“They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.” – Benjamin Franklin
I’d like to preface this article by bringing attention to what I mean when I speak of Republicans and conservatives. I don’t mean every Republican or conservative in the United States. I’m speaking, generally, of those in the spotlight of American politics. Political analysts, well known bloggers, and politicians. By no means am I using conservative or Republican as a blanket term for each and every individual that self-identifies as one or both of these things.
I’ve heard, quite often lately, “conservative” commentators discussing the rise of the liberal “nanny state”. I can see the arguments, though I generally disagree with them. Generally conservatives use this in regards to fiscal programs to help those that are homeless, jobless, or otherwise stricken with poverty. It can also be used to apply to legislation barring discrimination based on gender, sexual identity, race, or religion. Some argue that much of this legislation goes “too far”, and in many cases, I typically agree.
However, I’ve seen the rise of a “conservative nanny state”. The difference here being, the conservative nanny state is dangerous to the liberty of all Americans. It started decades ago, but it’s continuing on and has gotten far worse in the past decade. Anyone keeping up with politics today can see where I’m heading with this: the NDAA, SOPA, PIPA, and the PATRIOT Act. These things are dangerous, and a great threat to our individual liberty.
Yet, for some strange reason, Americans let it happen. When you stand up to speak against these things, someone decides to call you “paranoid” or a “conspiracy theorist”. Yet, the proof is right in front of them. People mocked those attacking the President for signing the National Defense Authorization Act, stating that it doesn’t allow for the arrest and detention of United States citizens without warrant and trial. However, the President stated in his signing statement that he would not use the power given to him to detain United States citizens without warrant and trial. He did not state that this was not in the bill. The other bogus part of stating that the NDAA doesn’t allow for this is the fact that the sponsors of the bill have stated very simply that it does.
I had a very annoying conversation online with an individual that said I’m “paranoid” because I believe the government is going to come get me. First off, a paranoid person wouldn’t write a damn blog post speaking against government intrusion into personal liberty, since they’d be paranoid the government would “come to get them”. I’m simply stating and relaying fact and reality. I’m a very “gung-ho” American. Despite studying to be an anthropologist, I can be a bit jingoistic and ethnocentric at times. I’m proud of my country, and I love that the Constitution gives us the ability to expand our freedoms.
What I do not love, however, is that the current elected officials are ignoring the Constitution to detain people without true probably cause and without trial. The individual I just mentioned apparently served (or serves) in the United States Army. He stated, “if you don’t do anything wrong, you have nothing to worry about.” I hoped he was trying to be ironic, but sadly he wasn’t. While I’m explaining the Orwellian nature of our government, he says something so outrageously Orwellian it’s sad. And this person is a soldier in our military! Someone who is supposed to be defending our Constitution!
The cowardice has just gone way too far. People are so afraid of terrorist attacks, they just give up their freedoms of privacy and rights to trial. It’s pathetic. Recently a British couple were arrested after making jokes on Twitter. There’s discussion of putting cameras in classrooms because of the actions of a few horrible teachers. People put GPS trackers on their kids, or cameras everywhere in their home.
People are content with allowing the government to hack into their computers without probable cause or warrant. Americans are allowing government officials to tap their phone lines and read their emails without warrant. The President of the United States recently killed an American citizen, and yet there was little-to-no outcry from those in office or the mainstream media. A Republican mayor wants to ban baseball hats and hoodies to help fight crime. Another town has thought about banning the wearing of pajamas in public.
Where does it end? I hear conservatives cry about “big government,” and the “liberal nanny state,” and then propose or create legislation like everything mentioned above. How is any of that not big government? We have morons on stages, like Rick Santorum, crying about big government. At the same time, this creep proposes legislation to allow states to ban contraception or outright ban homosexuality. That is, fundamentally, big government!
So please, citizens of America. Go wrap yourselves up in your warm and comfortable blankets of big government. Go suck on the teat of safety and security. You’re all nothing but cowards. Dare I say, “pussies”. America isn’t a land that promotes safety and security. We are a nation that promotes freedom and liberty. You can call me paranoid for seeing the creation and establishment of an Orwellian government. At least I’m not afraid to leave the house because I might get mugged, or killed, or attacked. At least I’m not willing to sacrifice my freedoms and liberty on the off chance that sacrifice will keep me safer from the big bad terrorists. At least I’m not a coward.
I’d rather die free today, than live safely tomorrow.