Government surveillance

Last night I was, as I’m sure many of you were, privileged to watch an ABC docudrama about 9/11. We were invited by the ACLU to ponder how we should we respond to such an attack on our precious soil. Let’s look in a mirror..let us be reminded of who we are as a nation. Yes, let’s! Who are we as a nation? Are we all in agreement here? Were Alexander Hamilton and Thomas Jefferson on the same page ‘lo those many years ago? Most definitely not!

Jefferson, radical that he was, believed in personal autonomy. He advocated a decentralized government with the majority of power and authority residing with the states and, ultimately, with the individual. Jefferson was fearful of tyranny and was a proponent of personal freedom. Hamilton, on the other hand, favored a strong central government…one that acted in accordance with the interests of the “people” and needed the full faith and support of the American public to thrive. He said that a vast body of powers were to be implied and authorized Congress to “make all laws that shall be necessary and proper” to carry out powers specifically granted…like “national security.”
Can you guess who prevailed? It’s obvious that we live in a Hamiltonian society, rife with rhetoric and hyperbole, where the government “protects” us and is willing and able to trample individual freedoms on a daily basis. Why? Because they can! Because we let them! We’ve asked them to!   Jefferson and Hamilton duel

The frat boys in Washington are drawing upon Hamiltonian principles in the wake of the attacks of 9/11…they watch us, they engage in racial and political profiling…they imprison American citizens without due process…they make new laws every day that restrict our civil liberties. Why? Because they are fighting the “war on terror” and what they are doing is, of course, both necessary and proper.

Well, thank you very little. Don’t forget that every new law designed to “protect” us, every new rule enacted by our chums in D.C., comes with a price…our personal freedom. Are we safer now? I don’t feel it at all.

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