|Americans Protect America|
|Commentary/Politics - Editorials|
|Tuesday, 07 November 2006 22:23|
How many times have you watched some movie or TV show depicting the villain as extreme governmental control, with severe abuse of innocents as the cause of rebellion? We sit through these horrors, reassuring ourselves that this would never happen in America. Why? Because, we tell ourselves, we would never allow things to deteriorate to such a degree that the level of control and abuse we are witnessing could occur.
Well don't be so sure. How do you think those film scenarios were conceived? Certainly from lively imaginations, but also from history; mankind has a long tradition of cruel, suppressive conduct toward his fellow human beings.
Hitler rose to power very quickly due to actions he quietly took years before, such as a national asset determination. When the time came, he knew precisely where all the holdings of his country were - how much and who held them - making it a simple task to seize Germany's wealth.
Today, in several different states, there are laws on the books regarding assets - quietly passed and awaiting future implementation - that could have the same effect. For example, in Florida a law exists requiring taxpayers to declare all assets over $100 in value on their tax returns. What earthly reason could there be for this law except to determine where Florida's wealth could be found? And there are others lying dormant for now ... .
I guarantee you that historical dominance of the populace, whether by a despot, monarch, or tyrant, thrived due to mass apathy. Only when the abuse became intolerable did people take action to create change.
The framers of our Constitution understood only too well the potential for such dominance recurring in the New World, and crafted a form of governance that has made America singularly great. Do not think for a moment that these early Americans did not make immeasurable sacrifices for this vision of government, purposefully designed to both entitle and enable a free people. It is our individual right to be free that sets us apart from most of the world and makes us so powerful.
Americans basically define freedom as the individual right to equality, privacy, dignity, pursuit of happiness, prosperity, and expression of thought and faith without interference from government. The Constitution of the United States and the Bill of Rights protect us from persecution for exercising these rights by limiting the government's authority over our lives. Our forefathers fought to the death for these concepts. What would they think today?
Democracy is only as strong as those who participate. At a minimum, participation means voting. This requirement is so basic and simple that every American can exercise it on equal footing. There is no excuse for not voting. None. The disgrace that characterizes so many of our government's politicians and activities is the result of American voters sitting out. Not voting equates to endorsing elected officials' bad behavior.
As time has irrefutably proved, things move forward or backward, get better or worse, grow or shrink, but things never, ever stay the same. Consequently, staying away from the polls in the hope that things will somehow improve or at least won't get worse is pure foolishness.
Getting worse is an understatement considering the current rate of civic erosion being tolerated by us all, such as the elimination of the right to counsel if an American citizen is detained under suspicion of terrorist activity; the loss of privacy due to wire-tapping without due process; and the degradation of protection of property with the expansion of eminent domain.
These new authorities granted to government go beyond what is necessary to protect Americans from terrorism. It is well documented that the respective agencies (CIA, FBI, NSA) were well aware of the perpetrators of 9/11. Their names were all known and listed as subversives, along with many other associates.
To relinquish civil rights in the name of protection is to ignore these facts, and to embrace the assumption that our agencies are so incompetent that they require this broad authority because they don't have a clue. This simply isn't true. But at a minimum, the policing body should still be required to make a case for its suspicions of an American, and any proposed intrusions. What earthly reason could there be for exempting citizens from this basic protection?
Furthermore, we need to implement the laws that currently exist to better protect Americans from illegal immigration and acts of terror.
Americans must remain loyal to America by insisting on government's adherence to the Constitution as sacrosanct and holding the body politic accountable. This is accomplished most readily by voting in every election. This lets elected officials know we care and that we are watching.
There need to be a more teeth in the laws that govern politicians and their activities. In some cases, no laws exist for remedy when an elected official compromises his or her office. A grassroots effort needs to establish a framework for the future of politics because it is distorted beyond recognition and so far afield of what was intended. Any ideas?
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