My son's freedom

Over Independence Day weekend, my 8-year-old son and I visited my sister’s lake house in eastern Tennessee. Among their toys is a Sea-Doo, a fancy version of what we used to call a jet ski, and truly one of the most thrilling rides you’ll ever have. Jasper and I went out on it together, him sitting in front of me, “driving” the machine at ludicrous speed, clear warm water spraying us in the face as we tried, with some success, to catch air by hitting the wakes of boats passing near us.

After a particularly aggressive bit of maneuvering, nearly wrenching me off the machine, Jasper paused, threw his hands in the air, and, in as joyful an expression as I’ve ever heard from him, yelled, “Freedom!”

It was a beautiful moment, and my son’s single word really captured the essence of it. At that instant, we weren’t just having fun; we felt free.

On July 4, as I pondered that moment, I struggled to imagine my children ever truly knowing freedom. Sure, the United States is more free than most nations, but it is less free than it should be and less with each passing year. Americans careen from one power-accumulating government to another — not solely at the federal level — while busybody nanny-state apparatchiks prioritize feelings over freedom and institute a bland conformity that saps individuality, creativity and the very joy that Jasper and I experienced at 50 miles per hour on Norris Lake.

Please read the rest of my op-ed for the Denver Post here:

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