I love “Me and Bobby McGee.” In fact, it’s one of my few karaoke songs. (Apologies to Janis. I truly am sorry.) And I’ve always been intrigued by the iconic line, “Freedom’s just another word for nothin’ left to lose.” “Freedom” is such a precious word for Americans, especially on the Fourth, but that line is a reminder that it gets thrown around in ways that make me think we don’t actually think about it very much. And when you do think about it, it’s complicated. To be free of all ties and obligations truly is to have nothing left to lose. Clearly, there is no such thing as ultimate freedom, but merely degrees of freedom. Where those lines are drawn vis a vis the government are the subject of much controversy, but I don’t think even the most eager Tea Party enthusiast would strip all the power from the government to curtail our behavior.
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