And you know, you have a slightly different perspective this because you spend a lot of your time fighting for freedoms.
Although I'm sure you don't want people all the time coming up and telling you that for what may be the reasons we just talked about.
But you said this and I thought it was interesting.
You said, perhaps freedom and independence or more about the rights and opinions of others than your own.
You said perhaps true freedom is allowing those that boil your blood to voice their opinion without shouting them down.
Perhaps if you think that our flag belongs more to you than it does to others, you are part of the problem.
Um, then you finally said, perhaps regardless about difficult, it may be to see it.
Times were so incredibly luckily and fortunate to call this country home, it will never be perfect.
But that doesn't mean we should stop trying.
Maybe you made that in reaction to some of the tumultuous events happening in the states and worldwide, but like maybe talk about freedom and why you made that post and what you see as a veteran and also just is it as a human?
Well, I mean, I don't have a unique perspective just because I'm a veteran, you know, just like and it's like it says in the Post.
I award the flag on my uniform.
And for many people in many of the countries that I was in, it was the first time they saw an American flag.
So how I behaved is how they view America.
But that doesn't mean the flags mine, and that doesn't mean I own it any more than anybody else.
I often hear people talking about from a very myopic, self centered perspective.
I am free because I can say this, I can do that, and to me, it just makes more sense to flip that on its head.
True freedom is not me being able to express my opinion.
It's an environment where people, regardless, if I agree with it or not, have the ability to speak in the way that they went to, that doesn't mean that I have to agree with them and you see it specifically right now in the US this you know, I hate the term but cancel culture.
God forbid you say something that somebody else disagrees with.
If they can gather a mob behind them, they'll try to shut you down.
And that is the worst, you know, economy of ideas that I've ever heard of.
We should have an environment where ideas compete on the best ideas come to the surface and they win because of the best idea.
Not because you have the most vocal mob behind you.
And, you know, I see people trying to define the flag based on their personal beliefs.
Or you see veterans who would get very passionate about the flag because they have had friends draped under that flag and who have been buried under that flag.
And the reality is, who cares?
And I'm not saying that in a negative manner.
What I'm saying is that doesn't give you any more ownership of the flag than it does the person who decides that they want to burn it.
You know, you look at Colin Kaepernick and him taking any before the national anthem.
People ask me about this one all the time.
Like to me what is a true expression of freedom and it is that man deciding to take a knee before the national anthem, and it doesn't mean I have to agree with what he's saying doesn't mean that I have to agree with the tact that he is taking.
It means that if we truly live in a free society, he can do what he wants.
And he should be allowed to do what he wants without being shouted down.
If you have a better idea, bring that idea to the table.
Let's have an economy of ideas and the best ideas will net himself out.
It's just it's very frustrating to me because I see people unwilling or unable to get out of their own way again.
The Onley view things from their perspective, and to me, that is so incredibly myopic.
And that's how we go backwards as a country, as opposed to forward.
Is it worse than you've ever seen it?
Now is it worse than in modern history?
Now I can say it's the worst that I've seen in my life.
I don't know about anything beyond that time period.
I'm not a history buff by any stretch of imagination, and I can only talk about what I've seen for my own eyes.
Do you think it's also a factor that we live mainly in a digital world now, where things air deep personified and it's just easy to cancel and, you know, fight buying to screen or fight without a face in front of you?
You think that's part of the problem or not necessarily.
I think the interconnectedness and the fact that it exists 24 hours a day is a beautiful thing.
But there's, you know, it's a double edged sword because then you can't escape it either.
We have access to unfettered information, but it seems like people are just trying to find the information that supports their personal bias or belief.
And it's just once the snowball starts, it can't be stopped.
So it's amazing that we can connect with people all over the world.
But it's also unbearable when that snowball goes the wrong way.
So I think there's an aspect of that for sure.
It's just unfettered, unlimited access to information.
Then you got to take into account the ratio of how much of that information is positive versus negative.
I suspect most people, if they had to do a mathematical graph to be about 80% negative, if not more, in very little positive.
And I think that informs your mental state and your actions in the way that you treat other people.