What Americans Get Wrong About Freedom

Michael Ken


Photo by Alin Luna on Unsplash

A few weeks ago, a YouTube video went viral showing a man being ejected from a Costco store because he would not wear a mask, as per Costco’s company policy during the Covid-19 pandemic. A Costco worker is shown explaining the man was not allowed to remain inside the store because he was not wearing a mask.

The man’s response was very telling about modern American society’s view on freedom:

“And I’m not doing it [wearing a mask], because I woke up in a free country”.

Americans have done an amazing job of embracing the spirit of freedom, but we have done a poor job of educating our citizens that freedom must be accompanied by rules.

The average American seems to believe that living in a free society means people can do anything they want.

The Mask Debate

In the case of Covid-19, some people believe if they do not want to wear a mask then nobody should be able to make them wear one. Many Americans’ understanding of freedom ends right there without ever realizing that their own argument reveals an important aspect of freedom. With the concept of freedom comes the inseparable concept of rights. When people say they should be free to forgo wearing a mask, what they are really saying is that a requirement to wear a mask violates their rights.

I’m free, so I can do anything I want. After all it’s a free country, right?

Whenever I hear someone say they can do whatever they want because the United States is a free country, I always have a few follow-up questions:

- Is it okay for a stranger to enter onto your property, kick down your door, take your food, car, spouse, and dog? After all, it’s a free country.

- Should free Americans be allowed to sell, purchase, and use crystal methamphetamine? I mean, it’s a free country, right?

- Should a ten-year-old free, American child be able to enter into a marriage with a forty-year old pedophile? The child is American and should be allowed to do whatever…



Michael Ken

My journal about life in the woods. Visit intothewoods.blog to see my complete journal, photographs, and articles.