Tuesday, November 24, 2015
Won’t They Ever Learn? (NO)
So… in the wake of the Paris attacks, and the newfound respect for the notion of actually controlling immigration -- i.e. who gets to cross our borders and settle down -- we have at least two Republican candidates for the presidency proposing some, let’s say, startling ideas.
From the Sunday paper (an AP article) -- “… Ben Carson said… that he wants to expand the government’s surveillance operations aimed at potential terrorist threats….” “’… I would be in favor of monitoring a mosque or any church or any organization or any school or any press corps where there was a lot of radicalization and things that were anti-American…’” And, tellingly, “He did not expound on just how an administration would determine what constitutes ‘radicalization’ or ‘anti-American’”. “Carson added that funding for FBI surveillance activities should be increased.”
In the meantime, Donald Trump said “’I want surveillance of certain mosques‘” and “has also voiced support for closing certain mosques as a way to contain the terrorist threat…”
OK. Nothing new about harassing the many for the sins of a few; we have only to consider German-Americans during World War I and Japanese-Americans during World War II. But that’s not my point. When it comes to government surveillance, monitoring activities of religious groups and journalists, and focusing on “radicals” and “anti-American” activities. it’s already happening. Have these guys already forgotten the IRS harassment of conservative non-profit organizations? Or the NSA monitoring of communications among individuals and organizations considered threats to national security? How many times, of late, have liberals in politics and journalism equated conservatives with terrorists -- even in the context of the “climate change” issue? And let’s not forget various snippets of guidance coming from the Justice Department and the FBI warning local police departments about the terrorist potential from “right-wing” and “anti-government” organizations, and even from home schoolers!
No, the kind of thing Trump and Carson say they want is already here, firmly in place and being implemented 24-7. Of course, the targets of this around-the-clock intelligence operation are not the same people Trump and Carson have in mind, but it hardly matters. The government has been given the tools -- largely by Congress, which means by both major parties. Whenever the government begs for funding in order to fight against “the bad guys”, they get it -- because everyone assumes that the ones the government identifies as bad guys are the same ones they do. Oh yeah, give the government anything it wants, and the hell with the Bill of Rights, because this is an emergency! It’s an “existential threat”, and all the other scare words and phrases that are used to energize the process. Problem is, even if today’s “bad guys” are the ones you had in mind, tomorrow’s bad guys might be your constituents -- or you. And then what?
How many Catholic politicians voted for ObamaCare, only to find that part of the long-term agenda is to insist that Catholic hospitals perform abortions, or be put out of business? Oh, right, there is “wording” in the law that supposedly keeps that from happening, but we all know how laws can morph over time -- and add an executive order here and there and you have, once again, something those who voted for it in the first place wouldn’t recognize. (I'll mention in passing the use of RICO against anti-abortion protesters.)
It’s the same old scam over and over, and the Republicans fall for it every time. Set up a straw man, present it as “the” enemy, get everyone to rally ’round the flag and vote the government basically unlimited powers -- but just in this one area, mind! And only on a temporary basis! And, surely common sense will prevail, etc. Well… when it comes to “temporary”, all you have to do is count the number of New Deal agencies that are still alive and well, and causing untold waste, fraud, and abuse. Any tool that the supposed conservatives provide to the liberals/statists/totalitarians in order to deal with an alleged enemy, or threat, will eventually be turned back on them. Want to limit freedom of speech in order to deal with communists? Now it’s aimed at “talk radio”. Want to keep communist and radical leftist political parties out of the election process? Now it's the Tea Party and the libertarians. Is the press too socialistic? Too communist-inspired? It’s the “right-wing” press and media that we’re supposed to be concerned about these days… because everyone knows there is no daylight between them and the KKK, and those guys are nothing but “home-grown terrorists”. And as far as things being “anti-American”, well… doesn’t it depend on whose definition of “anti-American” we’re using? According to Obama, it’s anti-American to want to restrict the entry of refugees from any country, in any number, and for any reason.
And so on. Again, give them the tools and they’ll use them against you. I want to call up Trump and Carson and say: The way to fight big government is not by making government bigger, you dummies! You have to dismantle it all -- piece by piece, brick by brick… even the parts you “like” once in a while, when they agree with you and act in your interests. You can’t complain about SWAT teams arresting home schoolers and organic farmers but then turn around and give them anything they want when it comes to drug dealers and immigrants. You can’t complain about government efforts to suppress free speech but then advocate denying it to Moslems, even “radical” ones. If you want mosques monitored lest they teach “radicalism”, and then closed if they do, then don’t complain when the government starts pressuring Christian churches to stop teaching against things like gay marriage, or just about anything else that is the political flavor of the month -- i.e. to stop “preaching hate”. The day may come when Christian churches are threatened with closure (rather then just losing their tax-exempt status) for holding positions that oppose those of the Regime.
It’s easy to applaud when the Regime beats up on the other guy… but then when you wind up in the cross-hairs, what principles are you going to appeal to, since you’ve long since given up on principles, and on thinking in those terms.
And as far as this election goes, well… the Republicans are doomed; I’ll say it again. But at least recent events have convinced them to sign off on increased government powers, regardless of the Constitution… and that was, of course, the idea all along. This way, the debate is no longer between big government and not-as-big government, but only about big government Type A and big government Type B -- but in the long run there is really only one type, and it’s Type T for Tyranny.