There has been a sea change in my thinking on some issues over the last few months. Things that I thought were good before, I see as evil today, or at least potentially serious evil, if not yet so.
When President Bush created the Patriot Act, I was a strong supporter and defended it from the left, the media, and even the right, and Libertarian community. The defense made a great deal of sense to me, basically the Patriot Act removed the "wall" that was put in place under Bill Clinton and Janet Reno to keep the different police, security, and intelligence agencies from sharing information on suspects that they are tracking. It was a new idea that only seemed to give any advantage to the Clinton's to slow down ongoing investigations into many of the Clinton's scandals. Yet it hamstrung our security agencies and made it much more difficult for them to protect our country from terrorists. It actually made criminals of our police agents if they told another agency about suspicious activity of a potential terrorist. How can any reasonable person argue against this part of the Patriot Act?
Another part of the Patriot Act allowed real time monitoring of international cell phone transmissions from targeted nations known for terrorist connections. This didn't listen into Americans calls, but international calls. It turns out that nearly 80% of all international calls are routed through American servers. Again, why would anyone be upset over having us listen in on a call from Iran to Syria going through an American server?
However, now we have the Obama administration saying that "Americans have no reasonable expectation of privacy." This administration is admitted to monitoring all social media sites, and now listening in on ALL Americans cell phone calls. This is deeply disturbing, even more so with the total silence we are hearing from the Main Stream Media and the left over this outrageous attack on our civil liberties. Where is the ACLU?
What we must all learn is that no matter who is stepping on our Constitutional rights, our guys or theirs, we need to demand it stop. Even if those encroachments make sense, even if they make sense to us, we need to say no. Once a liberty is encroached upon, it is hard to reestablish. The power we allow "our guy" to take to do those things "we approve of" will soon be held by someone who is not "our guy" and it can be used to destroy those things we hold dear. This goes back as far as the Alien and Sedition Act under John Adams to curtail the outrageous attacks on his administration while America was being torn apart in a dispute over picking sides in the war between France and England. Fortunately it expired in 1781, and also fortunately Jefferson didn't try to keep it in force to use for his own benefit.
We could discuss many issues where we might like "our guys" to have a particular power, but wouldn't want "their guys" to. This is something that those 20% who still strongly support Obama should keep in mind. He only has about 1,000 days left in power, then it looks like it will be one of "our guys." How would you feel if Dick Cheney held all the power that Obama has seized for himself?
With what I have come to realize, one of my positions that I was upset that George W. Bush didn't do, that I thought he should have, I am now very thankful for. We on the right were and have been upset that we have not built a wall on our border to protect America from rampant illegal immigration. What has finally dawned on me, is that the last time a country built a fence it was used to keep her own people in. Any fence that could keep interlopers out, could just as easily be used to imprison those inside.