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Opinion: Freedom gone awry leads to individualism focused on keeping wealth, influence
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I always wondered why so many in the South, many who are poor and in need of assistance (my own roots), consistently vote Republican, a party that has no interest whatsoever in their needs and welfare; it just seems to defy common sense.

I found the answer in history. In order to convince others to fight to help them defend and continue their lifestyle, wealthy Southern slave owners set about convincing them that the Civil War was not about abolishing slavery but was about removing states’ rights, i.e., their own right to retain their wealth by owning people who provided free labor. Further, they were convinced that freed slaves would be a physical threat to them and their families.

Obviously, they succeeded, and to this day the misdirected belief in a state’s freedom to do as it pleases has led to a misguided sense of individualism that doesn’t take into account how one’s actions can harm others. True freedom belongs to those who possess self-control with empathy toward others while practicing that freedom.

History has now repeated itself in those people who have once again been deceived into violence by the most powerful man in our country, who represents only himself, and others who want to retain their influence at any cost.

Annice Valverde

Gainesville

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