We once lived in a nation where it was the founding ideals that a man or woman could dare to dream and through hard work and live that dream.Yes, we have had many failings, but have learned over the years to change. We held their personal freedoms dear as we held our own dear. Even in wars, while we may have disagreed some of you shouted out in protest your feelings and did so knowing that you were exercising your freedoms to do so. What have we become? We have let our fears take hold of us and forgotten the most basic principle of this nation and one that so many have spilled blood the world over to defend and that is the right to enjoy our freedoms as individuals. We now look to a Govt. to provide all things for us and our neighbors even though they wish not to have it, because some see that equality is much more precious than freedom. What they do not realize is, they will never have true equality without the ability to respect honest disagreement and allow those that do not agree with them to exercise their freedoms. Healthcare is the great debate at the moment, but while people lose their jobs, and americans are deployed in the defense of freedom the world over some would rush to the alter of Govt. to lay down the very freedoms Americans are fighting and dying for to replace it with comfort. This healthcare debate is not about providing healthcare for the masses, it is about allowing americans the choice to make the decision on their own as to how they will live their lives. While many may not agree with this and that is their right to disagree, what needs to be said here, is that the same respect should be accorded to those that disagree. That is the basis from which this nation was founded and not forcing your beliefs upon half the population that do not agree with you. Our president has taken it upon himself to usurp these freedoms from millions of Americans and does so because he believes that this nation should "change" into one that has less personal freedom and one where you should be ashamed to raise your head high if you dare to make something of yourself by your own hard work. After spending over 20 years in the United States Navy in the defense of my country I am disappointed in the direction in which many have chosen to take it, and while I respect each and every one of your rights to express yourselves as Americans perhaps you all should take a moment and pause to perhaps advocate giving that same respect to those who do not agree with you.