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On Freedom

Steve Campbell

Canadians love to copy our American counterparts, who recently stormed the Capitol in the name of ‘freedom’. Sadly, in a desire not to be left out of the stupidity south of the border, we started challenging ‘freedom’ in our country. Think of it as a copycat crime. “Damn it! The Americans are jackasses, why can’t we be jackasses too?”
This is not the traditional Canadian way but, like the U.S. we are gaining a contingent of people who, oh so much, want to attack the ‘freedom’ which they believe does not exist in this country. Frankly, if freedom does not exist in Canada, they would not even have the right to say it out loud. That should be ‘case closed’.

Going nuts, creating havoc in Ottawa and elsewhere, flying flags on trucks to denigrate Canada? Blocking crucial imports during a crisis COVID situation. Good work. You are now an official jackass. I can have badges and jackets made up for you if you wish.
I have now spent my disgust toward people who have freedom, and due to some brain malfunction, or perhaps a bad argument with their spouse, or some other psychological malfunction (which I can source, thanks to my Amazon degree in aberrant psychology) do not understand what freedom is.
I will now leave the U.S. behind, because they haven’t known what freedom is for 200+ years. But we’ve lived it, and loved it. There is no room for detractors here. We enjoy freedom, and we know what it is. We live it. Don’t come along and say we don’t have it.
This is not a movement, it is just a widely publicized complaint.

To the point, I used my amazing prescient abilities (Google) to set the course: “Freedom is the power or right to act, speak, or think as one wants without hindrance or restraint.”
Hmm. Google is very wise. I hope to meet with him next week at Waring House Pub. I think he’ll be a no-show.
The thing is: If you don’t have freedom, yet you shut down the border crossings, block Ottawa streets, and have barbecues on Sparks St. in Ottawa … Oh, boo-hoo, you have no freedom.
This is just a joke. A street party and an infestation that meant nothing. If you want to fight for ‘freedom’, check to see if you have any freedom, before you go crazy, denying your freedom to do it.
I don’t know what inspired this. It’s not like we are under the control of a soviet commissar, a horrible Korean dictator or, worse, Donald Trump! Look around you. What you see is horrible chaos, and government control over everything we do. I get that.

But what you don’t have is balance.
Ideology is great. I have a box of it in my basement. But my beliefs are always counterbalanced by what I see.
If you see government control, you’re right. They are the government, and that’s the way they run. Are they ignoramasous? Sure thing. Are they super-smart and appear at the House of Commons every day? Hell, no.
I learned this, over 45 years in business. I pay my money to the government, and they often accept it. Sometimes, through some miraculous super computer I don’t ever want to see, they give me a refund. I don’t know what they do, and I don’t care. I run a business. I do what I do, and I tell them about it. Not because I’m a robot, and not because I’m one of the downtrodden masses, but because I figure they’re way more better at bookwork than me.

My problem is: Some people stare in the face of freedom. They have the right to say what they want. And they attack it. That is part of freedom, but they don’t seem to get the connection.
Despite Google’s definition, there are different ways to look at freedom. If you look up, look way up (that’s a reference to the Friendly Giant for you older folks) you see freedom in a different way. Through your tinted glasses. You see overreach, you see unnecessary and arbitrary legislation, your infringement of freedom.
Down here on earth, we see a society that functions pretty well. We don’t like the cops when they pull us over, but we sure as hell love them when our car is upside down in a ditch.

If you always look up, you will not like what you see, but that’s not what freedom is all about. Freedom here is knowing we can go shopping in Picton and not be the victim of a drive-by shooting. Freedom is living a good life, the best we can afford in our respective budgets. Freedom is knowing we have social programs that back us up if we’re sick, or if we’re old. Not a lot of countries in the world have that back-up. And lots of those people die early as a result.
If you spend all your time looking up, you will see awful stuff. Because the government kind of sucks. You may want to get out from under that thumb, and declare your freedom. But you don’t seem to see you already have it.

Now when I see a pickup truck with multiple flags in the caboose, I’m not sure if they are truly lovers of Canada, or whether they hate Canada, and want to screw with those of us who actually love Canada.
To me, the message is unclear. Big truck party. Upset about something. Point in there somewhere? Not really. Freedom from what? We don’t know. It’s like an episode of Jackassers, where stupid people do pointless things for no reason, like ‘surfing’ on the hood of a speeding car. Everyone probably left yelling, “Yahoo,” but the rest of us are left wondering if the freedom to block streets and borders really falls under the proper description of freedom.

I think there’s a codicil on this, in which, if your freedom screws up other people’s right to freedom, we have the right to not ‘dig it’. And we can dimiss you as aberrant Canadians who don’t have the brainpower to embrace the freedom the rest of us enjoy. Please sit at home and bitch to your TV. We have no use for you.
Thanks to freedom, I get to say that.

  • Steve Campbell is editor and publisher of County Magazine, and the author of several books, including The County Handbook: How to Survive in Prince Edward County.

Filed Under: News from Everywhere ElseSteve Campbell

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  1. Rob #2 says:

    Thanks also Mr. Van Vlack.

  2. Kevin says:

    Thank you Steve VanVlack. I couldn’t have said it any better.

  3. Steve Van Vlack says:

    Oh my. Perhaps you have forgotten what led up to the Freedom Convoy. Vaccine mandates, which you did not mention at all. You did not mention the thousands of people, in Ontario, who lined the overpasses to wish them well on their way to Ottawa. I am one of the jackasses that wished them well on their journey. Now for my reason. Over 25 years ago, my youngest daughter had an very adverse effect from her vaccinations. We spent many hours, days and weeks in Sick Kids Hospital to try and reverse what the vaccine had done to her. Remember that was 25 years ago. My wife worked at a nursing home for over 30 years. She spent the first year and a half getting checked for Covid, wearing her mask and trying to do her job. But her choice was not to get the vaccine, for obvious reasons. So she was put on a leave-of-absence until she came to her senses. Thanks. Hero to zero overnight. People like you and our illustrious leader have decided to treat the unvaccinated as jackasses and Those people. No problem. I have been called worse by better people. A democracy is supposed to be people with opposing views to be able to work and live together. We are not heading that way. I will not resort to calling you names. I don’t agree with your views but I would fight to the death your right to say them. That, Mr. Campbell is what I call Freedom.

  4. SS says:

    Good rant, Steve.

    I would just add that so many times, I see people talking about “rights”.

    But with “rights”, always come “responsibilities”.

    Most of the troublemakers I’ve observed seem to want “rights” without “responsibilities”. This is fundamentally wrong.

    But the rest of us have both the right, and the responsibility, to call out anti-social behaviour and support duly appointed officials that are meant to deal with such behaviour.

    Good going.

  5. Dennis Bond says:

    Hi Steve: Great article as usual. So many of your statements are the vary ones I use when in a discussion. ex. no right you claim to have overrides anothers real right.
    I read somewhere awhile back… hate is the new joy…when you watch news clips you can see in the faces how much the limelight means.
    Pity really.
    Voting isn’t about democracy ,it’s about getting MY way.
    And if I don’t get MY way, look out.

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