It seems with each new day in modern America, we learn of some new threat to our safety and our future. But we often take comfort in knowing that there is a plan. Those we have elected to watch out for the common good surely already have the situation under control. They are just letting us know about the threats so that when we notice that a bit of our liberty has been constrained, we will understand why. They remind us that they need the resources and authority to handle the threat so that we can be safe and so that our future can be secured. Most of us think that a bit of liberty for more security is a reasonable trade off and few have questioned it, until recently.
Now, people are beginning to ask hard questions:
Has the war on drugs reduced drug use?
Has the worldwide war on terror resulted in a reduction in worldwide terror attacks?
Andrew Kohut, speaking to the U.S. House Committee on Foreign Affairs, noted that, according to the Pew Research Center polls conducted in 2004, “majorities or pluralities in seven of the nine countries surveyed said the US-led war on terror was not really a sincere effort to reduce international terrorism. This was true not only in Muslim countries such as Morocco and Turkey, but in France and Germany as well. The true purpose of the war on terror, according to the people surveyed, is American control of Middle East oil and US domination of the world.”
Has the regulation of the food industry made our food supply more resilient and healthy?
“Beginning in the late 1980s, a series of food safety scandals opened people’s eyes to the way their food was being produced, each one drawing the curtain back a little further on a food system that had changed beyond recognition. When BSE, or mad cow disease, surfaced in England in 1986, Americans learned that cattle, which are herbivores, were routinely being fed the flesh of other cattle; the practice helped keep meat cheap but at the risk of a hideous brain-wasting disease. ”
Has the creation of the department of energy (1977) resulted in less dependence on foreign fuel supplies?
“In 1973, when President Richard Nixon said, “Our independence will depend on maintaining and achieving self-sufficiency in energy,” the United States imported 34.8 percent of its oil from foreign countries. . By 2006, when President Bush declared in his State of the Union that the nation was addicted to oil, foreign countries were delivering 59.9 percent of the fix.”
The answer to all these questions is clearly no to anyone actually living in America. If anything, government involvement has uniformly made things worse, not better. It is becoming obvious to even the most trusting souls, that letting the government identify and tackle our problems is not resulting in safety or a more secure future. In fact things seem to be deteriorating an alarming rate and trust in public institutions is at an all time low.
Our federal government, instead of protecting our rights, is intruding into our lives in ways we would have never predicted.
Little girls, beautiful adult women, and elderly grandmas are being groped and humiliated in our airports by the TSA.
Amish farmers are being raided at gunpoint by the FDA to ensure that raw dairy products are not sold
Lemonade stands and tea stands are being shut down in neighborhoods across America to keep us safe.
Children are being forced to accept vaccinations as police stand by to ensure compliance.
With allegations of police brutality rising, video-taping police activity is being treated as a criminal activity in many jurisdictions.
Why is it that in modern america, the video-taper, the whistle-blower, and the wiki-leaker are treated as criminals? Because many of those in power are corrupt.
“And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil. 20 For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed. 21 But whoever does what is true comes to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that his works have been carried out in God.” – Jesus (John 3:19)
The extent of our government’s brazenness in trampling our rights no longer even gives the appearance of reasonableness and in fact many of their actions defy common sense, not to mention the Bill of Rights.
Good people often assume that our government is full of basically good people who are sometimes incompetent. But the reality is that power corrupts and it is those who are enamored with power that most often seek political authority. Our nation’s founders understood the tendency of power to corrupt sinful man. Their words of warning from over two-hundred years ago seem prescient today.
As we consider hard questions such as “Is liberty for security really a reasonable trade off?” we would do well to rediscover and consider the perspective of America’s founding fathers.
“The greatest tyrannies are always perpetrated in the name of the noblest causes.” - Thomas Paine
“I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than to those attending too small a degree of it.” – Thomas Jefferson
“It’s of more importance to community that innocence should be protected than it is that guilt should be punished” – John Adams
“The people of every country are the only safe guardians of their own rights, and are the only instruments which can be used for their destruction. And certainly they would never consent to be so used were they not deceived.” – Thomas Jefferson
“Those who would give up essential liberty, to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.” – Benjamin Franklin