Washington Monthly What Democrats Can how to get rid of ants nest in house Learn From Pete Buttigieg

The surprising momentum of democratic presidential candidate pete buttigieg has how to get rid of ants nest in house given a boost to an important but overlooked liberal project: taking back the rhetoric of freedom from decades of conservative how to get rid of ants nest in house domination. In his official campaign launch two weeks ago, buttigieg, the mayor of south bend, indiana, said: “our conservative friends care about freedom, but only make it part of the journey. They only see ‘freedom from.’ freedom from taxes, freedom from regulation … as though government were the only thing that can make how to get rid of ants nest in house you unfree.”

“but that’s not true,” he insisted. “your neighbor can make you unfree. Your cable company can make you unfree. There’s a lot more to your freedom than the size how to get rid of ants nest in house of your government … consumer protection is freedom, because you’re not free if you can’t sue your credit card company even after they get how to get rid of ants nest in house caught ripping you off.”

By staking out a liberal version of freedom that focuses how to get rid of ants nest in house on the economic barriers to individual liberty, buttigieg is reclaiming important rhetorical ground for a left-leaning agenda. If he succeeds, it will be in part because it’s ground that donald trump has all but abandoned in how to get rid of ants nest in house favor of raw nativism. That gives all liberals, not just buttigieg, a rare opportunity to articulate their own positive—and uncontested—vision of american freedom.

Freedom has never been far from the rhetorical center of how to get rid of ants nest in house gravity in american politics. But its political valence has shifted over time. In the aftermath of the great depression, franklin roosevelt wielded the rhetoric of freedom for liberal ends. He spoke about “freedom from want” and “freedom from fear,” demanding a new set of economic rights that called for how to get rid of ants nest in house affirmative government interventionism. “we have come to a clear realization of the fact how to get rid of ants nest in house that true individual freedom cannot exist without economic security and how to get rid of ants nest in house independence,” roosevelt told the nation. “necessitous men are not free men.”

Since FDR’s era, however, and especially following the civil rights movement, conservatives have gradually taken over the mantle of freedom in how to get rid of ants nest in house political discourse. Beginning in earnest during the cold war, the right successfully appropriated the concept as rhetorical draping for how to get rid of ants nest in house don’t-tread-on-me libertarianism and deregulatory free-market capitalism, casting liberal government programs as genetic cousins of totalitarian soviet how to get rid of ants nest in house ideology. At the close of the 1964 presidential campaign, ronald reagan famously framed the race between barry goldwater and how to get rid of ants nest in house lyndon johnson as a choice between “man’s age-old dream, the ultimate in individual freedom consistent with law and order” and the “ant heap of totalitarianism . . . [by] those who would trade our freedom for security.” and so conservative standard-bearers from goldwater through reagan through paul ryan defined freedom how to get rid of ants nest in house as the absence of government intervention: the unencumbered consumer putting his dollars to work as he how to get rid of ants nest in house sees fit; the family left alone by government to peaceably live behind how to get rid of ants nest in house a white picket fence.

Yet for nearly three decades now, with the cold war long behind us, that pitch has been running on fumes. By the great recession, it had truly outlived its usefulness. Conservatism was vulnerable to an insurgent who would come along how to get rid of ants nest in house and challenge its dusty rhetorical trappings.

That insurgent turned out to be donald trump. Trump rarely talks about freedom. Instead, he talks about “winning”—a politics of brute domination, supercharging the status of “his people” by attacking the status of everyone else. Yet, at the same time, trump’s lack of interest in the actual work of governing how to get rid of ants nest in house has compelled him to outsource much of his administration’s policy agenda to the republican old guard. That has produced the standard fare of wildly unpopular GOP how to get rid of ants nest in house policies: tax cuts for the wealthy, relentless attacks on health care, and ryan-esque budgets that take from the poor to give to how to get rid of ants nest in house the rich.

That combination—the GOP’s ultra-stale plutocratic agenda aggravating economic inequality, and trump not even bothering to dress up that agenda how to get rid of ants nest in house in a thin veneer of freedom—gives liberals an opening to go on offense by arguing how to get rid of ants nest in house that true and meaningful freedom requires some baseline of economic how to get rid of ants nest in house security.

Where the traditional conservative narrative around freedom focuses on preventing how to get rid of ants nest in house the tyranny of government, liberals worry about the tyranny of markets in everyday life. You’re not free if your employer is allowed to act how to get rid of ants nest in house as a mini-dictator controlling your personal choices. You’re not free if you can’t afford to have children because of the prohibitive cost how to get rid of ants nest in house of childcare. You’re not free if you don’t have access to quality education that expands your opportunities. You’re not free if you can’t switch jobs without losing access to health care—or if your employer prevents you from going to a how to get rid of ants nest in house competitor, or if one company controls all the employers in your how to get rid of ants nest in house field in your region. When people are serving the needs of the economy more how to get rid of ants nest in house than the economy is serving the needs of the people, freedom can feel like it’s in distressingly short supply.

The financial constraints and dependencies of modern american life have how to get rid of ants nest in house left many rethinking what real freedom means and seeking a how to get rid of ants nest in house reprieve from the grind of the unforgiving economy. It’s no coincidence that the institutions many americans cherish most how to get rid of ants nest in house are those that we’ve shielded from the market, like schools, churches, parks, and libraries. Those are spaces of life where, to one degree or another, all comers are free to pursue enjoyment, enlightenment, and salvation, regardless of their wealth or income. The question that liberals now raise is which other spaces how to get rid of ants nest in house of life—like health care, family life, higher education, decent work, and a clean environment— ought to join those ranks and be wholly or partially how to get rid of ants nest in house freed from the market, too.

When government steps up to take care of those essentials, people are freer to live the lives they want. For instance, as buttigieg put it, “health care is freedom, because you’re not free if you can’t start a small business because leaving your job would how to get rid of ants nest in house mean losing your health care.”

With the deepened corrosion of conservative politics under trump, the idea of freedom is now up for grabs. To truly control our own lives, and to have real liberty, government must tear down barriers that get in the way how to get rid of ants nest in house of our pursuit of happiness. Buttigieg has started reminding voters of that truth. Other liberals should, too.

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