Roman Around

combating liberalism and other childish notions


Posted by Andrew Roman on March 27, 2009


The word “freedom” is falling on hard times these days – and with the unprecedented expansion of government eroding personal liberties, and the incessant pounding of “government is the answer” into the collective skulls of Americans, it is not difficult to see why.

The short answer is – too many Americans have become too complacent too quickly and have forgotten that one can only take liberty for granted if it is already theirs. It is only with this languid mindset that words like “freedom” and “liberty” become enchantingly rustic and impractical – at least among the frightfully nuanced. Indeed, with the coming of the Messianic Age in Washington, it simply isn’t a marketable brand right now – neither here nor abraod.

Since the 20th of January, it’s not “freedom” that is being sold to the American people; it’s the ostensible healing power and problem-solving adeptness of the state.


As New York Post writer Tom Topousis says, “Freedom is Out of Fashion.”

At least it is at Ground Zero in New York.

You may recall that on September 11, 2001, Ground Zero was created by murderous terrorists who brought down the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center in an act of war, killing nearly 3,000 innocents.

It was in all the papers.

For reasons that still befuddle me, the decision was made not to rebuild the towers. Yes, I was among those flag-waving, brazen, fist-pumping “rah-rah U-S-A” simpletons who thought that rebuilding them, perhaps one story taller, would have been the right thing to do. Instead, a new single tower was proposed and (eventually) agreed upon by all of the sniveling quibblers involved. This new tower would be the tallest building in the United States – measuring a patriotic 1,776 feet – and it would be called the “Freedom Tower.”

Eight years on from the attacks of 9/11, not only is there nothing rising from the hole that still sits in lower Manhattan, but the building that has yet to be built doesn’t even have its name anymore.

It will now be called – hold on to your hats (insert drum roll here) – “One World Trade Center.”

That sound you hear are the chills attacking my spine.

Tom Topousis of the New York Post writes:

Once hailed as a beacon of rebirth in the aftermath of Sept. 11, the Freedom Tower has been stripped of its patriotic name — which has been swapped out for the more marketable “One World Trade Center,” Port Authority officials conceded yesterday.

More than seven years after the terror attacks and amid an effort to market the tower to international tenants, sentiment gave way to practicality.

“As we market the building we will ensure that the building is presented in the best possible way,” said PA Chairman Anthony Coscia.

“One World Trade Center is its address. It’s the address that we’re using. It’s the one that’s easiest for people to identify with, and, frankly, we’ve gotten a very interested and warm reception to it.”

There is no one more pro-capitalism and pro-free market than the author of this blog, but this is, frankly, sad – and telling. That the dropping of the word “freedom” suddenly makes the building attractive to businesses – particularly international tenants – is disturbing … but entirely predictable.

(“Citizen of the World” meter on).

The name “One World Trade Center” is indubitably accommodating and welcoming – to everyone from everywhere!

“Freedom Tower,” by contrast, is isolationist, xenophobic, presumptuous and jingoistic.

(“Citizen of the World” meter off).

The New York Post sums it up appropriately with it’s sub-headline: “Money Trumps Patriotism.”

With every fiber of my being, I want the new building – whatever it will be called – to be profitable. It want it to teem with business. I want money to pour from its ventilation system and I hope it is disgustingly lucrative. I want every business who sets up shop in it to be able to give its executives $100 million bonuses without the fear of Barney Frank’s Buck-Busting Brigades roaring in. (Right now, only government entities have pledged to move in to the tower).

In all honesty, the greater issue here isn’t whether or not the name “Freedom Tower” is a good one. This isn’t even about the name. Rather, it is about the symbolism in dropping the word “freedom.” 

The question is … does this really matter all that much?

To me (and many others), it does. Symbolic as it may be, symbolism matters.

It serves to remind us of the core values we hold sacred. It helps us to recognize those institutions and traditions that define us.

The idea that the word “freedom” is perceived as an impediment to success speaks volumes.

Welcome to 2009.

From The New York Post:

Debra Burlingame, whose brother Charles Burlingame was the pilot aboard American Airlines Flight 77 that was hijacked and crashed into the Pentagon, said the renaming of the tower is one more example that the nation is forgetting 9/11.

“If we can’t say the word freedom out loud, God help us,” she said.

“I understand the decision from a marketing point of view. But it saddens me that it’s no longer economically viable to declare who we are.”


Incidentally, “Statue of Liberty” is equally quaint.

How about the “Statue of Equality?”

Or the “Stautue of a Big Green Chick on a Pedestal?”


2 Responses to “FREEDOM DOESN’T SELL”

  1. proof said

    Though I don’t mind “One World Trade Center”, it is a shame that the word “Freedom” could have any negative connotations to commerce.

  2. erictheredvm said

    I second Proof’s comment. I was never married to the “Freedom Tower” name. They could have done much worse than “OWTC.” It’s actually quite clever.

    But I think you do have a point, Andy, about the Statue of Liberty. If it had been built in this age, it would probably have been called something obnoxiously PC.
    The Jewish Republican’s Web Sanctuary

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