We’re often told that our liberties are under assault. The right warns that our Big Government nanny state is plotting to seize our guns and our Big Gulps, while strangling our economic freedom with taxes and regulations. The left rails against our Big Government security state—the drone warfare, indefinite detention and electronic surveillance that make the war on terror sound like an Orwellian nightmare. The National Rifle Association had just finished bellowing about background checks violating our Second Amendment rights when the American Civil Liberties Union started shrieking about the FBI violating the Boston bombing suspect’s Miranda rights….
In the Obama era, Tea Party Republicans like Senator Rand Paul have portrayed the U.S. government as a threat to individual liberty, an oppressive force in American life. They just want government to leave us alone. But while the Stand With Rand worldview is quite consistent—against gun restrictions, traffic-light cameras, drone strikes, anti-discrimination laws, anti-pollution laws, and other Big Brother intrusions into our private lives—it’s wrong. And most of us know it’s wrong, which is why we celebrate our first responders, our soldiers, our law enforcers. They’re from the government and they’re here to help. We know our government is fallible, because it’s made up of people, but we still count on it to protect us from terrorists, from psychos with guns, from exploding factories. We also need it to protect us from floods and wildfires, from financial meltdowns and climate change. We can’t do that kind of thing ourselves.
Wow!! This article by Michael Grunwald has some pretty poignant words of wisdom. I like the way to points fingers at both ends of the political spectrum. I guess I am like Michael in that I really don’t mind that there are cameras everywhere now recording what I do on a daily basis. I don’t mind when our government regulates things that are clearly known to be a very net negative on our society. If I want to own a gun why shouldn’t I be required to get a license for it the same way as I do to drive on our highways?
Yes, Senator Rand Paul is correct that government is sometimes a threat to our individual liberties; I’m OK with that. I don’t mind that I can be punished for yelling “fire” in a crowded theatre. I don’t mind being ticketed if I choose to run a red light. I don’t mind being required to provide a government provided ID to get on an airplane. These are just things that are necessary to protect me.
But there are certain things that I will adamantly protest against when it come to restricting my liberties. There are those who suggest that the recent Boston bomber should have been arrested when he came back from Russia because he might be a potential terrorist. I will fight the idea of incarcerating someone for something that they “might” do in the future. If I say too many critical things about our government on this blog would I also be on that arrest list? I might be but I also know that there are thousands of other bloggers, not to mention Mr. Limbaugh and his clan, that would be picked up before me. 🙂 Freedom of speech and thought are worth fighting about but for many other things as Mr. Grunwald said please tread on me.