The phrase “National Security” brings my blood to a boiling point.
Not personal freedom. Not individual’s rights. Not uphold the Constitution (though I have problems with the Constitution, at least it’s a standard to which the Federal Government could be held). Just “National Security.”
“National” as in, I don’t have to do anything because I can rest in the group identity of being a part of the “nation.”
“Security.” Most people think of safety and that’s reasonable. But is it reasonable to expect anyone or anything to keep you safe, besides your self? What right do you have to safety you are not willing to guarantee yourself? I have a right to safety because I am willing to cut down anyone trying to harm me or mine. I am willing to accept the increased danger and responsibility of having a firearm in my home because I understand that my family’s safety is my job and no one else’s. The government can not keep me safe nor is it their job. It is my job and mine alone.
An example. I am a parent. It is my job to keep my daughter safe until she has the maturity to make decisions for herself. With this comes a decrease in her personal freedom. She doesn’t get to cross the street whenever, where ever, however, she pleases. She must wait until I am with her. She must wait for my timing. She does not get to eat whatever, whenever she wants. She must eat what I put in front of her, when I put it in front of her (with increasing choices as she gets older). She does not get to play with whomever, whenever, where ever, she likes. I limit her friendships and contacts based on a multitude of factors, many of which she is not yet aware. As she matures, who she chooses to be friends with will fall upon her shoulders more and more but part of her training for adulthood is the limiting of negative influences (she’s four by the way, and the standards for her friends are that they not be overly cruel and that they have supervision and that the TV not be on constantly). She does not have privacy. I listen when she and her friends are talking, making sure that everyone is playing fair and that I am prepared for any questions or comments that may spring from their conversations. I read her mail to her. I listen as she talks on the phone. I do not allow her to play with guns or knives, while training her to respect them and shortly will begin her training in the safe and appropriate use of them. She does not yet bear the burden of defending herself. That burden is mine to bear while she is a child.
However, if when she has reached adulthood, I continue to run her life in this manner, any sane person would say it had become unhealthy and, if one truly thought it through, immoral.
So why do we allow the federal government to make these kinds of rules and restrictions for us? The government has the “right” to wiretap phones without a warrant. “National Security” they say. Bullshit. “National Control” might be a better phrase. They are taking more and more control and the American public grabs hold of that hand and says, “Thank you so much for not making me look both ways before I cross the street. I would hate to be responsible for my own safety.”
We say, “Thank you for listening in on my conversations. I would hate to have to think for myself and try to deduce the meaning of a conversation without your help.”
It’s laziness and an unwillingness to take personal responsibility. If my daughter, upon reaching adulthood, refuses to take responsibility for her actions, I have failed. If she still needs me to decide if a friend is a good influence on her, she has not been trained up in the way she should go. If I must still protect her from playground bullies, then I have failed in my parental duty to teach her to defend herself.
BUT, she shares in the responsibility. I may have been a crappy parent but she could have taught herself those things. And that is where the American people as a whole stand. We’ve had a crappy parent. Our parent (the government) taught us that the police would protect us; they had our best at heart; they knew best for us; they could better decide what we needed to learn in school, who we could learn from; they knew how much we were worth as we entered the job market; they knew what we needed financially; they keep us safe by not allowing us to have guns because we might hurt ourselves.
It is time to wake up, America. The government is not your friend. It is not your parent. It is not your uncle. The government is a business and it is in the business of having, keeping and securing more power. Government has a place. Don’t get me wrong. But it must fear its people and not the other way around.
I don’t believe the United States Constitution to be a flawless document but it’s better than nothing. You might be under the false understanding that the Constitution guarantees certain “unalienable” rights. You are wrong. The Constitution simply spells out the things that are worth fighting for. “Unalienable” means they are yours whether they are recognized or not. The only thing that guarantees a right is the willingness to fight and die for those rights. Americans are so afraid of fighting, the danger and death which it brings, that they are willing to give up all of their rights simply so they don’t have to experience any of the suffering of defending those rights.
I’m not sure the average American deserves those rights. An inability to see that some things are worth fighting for and worth dying for and an unwillingness to fight for something as precious and beautiful as personal freedom denotes a character so small and ill formed, I’m not sure it’s worth saving.
This is the article which inspired this rant. US Court Throws Out Challenge to Wiretap Program
Oh, and check this one out. Amtrack