“That government is best which governs the least, because its people discipline themselves.” – Thomas Jefferson
Thomas Jefferson’s advice applies to today’s society as we transcend into a more authoritarian state. Every day the government proposes more challenges as they contradict the constitution and attempt to take away our civil liberties for the cause of “safety and security.” To combat this, we need to realize that we shouldn’t have to compromise our freedom for security. It was our Founding Fathers’ intentions for us to live in a free and prosperous nation.
Our right to privacy has been drastically infringed after the horrible events of 9/11, and when Bush waged “war on terror.” The government was allowed to become intrusive, and currently is because some Americans believe in the concept of the USA Patriot Act. The citizens believe that with less privacy, the government will be able to protect them, but what they don’t see is that the government is doing more harm than help.
The NSA conducts untargeted domestic surveillance on millions of Americans daily. They are able to obtain information of every call made, the time of the call, the duration of the call, and other “identifying information.” Sounds intrusive and illegal, right? It is authorized in section 215 of the USA Patriot Act. Few government officials are brave enough to speak out about the unconstitutional interpretation of section 215. However, on May 2011 Senator Ron Wyden, during the debate of the reauthorization of section 215 said, “I want to deliver a warning this afternoon: when the American people find out how their government has secretly interpreted the Patriot Act, they will be stunned, and they will be angry.” This is true, as more Americans discover the true nature of the USA Patriot Act; they want to end the unconstitutional bill.
Benjamin Frankin once said, “Any society that would give up a little liberty to gain temporary security will deserve neither and will lose both.” The million dollar question is would you rather have freedom or a false feeling of security?