February 13th, 2011
09:00 AM ET

Letters to the President: #755 'Freedom? That's just some people talking'

Tom Foreman | BIO
AC360° Correspondent

Reporter's Note: President Obama, like many presidents, likes talking about freedom. I, like many lunatics, like writing letters to people in power.

Dear Mr. President,

I’ve been thinking about a phrase that I heard tossed around a lot amid this whole Egypt uprising. In one form or another, it was this. “We just want freedom.” Some of my media colleagues joined the call. “These protesters are making a determined stand for freedom.”

Freedom. Americans love this word. We love it like we love purple mountains, Springsteen (especially during the Born to Run and Darkness on the Edge of Town years), democracy, and Glee. In the broader context of world conflicts, however, I find it a troubling word because I’m not sure if the globe agrees on its definition.

It’s like that moment in Princess Bride when Vizzini says yet again, that an event is “inconceivable.” Inigo Montoya says, “You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.”