'Everybody's had to Fight to Be Free'

I have never heard Tom Petty talk politics. When it comes to performers, that generally is a good thing.

Last week my wife and I took our kids, 13 and 11, to see Petty and the Heartbreakers. Having seen them a few times before, they put on a predictably tremendous show, (though doing “Jammin’ Me” and “Change of Heart” would have been great). Mike Campbell, Petty, and crew belted out raw, old fashion rock and direct, soulful, no nonsense lyrics. Awesome.

As the band played “Refugee” I couldn’t help but focus on the audience, including my children, singing in unison “everybody’s had to fight to be free.” Like many Petty lyrics, its a simple, direct, powerful line; easily repeated but probably rarely internalized.

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We, as Americans, do have to fight to be free.

The upcoming generations need to understand that. Our grandparents had to fight to be free of Nazism. Our parents and my generation (though we can discuss The Who at another time) fought to be free of Soviet style communism.

But for this generation and the at least the next, not only do we have to fight to be free of radical Islam but more insidiously we have to fight to be free from the tyranny of our own federal and even local governments’ designs on our liberty. We, who are parents, have a responsibility to educate our children. Our freedoms are threatened by those within and without.

We must teach our children about the Declaration, the Constitution, our God given individual rights, the brilliance, morality, sacrifice, and bravery of our forefathers and instill in our kids the motivation to become active participants in guaranteeing their own freedoms. Pink Floyd asked, “Mother, should I trust the government?” The answer is “no.” It is filled with too many people who would gladly step in and decide our freedoms for us.

The best rock and roll has always brought inspiration. Its time we took Petty’s advice; stand our ground, not get turned around and don’t back down or we may all be living like refugees.


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