Thinking of freedom more philosophically and what it means in terms of being a citizen of a country, for myself, I can do no better than to look to FDR’s rightly famous 1941 state of the union address, where he outlines the four freedoms:
“In the future days, which we seek to make secure, we look forward to a world founded upon four essential human freedoms.
The first is freedom of speech and expression — everywhere in the world.
The second is freedom of every person to worship God in his own way — everywhere in the world.
The third is freedom from want, which, translated into world terms, means economic understandings which will secure to every nation a healthy peacetime life for its inhabitants — everywhere in the world.
The fourth is freedom from fear, which, translated into world terms, means a world-wide reduction of armaments to such a point and in such a thorough fashion that no nation will be in a position to commit an act of physical aggression against any neighbor — anywhere in the world.
That is no vision of a distant millennium. It is a definite basis for a kind of world attainable in our own time and generation. That kind of world is the very antithesis of the so-called “new order” of tyranny which the dictators seek to create with the crash of a bomb.”
Norman Rockwell also famously made four paintings illustrating these four freedoms. For me, still relevant, and still says most of what needs to be said. What remains, as always, are the policy details of how we get there; how we ensure those freedoms.