Originally Posted by kombat
Forgive me for repeating/quoting myself, but as a non-USAmerican, this question fascinates me. Do you Americans feel that you're every bit as "free" today as you were 25 years ago? Do you think your country's signing forefathers would be proud of the "freedom" exemplified in the US today? Do you agree that the US is actually getting staggeringly bogged-down in freedom-eating regulation? If so, does it concern you, or does it comfort you? Or maybe you're concerned, but simply feel you can't do anything about it, so there's no reason to get yourself worked up over it?
How do you feel about the famous Jefferson quote about those who would trade liberty for security deserving neither?
Sorry for the slow response, don't know if you're still checking this thread, but here's an IMO response.
In certain ways we a a lot more "free". If I were gay/lesbian, I'd feel like I had many more options/acceptance, chance to just do what I want to do without losing something important, today than 25 years ago. Similarly, I think that women and African-Americans have more elbow room and choices, more real freedom.
There are lots of cultural things where its easier to follow your own preferences without worrying about the tyranny of the majority - from religion to food to health care to entertainment.
Economically, we've deregulated trucking, airlines, lots of financial services. It appears to be an article of faith with some people in powerful positions that in all times and in all places regulation is bad. Of course, there are others that are constantly coming up with ideas for new regulations. Frankly, I think the first group is winning, at least on the big ones, but that could be a recency distortion.
I see the tax code as a continuous encroachment on choices - many of the complexities are there to push us and pull us into behaviors that somebody in gov't thinks are the "right thing to do".
Our reaction to 9/11 seems much over done to me. I haven't been personally hit (other than airport stuff), but it's always been true that personal liberties take a hit during wars, we seem to be headed for an eternal state of "war on terror" which justifies more big brother gov't, and I have this feeling that's just fine with some people in DC.