Today, June 4, 2011, marks the 22nd anniversary of the uprising in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square. Events like this and the Arab Spring always make me reflect on what people will do to be free. It gives me confidence that over the long-term, tyranny cannot prevail.
At the same time, it forces me to think about what we in America do with our freedom. Endless hours of “entertainment television” focused on the lives of actors and actresses and other publicity-seekers. So-called reality shows involving people who brag about having only read two books in their lives. A generation seemingly proud of its ignorance; demonstrations of intelligence viewed as betrayals of heritage and race. Clowns thinking they ought to be president and a media willing to play along all for the sake of ratings.
Top it all off with only one-third of registered voters showing up at the polls on any given election day, and many other people eligible to vote not bothering to register–in part because they don’t want to get called for jury duty.
By our actions we disgrace those that have and will lose their lives in search of the freedom we have attained.
UPDATE: I see no small irony in the fact that Li Na of China won the French Open earlier today. In the long run, the protesters in Tiananmen will win.