"We must see the need for nonviolent gadflies." -- Martin Luther King Jr.
When it comes to the staggering loss of civil liberties, the Constitution hasn't changed. Rather, it is the American people who have changed.
Once a citizenry that generally fomented a rebellion and founded a country, Americans are no longer the people they once were. Americans today live in a glass dome, says author Nicholas von Hoffman, a kind of terrarium, cut off from both reality and the outside world. In his words, they are "bobbleheads in Bubbleland. They shop in bubbled malls, they live in gated communities, and they move from place to place breathing their own private air in bubble-mobiles known as SUVs."
Quite simply, most Americans, having been beguiled by materialism and technology, are more or less compliant lambs, only protesting when someone takes away their cell phone or causes them material discomfort. And if the specter of a terrorist attack (no matter how tenuous) is raised, most are willing to give over their rights to feel safer. Indeed, while the government inches ever closer to authoritarianism, many Americans are blissfully oblivious to the fact that a police state -- even martial law -- may be one terrorist attack away.