One of our founding fathers, Benjamin Franklin, wisely stated many years ago, that if you are willing to give up any liberty for security you deserve neither.
If Ben Franklin were alive today what would he think of the Republic that he helped create? Are we free? Have we as a nation given up our liberty in exchange for security?
There are cameras everywhere. Your personal information is increasingly shared with companies. The Federal Government watches and listens. Has your liberty been lost due to the fear of terrorism?
We have allowed fear to govern our actions and in the process we have lost more through gaining more security than what we have lost through several terror attacks. Is this America? Is security to be more valued than our liberty?
My instincts are that we have gone too far, way too far in trying to make people feel safe.
There is no doubt that lives have been lost through the madness of others, and it is dead wrong that civilians have become the target of senseless attacks. But let us not forget that senseless , means without reason. In quite moments we may attempt to understand the acts of others by trying to put ourselves in their shoes. But the sad truth is that we can not understand people who are crazy, or are so fanatic in their beliefs that the value of each human life becomes less important than some cause.
We in the Western world have over the years developed a code of conduct, a system of laws that determine for us what is right or wrong. Our societies and our culture has changed and developed over the years that reflect the impact of a changing world from agrarian societies, to the dawning of the Industrial Revolution to a Technological and Information Revolution. We might not like some of the changes but we recognize that things do change in the Modern World.
We face a people, a people from a more tribal culture with a different religion and a different interpretation of that religion than we have witnessed before. In an attempt to have a more meaningful life they have embraced a radical view of an age old religion, the Muslim faith. In their attempt to have a life worth living these radicals have adopted the old ways of the 7th Century, and are trying to recreate a life that has long since disappeared. In their desperation they are trying recreate a society and to ready themselves for the end of times.
The Western Civilizations and Muslim societies that have not adopted nor accepted the radical views of ISIS are attempting to live in a different world from the past and accept the changes that time has brought us.
It is how we have reacted to the new dangers to our lives that may indeed disturb Mr. Franklin if he could come back for a visit to a country he helped get started.
What would think of the use of torture to supposedly make us more secure? What would he think of wiretapping or listening into peoples conversations on the telephone? What would he think of the idea of listening in on the conversations going on in a house of worship, a Mosque?
Under the name of the Patriot Act we have seen things done that are not patriotic nor in keeping with our rights guaranteed under the Constitution.
It seems that as a result of the fear that has been generated by those who would change our lives for the worse, the outcome has been that Big Brother has finally arrived.
Of course we will never know what he would think, but it is likely that he would be disturbed by the breach of liberty.
Is there a reason to believe that for all of those who had their privacy invaded by the government that in each case there has been a probable cause to have done so? My thinking is that for those who are profiled the only pretext was that they are being singled out because of their religion or due to the fact that their families have come from a certain part of the world.
Some of our citizens have not been disturbed nor have they become more fearful of losing our basic liberties when they have witnessed the rights of their fellow citizens being abridged.
American citizens have seen themselves imprisoned for long stretches of time without due process nor a trial.
Since Big Brother has arrived are you really safer? Was the price of losing liberty for the illusion of safety worth it?
What we are losing as a result of fear and the lowering of our standards to do acts that we would never have been thought of if the forces of radical Islam had not invaded sanctity of our daily lives. Let us not lose who we are and our values as a people for the goal of safety and order.
And yes, Mr. Franklin we are not as free nor are we as secure as we once were.