NSA Spying: An Authoritarian America

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With the NSA spying on Americans, if Bush committed an impeachable offense in ordering it, and that is a very big IF at this point, it is pretty damn certain the House of Republicans would never conduct impeachment hearings against him. And that is how corrupt our political parties and government have become. The laws are increasingly for the rest of us, not the leadership in government.

George Orwell warned us all, that Big Brother was coming. Well Big Brother has been very much alive and well in more and more democracies on the planet including ours, especially since 9/11. Fear drives people toward paternalistic Big Brothers for protection. Compromising our individual liberties to ease our fears is exactly how Big Brother gets a toe hold in democracies. Fearfull, gutless Americans are quite willing to sacrifice the principles which made this country a beacon for oppressed people the world over when the boogie man is loose.

On 9/11, the boogie man was set loose in America and Bush along with 10’s of millions of other fearful gutless Americans chose to cave on their principles of liberty, freedom and justice for all, for a whole lot more vigilance, police power, and remaking the laws to suit the protection of power.

It may well be that the laws passed after 9/11 made the NSA’s actions legal. If that is the case, Bush is not a criminal in the eyes of the law. But the Patriot Act was a Big Brother toe hold supported by American’s fears. The courageous response to 9/11 would have been to live more free, strengthen individual liberties, and adhere to our rules of law and democracy as never before. But that is not what Americans are really made of, is it? They used to be made of that kind of stuff as WWII and its aftermath demonstrated.

But Americans began losing their courage with Sen. McCarthy and the Red Scare, and we have been trading in courage for security, and freedom for government keepers, in bits and pieces ever since. There were some moments of reprieve when a majority of Americans stood up courageously for their freedom and principles, as with the Civil Rights movement and the protests against the Viet Nam War. But nothing so erodes courage and principle like age and wealth. We are becoming a nation of old wealthy people by global standards, and facing our mortality in the face, we reveal and respond to our fears, instead of our principles and freedoms.

If the youth of this country do not pick up the banner of freedom, justice, and courage, very quickly, they could find themselves subjected to restriction and constraints and onerous unfairness of the old, fat, and wealthy whose power is dedicated to insulating and securing that power against all comers. And no nation is more orderly, secure, and safe for the powerful like a functional authoritarian system. Bush was the author of the NSA spying on Americans. It may have been legal. But it was an authoritarian move without Congressional or Judicial review, nonetheless.

Nothing is so risky as living free. And nothing is so small in the nature of humans as subjecting themselves to the will of self-declared superiors. Elections in America are all about choosing our superiors. We talk of the best candidate, the best person for the job, and greatest presidents. But Democracy is about employing our selves to serve each other. Not about putting superiors in charge of all the rest of us. We are losing our democracy in America and it is sad and painful beyond expression.

Voters in this country have increasingly subjected themselves to the will of their superiors in government which is a complete reversal of what Democracy is supposed to be, a rule of, by, and for the people. And nothing evidences this subjugation of voters to their superiors in Washington D.C. like the 90+ percent incumbency reelection rates in the last few election cycles as Americas problems continue to grow in size and number.

In a real democracy, incumbents could never be reelected when the nation’s problems grow in size and number like our national debt, pork barrel spending, overcrowding of prisons to the extent that building them is becoming a huge industry, growing poverty, and loss of faith and trust in our nation’s leadership by civilized peoples around the globe. We traded in democracy for authoritarian leadership. We deserve to be the fearful nation we are becoming. We deserve it immensely for relinquising our role as masters of government at the election polls.

2 Comments

David, your statement about Big Brother is in synch with what I hear alot of people saying when referring to the current government. You have the pulse of the general public when you make such a statement. I also agree that when we feel afraid, or unsure, we actually look toward a Big Brother for seucrity and protection. Maybe if more individuals made themselves aware of the actual topics affecting their lives they would be more poractive and render Big Brother a little more powerless and themselve a little more self confident.
Raymond B
www.voteswagon.com

Raymond B,

I couldn't argue with you there. Education is so bloody important to a vital, responsible, and efficient democracy. It is a shame what is happening to America's educational system, being torn apart as it is by issues like Evolution vs. Intelligent Design, prayer in schools, and taxpayer subsidization of private schools. None of these divisive issues is moving American schools toward higher quality education. In some cases they are having the opposite effect due to the opportunity costs be lost fighting these value issues.

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This page contains a single entry by David R. Remer published on December 17, 2005 6:20 AM.

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