It Can't Happen Here

Discussion in 'Politics' started by CivilLiberty, Dec 23, 2004.

  1. CivilLiberty

    CivilLiberty Active Member

    Nov 13, 2004
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    An email I received this morning by Ron Paul, Republican Congressman from Texas:

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    It Can't Happen Here

    Ron Paul --- December 20, 2004

    In 2002 I asked my House colleagues a rhetorical
    question with regard to the onslaught of government
    growth in the post-September 11 th era: Is America
    becoming a police state?

    The question is no longer rhetorical. We are not yet
    living in a total police state, but it is fast approaching.
    The seeds of future tyranny have been sown, and many
    of our basic protections against government have been
    undermined. The atmosphere since 2001 has permitted
    Congress to create whole new departments and
    agencies that purport to make us safer - always at the
    expense of our liberty. But security and liberty go hand-
    in-hand. Members of Congress, like too many
    Americans, donít understand that a society with no
    constraints on its government cannot be secure. History
    proves that societies crumble when their governments
    become more powerful than the people and private

    Unfortunately, the new intelligence bill passed by
    Congress two weeks ago moves us closer to an
    encroaching police state by imposing the precursor to a
    full-fledged national ID card. Within two years, every
    American will need a ìconformingî ID to deal with any
    federal agency -- including TSA at the airport.

    Undoubtedly many Americans and members of Congress
    donít believe America is becoming a police state, which
    is reasonable enough. They associate the phrase with
    highly visible symbols of authoritarianism like military
    patrols, martial law, and summary executions. But we
    ought to be concerned that we have laid the foundation
    for tyranny by making the public more docile, more
    accustomed to government bullying, and more accepting
    of arbitrary authority - all in the name of security. Our
    love for liberty above all has been so diminished that we
    tolerate intrusions into our privacy that would have been
    abhorred just a few years ago. We tolerate
    inconveniences and infringements upon our liberties in a
    manner that reflects poorly on our great national
    character of rugged individualism. American history, at
    least in part, is a history of people who donít like being
    told what to do. Yet we are increasingly empowering
    the federal government and its agents to run our lives.

    Terror, fear, and crises like 9-11 are used to achieve
    complacency and obedience, especially when citizens
    are deluded into believing they are still a free people.
    The loss of liberty, we are assured, will be minimal,
    short-lived, and necessary. Many citizens believe that
    once the war on terror is over, restrictions on their
    liberties will be reversed. But this war is undeclared and
    open-ended, with no precise enemy and no expressly
    stated final goal. Terrorism will never be eradicated
    completely; does this mean future presidents will assert
    extraordinary war powers indefinitely?

    Washington DC provides a vivid illustration of what our
    future might look like. Visitors to Capitol Hill encounter
    police barricades, metal detectors, paramilitary officers
    carrying fully automatic rifles, police dogs, ID checks,
    and vehicle stops. The people are totally disarmed; only
    the police and criminals have guns. Surveillance
    cameras are everywhere, monitoring street activity,
    subway travel, parks, and federal buildings. There's not
    much evidence of an open society in Washington, DC,
    yet most folks do not complain-- anything goes if it's for
    government-provided safety and security.

    After all, proponents argue, the government is doing all
    this to catch the bad guys. If you donít have anything
    to hide, they ask, what are you so afraid of? The
    answer is that I'm afraid of losing the last vestiges of
    privacy that a free society should hold dear. I'm afraid
    of creating a society where the burden is on citizens to
    prove their innocence, rather than on government to
    prove wrongdoing. Most of all, Iím afraid of living in a
    society where a subservient populace surrenders its
    liberties to an all-powerful government.

    It may be true that average Americans do not feel
    intimidated by the encroachment of the police state.
    Americans remain tolerant of what they see as mere
    nuisances because they have been deluded into
    believing total government supervision is necessary and
    helpful, and because they still enjoy a high level of
    material comfort. That tolerance may wane, however,
    as our standard of living falls due to spiraling debt,
    endless deficit spending at home and abroad, a
    declining fiat dollar, inflation, higher interest rates, and
    failing entitlement programs. At that point attitudes
    toward omnipotent government may change, but the
    trend toward authoritarianism will be difficult to reverse.

    Those who believe a police state can't happen here are
    poor students of history. Every government, democratic
    or not, is capable of tyranny. We must understand this
    if we hope to remain a free people.

  2. Zhukov

    Zhukov VIP Member

    Dec 21, 2003
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    Everywhere, simultaneously.
    Many people have thought this over the years of American history. Including many of Pres. Lincoln's detractors, most notably John Booth who is purported to have exclaimed after his heinous deed, sic semper tyrannis, or 'Thus Always To TYrants', the motto of the state of Virginia.

    Turn's out the President was just taking those steps he deemed necessary to preserve and protect the country he loved so dearly.

    By what measure?

    Most logical people understand that there is a trade-off.

    What, like a driver's license? Well, now you've scared me.

    Such as what I wonder. I haven't noticed a single intrusion into my privacy at all.

    Again, I wonder what exactly it is he's talking about.

    Seems like a rather irrational fear to me.

    Mr. Paul doesn't really provide much substance here, but taking into account the tone in which he writes I'm left to wonder if he is competent enough to conduct himself in a manner befitting his office and the people he represents. But ultimately that is for his constituents to decide. Hopefully most of them will read this letter.
  3. Deornwulf

    Deornwulf Member

    Nov 10, 2004
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    The email raises interesting points but what would be the result if we did not have any of the existing security measures in place? Could the problem be that society has developed beyond what ealier philosophers and writers could imagine with our technology? Could the decline of human decency as a general characteristic also be at fault. Trust and cooperation are not as common as they once were. Strength of arms is not an assurance of safety.

    For example, imagine how easy it would have been to assassinate any leader during the middle ages, using the technology available at the time, and even possibly get away alive. Yet such assassinations where not as common as they could have been. Was it fear of god or fate, belief in divine right, or something else that held fanatics back?
  4. TheEnemyWithin

    TheEnemyWithin Guest

    Scaredy-cat libbies!!! Police state, what a joke. :cof:
  5. dilloduck

    dilloduck Diamond Member

    May 8, 2004
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    Austin, TX
    Mr. Paul has a very interestig constituency ! :teeth:

    some of the poorest counties in Texas

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