In the wake of September 11th, there’s an overwhelming percentage of the population willing to sacrifice civil liberties for security purposes without question. Is this the collective consciousness of a nation wounded by a vicious terror attack or a nation affected by the ever-flowing terror rhetoric? Either way, the lines between freedom and protection are becoming increasingly blurred.
In the advent of the U.S. “Patriot Act”, a resolution that obliterates an American’s Constitutional rights, people have begun to question the government’s role in security, usually quoting Benjamin Franklin, “they that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.” A poetic sentiment unfortunately lost on the less analytical among us.
Does security equal liberty? In the 1940’s the Nazi’s used a slogan, 'arbeit macht Frei' or in English, ‘work makes free’. Words that, chillingly, can still be read on the iron gates of Auschwitz prison. It’s when government is given this sort of clandestine right, without the checks and balances of a democratic society; government becomes a haven for those who abuse power.
These checks and balances are the fundamentals of our just and democratic society. Hundreds of thousands of true patriots have put their lives on the line - have died, and are dying still, to protect these democratic ideals. So when our elected officials, the puppets of our design, disregard these principals, behave surreptitiously and introduce law which threatens democracy, it’s our patriotic duty, our American right to cut the strings and ensure liberty’s success.