RDak - You have a very clear picture, and that individual rights form the true path to freedom.
There has been a disconnect taking place over time, that somehow relates collectivism to some sort of bastardized democracy. Most folks don't understand, or choose to ignore, that democracy is nothing but mob rule, and our founders worked very hard to insure that we didn't suffer the same fate as all democracies in times past.
We need only to look at the French Revolution. Their concept of "Liberte, Egalite, Fraternite" caused a bloodbath among what the revolutionaries considered enemies of the state. The tyranny of Marat and Robespierre were direct results of a revolution feeding on itself. Their deaths were the results of their actions.