I love freedom.  It’s in my genetics.  Appalachian folks like me, well, we just remember.  We know why our ancestors crossed the mountains 200 years ago. It was to be free.  And to make a buck on their own, without anyone else controlling them.  Freedom is one reason I practice medicine.  I can be in charge, I can decide how much or little I’ll work.  In exchange for responsibility and professionalism, I set my schedule and can say generally what I want.

How much longer?  Who knows.  It’s clear that the administration views doctors as problematic.  Though our president praises small business owners, the fact that many physicians are small business owners is lost on a political agenda of intense and ever increasing regulation.  Several orthopedic surgeons in the west have recently been convicted of ‘price-fixing,’ for failing to follow government ‘price-fixing.’  What?  Freedom in medicine may be a thing of the past; watch for the day when refusal to accept Medicare rates results in loss of one’s license.

But I enjoy other freedoms.  The freedom to home-school my children, for instance.  To teach them what I want, as I want.  To pray with them, read the Bible during class, to speak without any hindrance of political correctness.  How long?  In parts of Europe, that wonderland American’s so wish to emulate, home-schooling is illegal.

I enjoy riding my bike on our country roads with a revolver on my side.  Why?  There are animals in the world; two and four legged.  My wife, my kids and I ride together on isolated back-roads.  No, the police aren’t around the corner, even if I could call for help in time.  I enjoy the freedom of protecting myself and my loved-ones.

I enjoy carrying my own mulch or dirt, or lumber in my own big truck.  I don’t want to pay anyone else to do it so I can have a smaller vehicle.  I live in the sticks.  It’s what we do.

I enjoy writing about what I want, as I want.  I enjoy being controversial at times. I enjoy the freedom, the liberation of honest, hard words.  How long?  There are already those who would police the Internet for truth.  Several nations have national filters; including Australia!  How long until speaking about my faith becomes illegal, because it offends?  Until then, I enjoy the freedom to speak and write as I desire.

Freedom!  You don’t have to watch Braveheart to understand that one of the best things in the whole world is to be left alone.  And you don’t have to be a right-winger to worry that the dulcet days of liberty may not last forever.

Edwin

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