Las Vegas Sun

April 18, 2014

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Letter to the editor:

The freedom to be left alone

What does it mean to be an American? To me, it means ... having the space, opportunity and freedom to be left alone.

Settlers and immigrants, except African slaves and indentured servants, only wanted to escape the withering noose of religious persecution and limits often placed on one’s “station” and “worth” in society. Indentured servants signed up and agreed to contracts of seven years of servitude out of a yearning for a freedom they would never have known in the Old World.

To be an American is to be John Wayne, Abraham Lincoln, Sitting Bull and Crazy Horse, George Armstrong Custer, George Washington and John Adams, Ronald Reagan, Jimmy Carter and Richard Nixon, the Kennedys, Lt. Col. Oliver North, Elvis Presley, Harry Reid and Brian Sandoval ... Malcolm X and Martin Luther King Jr. ... the Knights of Columbus, the KKK, the NAACP, the ACLU, Barack Obama ...

All of these and many more is what it means to be an American.

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  1. "What does it mean to be an American? To me, it means ... having the space, opportunity and freedom to be left alone."

    Too bad the Henderson Police Department does not share your view

    To the HPD being an American means having armed thugs storm your house, fire pepperballs at you and your pet when you have done nothing wrong. Then, just to show what American means to them, they arrest you and your family on trumped up charges.

    That's what being American means to the men and women of the Henderson Police Department.

  2. Americans today are the sum of all those past present and future who, too many to name, made this country the great nation it is.

    Carmine D

  3. Freedom doesn't just happen. It is earned and work and sacrifice have been necessary to maintain and improve it. If you want freedom to be left alone, that implies an unwillingness to participate in that work and sacrifice or to, at best, leave that to others.

  4. Mr/Ms Ebert's comments go right to the core of libertarianism: Thomas Jefferson's maxim that what another believes or does is of no concern to me (nor, by extension, to any acceptable form of government) so long as it neither breaks my bones nor picks my purse.

    Look at some of the recent scandals du jour: same-sex marriage? If it's not MANDATORY it has no impact on me. Racist language? If it scrupulously avoids any call to action, it has no impact on me. Religious beliefs? I'm impacted only if a religion requires mandatory tithes from me or restricts my own actions - so long as those actions neither break its members bones nor pick their purses.)

    This same concept extends to virtually ANY government action based on a moral principal, since there are NO "universal" moral principals.