National security is the death of freedom

They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.
~Benjamin Franklin

Face it, we are supposed to be living in a “free country.” But slowly and surely we’ve traded most of our freedom away in the name of “national security.”

People are unwilling to sacrifice. They’re unwilling to accept that you can’t have your cake and eat it, too. You can be free, or you can be safe. If you want to be free, you have to resign yourself to the fact that your government may not be able to protect you from everything. It may not be able to stop a terrorist attack and it may not be able to find the terrorists after they’ve attacked. But that’s the way it should be. The government should have its hands tied to keep it from infringing on our basic rights. People should not be afraid of their governments. Governments should be afraid of their people.

Americans have become too complacent, too afraid of losing the status quo to accept this. We’re so soft, so dependent on the food, transport, and governmental systems in place. Back in 1776 and later in 1861, people could still live off of the land (and a lot of people did). People knew how to hunt and how to farm. Now very few do. Look at how people squeal when a natural disaster strikes and people go weeks without power. Yes, going for weeks without power in Houston during the summer sucks. But it’s not going to kill most of us.

And until we’re ready and willing to sacrifice national security for our freedom, we will slowly lose our Bill of Rights. And we’re not going to do a damn thing about it. None of us. Even if you legalized gay marriage, made teaching evolution mandatory in schools, outlawed public prayer and removed all Christian symbols from federal and state grounds, the Religious Reich still wouldn’t do more than shake their fists and throw money around. They might even protest.

We, as a country, are not prepared to risk our “safety.” No matter how people bitch and moan and cry, no matter how bad the government gets (and I’m tempted to quit calling my country “America” sometimes), it would take a monumental effort on the part of anything to get us off our fat asses.

Not that we’re all that safe, anyway. For all our “national security,” an army psychologist opened fire on Ft. Hood and killed 13 people not but two days ago (Remember, remember, the fifth of November…). This was an army base. Thirteen people still died. Could it have been prevented? Maybe. Maybe, too, the Virginia Tech tragedy. But if it could have been, it wouldn’t have been “national security” that prevented it. Are we going to become a Minority Report-like world? People getting arrested for crimes before they even dream of committing them?

Or are we going to suck it up, realize that we can’t stop everything, and ditch “national security” in favor of our basic freedoms?

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2 Responses to “National security is the death of freedom”

  1. Dargon Says:

    Amen!

    Now there is a fine balance between too little and too much security, too little and too much government, too little and too much control, but I would say the side our country has fallen to is quite obvious. In fact, that fine line is way over there.

    Sadly, the government is quite adept in using fear as a tool to get the people to surrender their rights. “Fighting the terrorist” and “protecting the children” are terms that can be used to take virtually any right. Should the terrorists be fought and the children protected, sure, but at what cost? In the name of fighting the terrorists, one can no longer wait for grandma at the airport terminal, or even the baggage claim. Not to mention the tremendous hassle of getting though airport security (and the joke that it is (as I’ve accidentally gotten a knife through security multiple times)). Taking photographs of buildings or kids playing in the park is no longer artistic but suspicious. Take a photo of a cop, and you are inviting trouble.

    Sadly, I fear that io the eyes of the government, the Constitution is indeed a “God damned piece of paper,” and the citizens cannot be bothered to learn what is says, and what has been taken from them.

    I hear so often that “it can’t happen here,” yet the phrase “papers, please” looms ever closer to being part of our daily lives.

  2. I am frequently looking for brand-new articles in the world wide web about this theme. Thankz!

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