Squandering Your Freedoms

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BOSTON (WBZ-AM) -- What’s the most precious thing about being an American?

Relatively cheap gasoline and plenty of roads to use it on? 

Opportunities to make money? 

Lots of entertainment options on your TV? 

You would think most people would refer back to the lyrics of the National Anthem and cite freedom as the best thing about living in the “land of the free.” 

But a case can be made that the signature characteristic of Americans in this century is the easy willingness to forfeit our freedoms.

Sometimes there’s a good argument for doing so. 

After 9/11, the Patriot Act and other expansions of government surveillance power seemed like a fair trade for the ability to get the terrorists before they got us.

In other cases, the incentives are shallow. 

We have forfeited our privacy rights to the likes of Facebook and Google in exchange for cheap entertainment and dubious social connections, and we’re only just beginning to understand what a bad deal that was.

And now, we’ve squandered our freedom of speech and thought by outsourcing the input that fuels them to propagandists.

The website Axios reports on a new study that finds the most popular Facebook pages for “mainstream political content” are Fox News and Occupy Democrats, each driving close to 100 million engagements so far this year. 

And: “many of the most engaged-with posts on Facebook around Kavanaugh come from fringe, alt-right websites.”

Free speech, the right to vote and other key freedoms are cheapened when they’re driving by ignorance. 

You have the right to be ignorant, but you can’t plead ignorance to how un-American that really is.

You can listen to Keller At Large on WBZ News Radio every weekday at 7:55 a.m. Listen to his previous podcasts on iHeartRadio. 

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Keller @ Large

Keller @ Large

Jon Keller is a WBZ TV & Radio political analyst. Read more

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