Don’t take freedom for granted

Published 9:00 am Thursday, September 21, 2017

By Will Collins

few hours before writing this column, I watched our President speak to the U.N. General Assembly on several topics, most notably the current state of affairs with North Korea.

The situation appears to be escalating to a point at which it’s natural to be concerned.

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The president made an important statement, a statement that we should take note of: “I will always put America first.” He followed this up by saying that all other leaders should feel the same about their own countries. No one should disagree with this.

Unfortunately, many believe that putting America first means minding our own business and not getting involved in issues outside our boarders.

The problem is, some of the leaders in so called “rogue nations” have to be monitored in order to protect our borders and U.S. interests abroad.

In a perfect world, all nations would be free nations and in turn, show respect to countries everywhere.

However, it is not a perfect world. Some countries do not allow citizens to pursue a life of liberty and happiness but instead a lifestyle which their regime imposes — people who want to work hard and be prosperous but are limited in what they can do, intelligent and skilled women who have few rights and are treated poorly. In worst cases, leaders even use chemical weapons on citizens who oppose them.

Here in America, we have our own internal disagreements — differing opinions on how our nation should handle our affairs inside and outside of the boarders. But with each new day, we continue to be a free nation and have the ability to pursue the American dream.

Obstacles may get in our way, but it is our response to the obstacles that determines our success.

After President Trump finished his speech, social media and news outlets blew up discussing some of his statements. I won’t attempt to defend everything he said, but I did understand his overall meaning through his message.

Just like you and me, he doesn’t want the U.S. to appear to be war hungry, world policing bullies with a “do as we say” attitude.

In fact, we truly are a peace-loving nation but unfortunately, there are times when we have to be involved in foreign affairs in order to maintain this peace, especially when it affects our own well being.

I assure you, tempering the nuclear abilities of North Korea is of vital importance to the security of the U.S. and its allies.

Sometimes being soft and using kid gloves doesn’t solve the problem. I don’t pretend to have the answers, but I do have my opinions: being soft with the North Korean government not working is one of them.

I love democracy and diplomacy when effective and I’m not a fan of being forced into bold aggressiveness, but it is possible that we’ve reached that point.

Sadly, the world will never be perfect but it’s safe to say if we take an idle hand approach, it will go in the opposite direction of what we desire.

If we want to keep our freedom and continue in the pursuit of happiness, we have to oppose those who are against it.

While I don’t view world peace as a contest by any means, I still find this quote from President Dwight D. Eisenhower to be very fitting: “When you are in any contest you should work as if there were, to the very last minute, a chance to lose it.”

Political enthusiast Will Collins is a lifelong resident of Kentucky and has called Winchester home for 20 years. He can be reached at