Sunday, May 29, 2011
Revolution, day 3 - Civil Liberties and Personal Freedom
Ron Paul is a big supporter of abolishing the Patriot Act. I agree with him up to a point that our government has gone too far in curtailing our personal liberties in the name of the War on Terror. The recent decision by the TSA to begin groping airline passengers really put me over the top. What happened to the fourth amendment and illegal searches and seizures? Simple flying on a plane does not make you a suspect of a crime, so you should not have to be subjected to such a dehumanizing search. This becomes especially clear when you have young teen daughters. I do NOT want them being groped by anyone! They are not terrorists and the government has absolutely no reason to suspect that they are. For the same reason, I disagree with a lot of the other procedures put into place by the TSA, but I am willing to put up with a modicum of intrusion for the illusion of safety, but this is too far.
And it is an illusion of safety. They waste our time, money and energy searching for the terrorist they never find. Not once. It's not because terrorists are not boarding our planes, they are. It's just that for all the billions of dollars thrown to the TSA, they have yet to catch a single terrorist as he boards. They have however confiscated untold numbers of shampoo bottles.
Paul loses me when he comes to the part about holding or releasing prisoners at Gitmo. He believes we need to charge them or let them go. That's not how wars are fought. They declared war on us. They are not in uniform. They do not deserve the benefits of the Geneva Convention or our own Constitution. Let those benefits be reserved for those nation that engage in an honest, open war with us. For terrorists, they asked for this fight. They can sit it out if they are caught.
He continues in his libertarian vein in his discussion on the War on Drugs. After going into the history of drug illegalization, he makes a strong case for the advocates to either pass an amendment to the Constitution or make drugs legal. I'm with him 100% on this. When we try to make the immoral illegal, we run into trouble. The failed period of Prohibition proves that. Alcohol use did not fall at all during Prohibition, but only led to increased mafia-led crime. At the least the leaders of that movement had the integrity to convince Americans of their cause first and pass an amendment to the Constitution. The drug war has been created by fiat by our government based on bad science.
My biggest complaint about the War on Drugs is the horrific effects it has on law-abiding citizens. We must tolerate urban cities with rampant crime, children being shot by drug dealers for being in the wrong place at the wrong time, a narco-state right on our border, prisons that hold more drug offenders than all other criminals put together, people with serious life-threatening diseases denied potentially helpful drugs because they have been deemed illegal, and a whole sub-culture that sees dealing drugs as the best way to a successful life. Can people sitting in their own homes, getting high, be any worse than what we are already experiencing? I don't believe so.