Ok, I will admit that this article may go a little far in places, but it does raise some good points. The basic thing that terrorists are trying to accomplish is to deprive us of our freedom and our way of life. The changes that President Bush is making in the name of the War on Terrorism are doing just that. So either the terrorists are succeeding or Bush is actually more destructive to our freedoms than they are.
“Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.” This statement was used as a motto on the title page of An Historical Review of the Constitution and Government of Pennsylvania. (1759) which was attributed to Franklin . I think that this is exactly what we are dealing with here.
I will go farther than say this about national security though. When you look at issues such as anti-smoking laws, safety restrictions on some consumer items, and the mandated restriction of fats and cooking oil by restaurants you are definitely dealing with the substitution of safety for liberty. Worse yet, this is often merely opinion cloaked as safety. When discussing the recent smoking ban here in Charleston, South Carolina, with friends, relatives, and coworkers, they all talked about the benefits of not smelling like smoke, being able to be in a bar without the stench, and not having to wash their clothes when they get home. No one, not a one said a word about the alleged health risks of second hand smoke. So although these bans are often being proposed as health ordinances, they are being passed and supported as the oppression of one group’s personal preferences upon another.
I point blank asked one of these supporters why they should pass a law that regulates smoking in bar that they will never go into and who’s entire customer base and employees smoke. This person flatly replied that if they did want to go in there they should be able to free from the smoke. Why? When was this freedom guaranteed to you? When did the freedom to possibly not be offended trump a property owner’s or business owner’s right to fair use?
And lest you accuse me of saying this because I am anti-the person or anti-that group, let me say that I think this problem afflicts all political and religious groups. One of the problems with being devoted to a view point is that we begin to believe that everyone else ought to hold our views too. And if you don’t hold my view, then I will legislate so that you have to act like you hold my view!
It is more than a slippery slope this country is on at the moment. It may seem like terrorism, the President’s actions to “secure” our nation, and local sin ordinances are unrelated. But, in actuality, they are all examples of the loss of freedom we are suffering from those who seek to control by seeming to protect. I for one feel that a life without risk is a life without freedom and a life without freedom is no life at all.