Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama on Freedom

Hillary Clinton recently gave a speech on freedom during her current tour through Europe. She was lamenting the fact that in many countries, the opportunity to live in a free society was being shut down by oppressive governments such as Zimbabwe, the Congo, Ethiopia, Cuba, Egypt, Iran, China, and Russia. According to a July 3, 2010 Associated Press article, her speech included the following concepts and quotes:

In some countries, "the walls are closing in" on unions, religious groups, and other non government organizations that press for social changes and shine a light on governments' shortcomings.

She states that "democracies don't fear their own people. They recognize that citizens must be free to come together, to advocate, and agitate."

She felt that some governments are "slowly crushing civil society and the human spirit."

In a related statement, President Obama declared that he is concerned about "the spread of restrictions on civil society, the growing use of laws to curb rather than enhance freedom and widespread corruption that is undermining the faith of citizens in their governments."

However, before we start criticizing how other countries deal with the concepts of freedom and liberty, maybe Obama, Clinton, and the rest of the American political class should consider how these very concepts are in conflict with what is happening to freedom in America today.