The articles I read in the papers at the time the lapel pin came out as a requirement, made it very clear anyone not wearing the pin was committing political suicide. It was also required for such things as job interviews to ensure your chance of success. At times like this, it looks like the same requirements of life in N Korea. In Canada and European countries, we don't have such requirements, so it really looks unusual to us. It isn't just me. I don't see anyone wearing a lapel pin with any country's flag. Not even politicians in my area do this.
The lack of freedom is mainly within the US culture. Where N Korea would use a jail and police to enforce its will, in the U.S. it is simple bully rule. You don't see headlines about death threats and actions taken on political dissidents of the U.S. Read a little about how Michael Moore was treated for publicly shaming George Bush. The guy became the most likely target of assassination and had to hire a team of ex-Navy Seals to protect his life. That isn't a culture which supports freedom of speech and ideas.
You say no one goes to jail. You believe this. You believe everyone is equal under the law as well.
The U.S. has shipped political dissidents from the west to Arab countries for torture. They send POWs from Iraq and Afghanistan to the Navy base off Cuba, in violation of International treaties on treatment of prisoners of war.
Check out this person's history: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maher_Arar
If you don't know about stories like these, you are blind to what the U.S. is doing in the world. AND, here is the big one: the U.S. still doesn't understand why anyone is mad at them!