It was disappointing to read John Libby’s letter to the editor (Sun Journal, Feb. 14). He, like many others, is making two fundamental errors when thinking about “freedom.”

First, it trivializes the concept of “freedom” to conflate the “freedom to be foolish” with what the ideals of freedom could and should be. Imagine you live in China, Russia or the like; is your idea of freedom being able to refuse to have a child vaccinated? Do you plan, dream and perhaps risk your life for that or are you imagining loftier goals, such as free expression, the open exchange of ideas, freedom to assemble peacefully or practice your own religious beliefs.

I would hope the goals are more uplifting than vaccine choice.

Secondly, yes, we are free to be foolish in this country. But, if we enshrine this notion, as some seem to want, will we next decide to do away with OUI laws, for example? It is legal to drink and legal to drive so why not the “freedom” to choose to do both together? Isn’t it tyranny to deny me the “freedom” to do so?

I hope we all know the correct answers to those last two questions.

Our everyday rejections of our “freedom to be foolish” and the resultant compromises we make are a part of civic duty and our responsibility to each other. The majority of us routinely make those compromises because we understand they comprise the fundamental fabric of our society.

Scott Roberts, Livermore Falls

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