Tonight I saw a republicans, 26 of them, voted against the extension of three provisions of the Patriot Act was defeated. Those true Republicans who actually believe in small government, civil liberties, and the Bill of Right, stuck it to their party.
Many new Republicans Members of Congress had signaled they would not support this bill, H. R. 514, stating that it was intrusion of big government. Big government wants to wiretap your phone, and conduct surveillance on them. Don’t change carriers or phone numbers, at least not too many times. If you do, they may consider you a terrorist. They want so badly to protect us But these new members of Congress are right – the Patriot act is an instrument of control created by Neo-Conservatives after September 11th. We have heard a lot a talk about government tyranny – mostly healthcare and taxes. But there’s been little talk about actual tyranny – the PATRIOT ACT. Eisenhower warned us:
In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.
But we have been here before. The spring of 1970. It was a time unchecked Presidential power. It violated our civil liberties. They were afraid. Students protesting and they were afraid. Led by the FBI, city and state police, they thought the American way of life was in jeopardy. They launched the broadest program of domestic spying and infiltration this has ever seen at that time. It was the first PATRIOT ACT. It was ultimately declared illegal and unconstitutional.
During that time, we had not forgotten or ignored our rights. If you ignore your rights, you will lose them. The Patriot act takes away our rights, but the majority of Americans ignored it. They believed the government when they said we will make you safe, but we have to trample you rights and freedoms. Ignore your rights and you will lose them. It is time for our elected officials to put their money where their mouth is. But we must do the more.
I could take a poll or maybe just ask the question to see if you still support the Bill of Rights. Here’s one: as long as there appears to be no clear danger of violence, do you think any group, no matter how extreme, should be allowed to organize protests against the government? My guess is that the answer would be no. In fact, I would guess that the majority of Americans refuse to support five of the ten protections of the Bill of Rights, which is why we need a Bill of Rights. It protects the minority from the majority who, by definition, need no protection. I am sure that if asked the question, “do you support the Bill of Rights?’ you would answer “Yes”. Trouble was, without the Bill people wouldn’t recognize the rights.
Hold your Senators and Representative accountable. Make sure they serve you and not the party. Protect your rights. Learn to fight.
- House Rejects Extension of Patriot Act Provisions (newser.com)
- Patriot Act Going Slowly and Quietly Away (democracyforvancouver.org)
- House to pass short term Patriot Act extension (politico.com)