Then, after he was elected, after the terrorist attacks on 11 September, Old Dubya took advantage of the fact that everyone was feeling nervous and insecure, and he signed into law the so-called Patriot Act. If you examine this document, it isn’t all that patriotic. Not if you believe, as I do, that the founding fathers gave us a Constitution, and a Bill of Rights, to protect us from “too much” government.
But, people act differently when they are scared —and it doesn’t even matter what party you belong to. Old Dubya scared everyone, but you can’t blame him all that much. Scaring people to the point where they obey their government’s every command is what governments do for a living. They scare everyone into believing that the government will save them from —something. If not terrorists, then people who leave their water running, or ass hats that have the audacity to run their vehicle’s air conditioning system during August.
And now that the people are plenty scared that we’ll all die a horrible death if not for the tens of billions of dollars the government spends on armored vehicles for the Podunk City Police Department, we no longer need a constitution to protect us—from government. The government will protect us from government.
Admittedly, tanks are expensive, and so to reduce costs, the government is prepared to offer you s considerable savings. If you’ll just consent to placing next to your automobile engine a small little device that tells the police where you are, day, or night, then they won’t have to spend a lot of money tracking you down whenever they need to see you about something. Also, if you run a red light, they can just mail you a ticket. Or roll a stop. Or exceed the speed limit. Or press down too hard on the accelerator from an intersection. You know—efficiency. If there is one thing people need more than anything else, it’s efficient government.
Yes indeed … no matter whether you are a conservative or a liberal, if there is one thing we all need more of … it’s more government. So here’s a thought: let’s start focusing all of our attention on whether Obama is going to play another round of golf this year, and ignore the fact that we are no longer a free people. After all, what does a free society care about government?
I can almost hear the voices of long dead veterans telling us, in their weary, gravely voices, “Focus people —focus.”