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The Maryland Independent seems to be swamped with letters from Republicans. They complain about a loss of freedom, both economic and social.

Freedom has always struck me as a concept that is enshrined in the Constitution. There is always some loss of freedom when there is government. Samuel told the Jews that their desire for a king would interfere with their following God and that it would result in decisions being made for them that they wouldn't like. It was true before Samuel said it, and it has been true ever since.

Government, by its nature, interferes with individual freedom. It interferes with the freedom of those quasi-legal individuals known as corporations. I havenít detected any anarchists writing in, so it seems that people are not advocating an end to the Constitution. They just donít like the way some other people interpret it.

We have surrendered freedoms in the name of security that I am still appalled by. But, other than Homeland Security and the Patriot Act, I donít see that we have surrendered any new freedoms, and those were surrendered under Bush and a scared citizenry.

I am not saying it is illegal, immoral or un-Christian. I am saying that we have given up significant freedoms.

Thomas Jefferson, not my favorite American, got it right when he said the price of liberty is eternal vigilance. The best defense of democracy is an informed citizenry. I think it is demonstrably true that President Obama has not asked us to surrender any freedom that wasnít asked of us by Bush.

The country is not getting worse. In my view, it unfortunately is not getting any better as far as freedom is concerned.

Wiliam Wetmore, Waldorf