freedom of choice over their own bodies. The same people who claim they ‘value life’ looked the other way during the recent tragedies where they could have curtailed the death of so many. Those so adamant about the life of unborn babies are forcing their views on others. It is a hard decision and we don’t know all the circumstances, but shouldn’t that decision be between the female, her family and God.

Freedom of choice seems to be a double-edged sword, dealing with issues decided upon by politicians and courts with subjective views—views that often conflict with the will of the majority of the country. That violates one’s freedom of choice. Unfortunately, the hypocrisy surrounding freedom of choice is mind-boggling and confusing with no end in sight.

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