Way back in the days of the ancients, in the late 1960s/early 1970s, there was a radio program called Life Line that was broadcast daily on many stations in the U.S. The commentator was someone named Melvin Munn. Printed copies of these short Life Line "Freedom Talks" were also available. The fine print at the end of each "Freedom Talk" stated: LIFE LINE MATERIAL MAY BE REPRODUCED WITH OR WITHOUT CREDIT. The price was noted as 3 for 25¢, or a one-year subscription (a weekly mailing of 7 commentaries) for only $5.00. The staff of 101Bananas.com recently discovered a stash of old "Freedom Talks" in the back of a closet beneath a stack of very old Playboy magazines and decided to transcribe several of them for the web. Reading them today you can't help but be amazed they have only become more relevant over the past 50 years than they were when first broadcast.

Life Line Freedom Talk

A Daily Radio Commentary By
Life Line
Dallas, Texas 75206
October 24, 1972



       Social planners seek to mold all people into one pattern of conformity. They judge all beings by the same scale and try to make rules which cover all, regardless of individual differences. In other words, they would rob human beings of the God-given right to be an individual. This is one of the gravest dangers of today’s world.
       One of the greatest freedoms enjoyed by Americans or by human beings anywhere is the freedom to be an individual. God intended His creation—man made in His own image—to be an individual. All through the Holy Bible we are taught how the Creator deals with individuals.
       We are each born as individuals, each with certain differing physical characteristics, with certain aptitudes, and with certain inherent traits. We have different likes and dislikes. Human beings are of different races and of different national origins. Just as no two people ever have identical fingerprints, so no two people are exactly alike.
       Being an individual is being able to exercise and take advantage of these differences. The freedom to be an individual means we have the freedom to make choices, and this is very important. Freedom does not guarantee that we will always make the right choice, but it means we always have the right to make a choice, limited only by the rights of our fellow man.
       Having never lived in a land where people are not allowed to be individuals, most of us take these things for granted. We cannot really comprehend what it would be like to be so regimented that we could not express our individuality through the choices we make.
       The liberal intellectuals may sing the praises of socialism and communism, but they cannot deny that both socialism and communism abolish for all citizens, except the elite ruling officers or bureaucrats, the right to be an individual. Communism and socialism take from their citizens, in the name of liberation, their fundamental right to make choices—choices which we make every day and take for granted.
       The freedom to be an individual means we are free to say what we think without fear of reprisal, subject only to the laws of libel. Our freedom of speech, which was vouchsafed to us in the Bill of Rights in the Constitution, even allows us to be critical of the government and of our government officials.
       If a citizen of Soviet Russia, Red China, or some other communist nation exercised this same sort of freedom and spoke in a critical manner of his government or any of its acts, he would be subject to arrest and punishment. To suggest that he would be given a fair trial before a jury of his peers is purely wishful thinking.
       We are not speaking of what might happen. We can relate numerous cases in which this very thing happened. There have been thousands of political prisoners exiled to Siberia or to slave labor camps. Their crime was simply speaking in a critical manner of communism or the government.
       In our own United States, we can recite numerous freedoms which allow us to be individuals. They are so valuable; yet we rarely think about what life would be like if we did not have these freedoms, if we were unable to exercise our individuality.
       We are free to seek success, each in his own way. Thus, some become lawyers, some doctors, some politicians, some merchants, and some farmers. Each will have achieved success when he has worked to the best of his ability at the vocation selected. Some may measure their success in material possessions, in houses and land, in bank accounts and stocks and bonds. Others may be more altruistic and measure their success not by what they have gained materially but by how well they have served their fellow-man.
       Still others may reckon success by achievement in art or letters or music, where real acclaim often comes only after the artist has died.
       The important thing is that each was free to be what he wanted to be. There was no government bureau to assign him to machine No. 42 in plant No. 6 of the Moscow Iron Works—arbitrarily and regardless of his wishes or desires.
       Being an individual involves being free to live where we desire. In the United States, under our tradition of freedom, a person finds and accepts a job, and then moves himself and his family into suitable housing located conveniently near where he will be working.
       The freedom to be an individual involves a great deal more than we can discuss in a few minutes. It means freedom to follow the crowd or to dissent from it, to wear fashionable clothes or to dress according to our own tastes, to agree with prevailing opinion or to have differing views.
       Freedom means that each person is due respect for his differences so long as he conducts himself in accord with accepted moral and ethical standards. For example, we cannot find a great deal of basis for criticizing one of today’s young people who may wear jeans and a sloppy shirt, a beard and long hair, so long as he conducts himself in a moral and acceptable manner in society. But when that same person allows his jeans to become soaked with perspiration and dirt, when he persists in mingling in society without benefit of soap and water, and when his hair and beard give the impression of a rat’s nest, there is ample room for criticism. We say that such a person no longer merits the respect of his fellow citizens because he has obviously lost whatever respect he may have had for himself as an individual.
       One great and overriding freedom, which came down to us from the very earliest settlers of this great nation, is the freedom to worship God, each according to the dictates of his own conscience. The Pilgrims and the Puritans fled from religious persecution to settle in Massachusetts. When the Puritans failed to accord to others the freedoms they asked for themselves, Roger Williams and his followers founded Rhode Island. The Quakers sought to escape persecution by coming to Pennsylvania, the Catholics to Maryland, and the French Huguenots to South Carolina. It is the right of the individual man or woman to worship as he or she sees fit.
       This is the heritage you and I enjoy as individuals. An individual citizen among the more than 200 million Americans may seem insignificant, but the freedom accorded you and me as individuals is the difference between human dignity and human slavery.
       We are being continually bombarded with propaganda which claims the necessity for more and more government action. The government must do this and that, we are told, in order to solve problems. Politicians seeking office and wooing the voters promise we will do this and that.
       Each thing the government does costs an increasing amount of money, and the more money government takes, in the form of taxes, the less we have left to spend as we choose. In other words, this is effectively limiting our choices in the spending of our income and is depriving us of much freedom of action.
       The federal government is becoming increasingly concerned with purely local affairs, and thus limits what can be done by local governments. Here is an excellent example of this. It actually happened in a North Carolina county.
       Last year the county commissioners, recognizing the need for a better airport to serve the growing industrial community, purchased property suitable for an excellent local airport, after it had been inspected and approved by a representative of the Federal Aviation Agency. An engineering firm was hired to draw plans for the grading and construction of the airport, and an application for federal assistance was filed in Washington.
       Everything appeared to be going well. A year ago it was anticipated by the county officials that construction would be under way by now.
       At that point, federal red tape began to creep into the project. The county officials were informed that they would have to go back to the beginning and conduct a feasibility study to determine if there was a need for a new airport. It had to be conducted according to federal regulations. Then they were told that after this had been done there must be selection of a site based on federal procedures. Bear in mind the county had already bought and paid for what it believed to be the only suitable site. That is where the project stands today.
       The county is required to come up with other possible sites, make a comparison, and then permit federal officials to decide where the airport should be constructed. After the issue of site selection has been completed, an environmental impact report must be filed. Officials say a minimum of ninety days is required by law from the filing of this report until approval can be given. Thus, on a project which was virtually ready for the letting of contracts, the federal government’s red tape and regimentation have set work back at least a year, perhaps more.
       Just to emphasize the need which exists, one industry offered to advance funds for construction of the new airport if the county would agree to pay back the cost of the construction. Local contractors believe the new airport can be put into operation with local funds for less than one-half the estimate made by the federal government on the cost.
       That is but one small example of how federal regulation works. The further from the people the center of power moves, the more regulation, regimentation, and red tape accumulate, and more time is required to get something done.
       To carry the idea of federal power a little further, there are those in our country—some of them in high teaching positions and other posts of influence—who feel that our free enterprise system should be abolished and some form of state socialism or communism established in its place.
       If this should happen—and the minds of many of our young people are being polluted by such ideas—the citizens of the United States will have lost their right to be true individuals. A great many of their choices would be made for them in Washington. These social experiments, by whatever name they are called, seek a common denominator for all people to remake human personality into a common mold.
       What the social planners would like to see is a classless society in which people are as alike as peas in a pod, with the same standard of living, the same likes and dislikes, and, above all, a uniform approval of the all-powerful state.

       You may say, It can’t happen here. But it has already happened in a good number of nations around the world where citizens were also certain that it could not happen. What we must do is to make certain that each American retains the right to be an individual, not a slave.