Today Americans, who hope to stand for freedom to an expectant world, enjoy it along a narrower walk than ever. In fact, sometimes it seems as if we have to scrunch our shoulders together to keep going and at times turn to the side to slip on by.
Why have the guardrails encroached with such uncomfortable persistence? Primarily, but not exclusively, because of the new privileges the government has assumed in order to conduct the ever-looming war on terror.
But there are a host of other incursions, such as electronic surveillance via such things as the information that goes into our credit reports and the overly numerous troopers raising money for municipalities by passing out tickets so frequently they make every driver a paranoid wreck.
But just when you feel that you ought to get as feisty as the ACLU about even the slightest encroachment on our precious freedoms, you read about the FBI stopping the al-Qaeda plan to blow up the PATH tunnel between Manhattan and Hoboken and that the information that tipped the Feds off was gleaned from surveillance of email messages.
Then, unless you like the idea of you and your fellow Americans getting blown to smithereens, you have to make peace with the encroachments as, contradictorily enough, necessary protections of freedom. After all, when people who believe in Freedom’s Walk get blown up, their part of the treasured path goes up in flames with them.
And we do get nagging reminders that a world of misguided hustlers of hatred are doing their best to blow up as many of us as they can.
So you finally have to sit back and say, hey, what if Freedom Road was wide open but the terrorists were swarming all over it with their deadly dumb bombing plans?
The consideration gives you pause and, comfy with the accommodation or not, you have to vote for a narrower but safer way along Freedom’s Walk.
And the closer you live and work in the highly targeted Manhatties, the more likely you are to stand tall for the inwardly mobile guardrails.