The Democrats, self-appointed defenders of civil liberties, railed against the Bush White House policies of domestic spying, torture, preemptive wars, and runaway spending that led to the largest expansion of government since FDR. Today, the Democrats bail out companies, nationalize health care, continue the Iraq & Afghanistan wars, and drive our country further into debt than under Bush.
The Republican “tea-partiers” have now taken up the cause of limited government and lower spending after having supported everything they are now against as recently as two years ago. How convenient, but what has this accomplished? The Republican leadership has proposed $50 billion in cuts and Sen. Rand Paul has proposed $500 billion in cuts. Hallelujah? Just ignore the fact that even under Paul’s plan we’d still run a $1 trillion deficit this year alone (Paul claims he is just getting started however).
Judicial activism, rampant throughout the third branch of our federal government, is nothing short of a perversion and a dereliction of the duty entrusted to the Judiciary via the Constitution to be a bulwark against federal tyranny. A judicial ruling contrary to the limits of federal power under the Constitution does not benefit anyone. It is an affront to liberty.
How many of you were subjected to backscatter imaging or “enhanced pat downs” recently? Did you care that your Fourth Amendment rights were being violated? Your representatives in Congress certainly feel like you should accept these draconian and ineffective security measures. In fact, as of this writing the Congress is preparing to reauthorize three key sun-setting provisions of the Bill of Rights shredding Patriot Act.
A National Security Letter (“NSL”) authorized under the Patriot Act, is a direct violation of the 4th amendment. It is a self-written warrant… you know the things the colonists revolted over because the British troops were writing their own warrants and ransacking the colonists homes without probable cause. You may not have ever even heard of an NSL before because it is a federal crime for someone served with an NSL (whether you are served yourself, your banker, your lawyer, your doctor, etc.) to tell anyone that they have been served with one! There have been a few cases (Doe v Holder, Doe v Gonzalez, to name a couple) where parties have attempted to have this provision ruled unconstitutional by the courts. Unbelievably, you cannot even tell a judge in federal court that you have been served with an NSL without being arrested outside the courthouse doors (and you would face five years in prison) so these plaintiffs were forced to file their cases anonymously! Is this America?
Sneak-and-peek searches, where law enforcement officers executing it can enter into your home or office without your knowledge or consent (and keep you in the dark for 18 months!), are becoming the norm. “But this helps protect us from terrorism!” or does it? Only three of the 763 “sneak-and-peek” requests in fiscal year 2008 involved terrorism cases.
Why does our government spend tens of billions per year to fund dictatorial governments around the world? We, the People, are left with egg on our faces as people in Egypt, Tunisia, and elsewhere overthrow these repressive, tyrannical regimes. It is clear that US involvement overseas causes far more problems that it solves and the bottom line is that we simply cannot afford it. US interventionism has gotten us into countless conundrums where we are forced to make the choice of support for one dictator or another, a tyrant or a zealot, which leaves us with just a queasy feeling and tepid calls for calm and “orderly transition.” In the meantime, pro-democracy protesters are getting pelted with tear gas canisters marked “MADE IN USA.”
In the last few weeks we have seen (1) the fall of Egyptian dictator/torturer and US ally Hosni Mubarak, (2) Tunisia’s corrupt leader Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali, (3) Gen. Musharraf, former leader of Pakistan and US ally, served with a warrant relating to the death of Benazir Bhutto, and it doesn’t stop there… unrest in Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, et al. continue to occur daily.
We know that none of the above actions are without consequences but they are also not without cost. Our currency is tanking, unemployment is over 10% (according to GALLUP), we will have a budget deficit of over 1.5 trillion dollars this year alone, and our payments on interest alone will soon be a trillion dollars a year. So where do we get the money for all this big government? We borrow money from the Chinese to pay other dictators around the world to pretend they like us and each other. If we don’t feel like going through the Chinese we just print it which drags down the value of the dollar even further and acts as a tax against you as your savings and earning power are dramatically reduced.
A lot of this nonsense is actually coming from so-called “small government” conservatives and liberal “doves”. Their hypocrisy knows no bounds. Small government Reagan conservatives feel that the government is incapable of running welfare, education, and health care yet somehow, the government can perfectly run a massive domestic spying operation, violate the 4th amendment, hold people indefinitely without trial, and search your possessions without your consent or probable cause of a crime. As for the liberals, well, they spend us into oblivion domestically (which we’ve all come to expect) without any regard for constitutional limits but what happened to closing Guantanamo, protecting civil liberties in light of a domestic spying operating the KGB would be jealous of, and bringing our troops home from Iraq and Afghanistan?
As simplistic (and untrue) as the idea that terrorists hate us “cause we’re free”, if it really were the case they would hate us much less today than they would have almost 10 years ago thanks to people who don’t think twice about giving up their rights and freedoms to the nanny state.
Does anyone still yearn, like our Founding Fathers did, of a limited, constitutional government of enumerated powers based on the principles of sound money, free markets, a humble foreign policy, and the belief that we all have certain unalienable rights? I know they are out there. I have heard them speak, I have read their words, and I have been inspired by their hard work and dedication to the promotion of liberty and libertarianism. The night is darkest just before the dawn.
“Peace, commerce and honest friendship with all nations; entangling alliances with none.” – Thomas Jefferson