Q&A – Veterans Day 2020

Today’s entry: I don’t mean to disparage our country and I don’t necessarily buy into all the allegations of the election being stolen. I have big problems with what I’ve been watching play out. Poll watchers being denied access, fishy ballots arriving days after an election all benefitting one candidate, a news media deciding election outcomes rather than voters. This isn’t what I served to protect. I can’t speak for those I served with, but I bet you most veterans are repulsed by what’s happening here regardless of the final outcome. It resembles a banana republic more than the greatest republic on earth. 

Bottom Line: First, thank you and all who’ve served to fight for and defend our country. It’s sad you’ll spend this day wondering what this country has become. You deserve better because this country deserves better than elections lacking transparency and whatever adjective you choose to describe our news media. While we wait for legal challenges to play out in contested states, hopefully leading to clarity for all of us to be able to accept the final election results, you raise an interesting point. How free are we? From the pandemic lockdowns to questionable election processes, it’s a valid concern and there’s an important takeaway for us to be mindful of as we celebrate Veteran’s Day.

In the United States, I suspect most people assume we’re the freest people in the world. At a minimum, it’s easy for those who haven’t served to take for granted that the freedom we enjoy is anything but free. As I’ve pointed out many times, over 80% of the world’s population isn’t truly free. Meaning that they only retain the rights granted to them by their government. But how free are we really? 

First up the Cato Institute’s Human Freedom Index. The index ranks countries on a scale of 0 to 10 with zero equaling no freedom and 10 equaling absolute freedom. Where does the US rank across 162 counties studied? 15th. The top three are New Zealand, Switzerland, and Hong Kong. For perspective, the two least free countries are Venezuela and Syria. New Zealand’s score was 8.88 while the United States is 8.46. 

Next up. The Heritage Foundation’s Economic Freedom Index. Where do we rank? 17th. The top three according to the Heritage Foundation are Singapore, Hong Kong, and New Zealand. Out of a possible 100, Singapore scores best with an 89.4. As for us, a 76.6.

Based on these two different indexes we can infer that Hong Kong, without a China takeover, and New Zealand really do provide the most freedom in the world as they’re both represented in the top three in both studies. Also, there are numerous countries that are “freer” than the United States and we have lost freedom through progressive government policies.

On this Veteran’s Day, we should be thankful for the freedom you and others have provided for all of us while being mindful that we’ve slowly had some of our liberty stripped away from us. There’s no reason we shouldn’t be the freest country in the world and let this moment be a reminder that we can do better. We should reject politicians who strip us of our freedoms and embrace those who allow us to live our lives. There’s no reason New Zealand, rather than the United States, should be the beacon of freedom on this planet.

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Email: brianmudd@iheartmedia.com

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Photo by: Getty Images North America

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