Oh, I know everyone wants to do as they wish. But that is not Freedom. Freedom is not license and it is not lack of consequences; Freedom is the right and even the obligation to take charge of your own life, to make decisions for yourself, and then suffer or be rewarded for those decisions, learning from your experience and growing in the security that you did do that yourself.
What and how the government operates has little effect on thirty (30%) percent of the population; about 15% will never want or achieve independence or be much concerned with freedom; and about 15% will never be stopped from struggling for independence and freedom, despite any government or other attempts to make them dependent. But the remaining seventy (70%) percent of our population can be and are influenced by both laws and by what seems acceptable in general society.
For years, biblical morality was the general norm. People understood, even if the laws didn't say it outright, what was acceptable in society and in public action and discourse...and they abided by it for the most part. Men didn't swear in a proper public forum or in the presence of women; women didn't use foul language when in public (what and how they spoke when with other women has always been a mystery). Men held doors for women to enter first, parents disciplined their children as they saw fit, and children were expected to be seen and not heard. Not always codified, nonetheless there was a certain level of behavior that was expected.
And one of those expectations was that every person would earnestly try to successfully earn a living for both himself and for his family; that being "on the dole" or receiving assistance from family, acquaintances, a "Community Chest" organization or the government was an embarrassment and to be avoided if at all possible...and, if not, to be repaid or to get off of any assistance as quickly as possible. Such proof of lack of independence was a sign of both failure and or loss of Freedom of existence.
Again, this attitude was not necessarily codified...but it was enforced by public perception.
None of this appears to remain true today. Oh, there are some who give lip service to the concepts. But actions speak louder than words. And legal decisions seem to encourage and buttress concepts that consequences are politically incorrect; that there is no bedrock of "right" and "wrong"; that an inability to support oneself is not embarrassing or to be corrected, as someone or something else owes you a subsistence.
When the government creates a support system that actually results in reducing your earned income if you take a job instead of remaining on government-sponsored and created programs, thus punishing you for wanting to actually earn a living, the vast majority of the public quickly adjusts to the new attitude that working or earning a living doesn't matter...that government will be your "big Daddy" and take care of you. How utterly appalling, disrespectful, insulting as well as destructive to the individual and society at large. And how absolutely it puts the country on the path to destruction, as that kind of support ultimately runs out of money even as the percentage of citizens growing up to expect such support grows toward 100%.
And yet young adults all around me seem blissfully unaware of the inherent dangers of dependence on others to survive. They also have a narcissistic view of what is important in their world. Certainly there are some who battle this view...but they ultimately abandon that instinct because 1) of the influence of their friends, or 2) come to see the injustice of their being required to support so many who could but don't work.
So a very good case can currently be made for the proposition that, other than in words, the American people care not one wit about their Freedom and are totally prepared to be dependent and be controlled by any entity (currently our government) that will provide an acceptable level of subsistence and not hold them accountable or enforce "consequences." The failure to accept personal responsibility and hold to moral standards of conduct seem eerily reminiscent of the historical descriptions of the fall of both the Greek and the Roman Empires. Perhaps our country will prove the exception. I, at least, am not counting on it.