The American love of freedom is a curious affair
Since we are not nearly as free from tyranny
As we like to think we are—
And as we have so much more freedom to think
Than we ever seem to use.
I wonder if it has not become a stand-in for us—
A comfortable substitute for the scarier real thing—
A way to tell ourselves we’re really
Standing for something as we wave those flags
While really we’re scared even to think diligently through
The ins and outs of the principles we claim to hold so dear.