After reviewing the recent GOP National Security Debate it was alarming how easily the majority of the candidates would continue to give up liberty to attempt to increase their security. One of the most interesting topics was the Patriot Act and the views each candidate held on it.
Just how much liberty are people willing to trade in to be secure, or maybe more accurately, to allow themselves the illusion they are more secure? Maybe we need to ask ourselves how secure do we want to be in our privacy? Regardless of a person’s view it must be remembered by all that the U.S. Constitution is the supreme law of the law, any law (or act) that violates it is null and void, including the Patriot Act.
Several of the candidates supported the idea that criminal acts and domestic warfare acts are separate. They need to be reminded that the Constitution does not say the rights it protects are only for U.S. citizens; rather it was intended to protect the rights of everyone on U.S. soil. Rights are not given to us by the government, they are given to us by our Creator and it is the duty of the government to secure those rights, not trade them in for “protection”. To say we are at war and that is grounds to violate the Constitution is ludicrous! The War on Terror is a war that is vague enough to encompass whatever the government wishes it to, it could be said to be similar to the War on Drugs. Does that mean to combat drug use we should ignore the Constitution for drug related crimes? (After all it would help law enforcement eliminate drug crimes.) Of course not!
With the exception of the honorable Ron Paul, each of the candidates have made it clear that it is acceptable to trade in liberty for security; and our current President is no different. Any politician who suggests you do not need *THAT* much liberty and attempts to convince you to give it up because after all you want to be safe is not to be trusted. The Declaration of Independence states:
"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness."
Notice how the founding fathers took care enough to specifically name liberty as an unalienable right and how liberty is actually related to true safety instead of one being traded for the other. Only when a society has liberty is it truly safe.
Power, once given to the government, is never reclaimed. The government will continue to provide a reason (or supposed threat) which supports its retaining of that power, and it will likely claim anyone who would suggest the government lay down those powers is a threat to the nation itself. The risk associated in having a truly free society is outweighed by the benefits of liberty, if we are “fighting for our freedom” and in order to fight we must give up our freedom, then the very act of fighting results in our defeat. Again if we temporarily give up our liberty now, we will never reclaim it. Supposedly the terrorist hate our freedom, well because we fear them so much we ourselves are eliminating our freedom, all they have to do is watch.