While I know that my voice is small and insignificant, while I know very few care about my thoughts, I feel the need to speak on this. I feel the need if for no other reason than to simply add one more spit of fuel to a fire that desperately needs to grow. I speak in the hope that this fire may engulf the nation and burn away that which needs to burn.
I never had hope. I never expected change. I never expected this. I never expected a president who, time and again, has proven himself the equal of George W. Bush in almost all matters. His failure has been spectacular. And while he has had some high-profile successes, such as Obamacare, and for these many of my progressive friends have given him props, I was reading about his constant and persistent failures in the journals and articles on civil rights, copyright, freedom of speech, and equal rights. I was reading about the small, operational decisions that most people don't care about. For me, this blowup over the NSA was, for lack of a better word, expected.
Osama Bin Laden should be proud. He didn't destroy the U.S. like he, for some reason, thought he would. Instead, thanks to fear mongering politicians, an idiotic populace, and two presidencies headed by men without scruples, he has managed to cause us to build what is perhaps the infrastructure to the greatest police state the world has ever known.
The U.S. is obviously not currently a police state. Progressive activists will point to certain elements of it that are similar to it -- be it police abuse, overreaching government, the TSA, or institutional bigotry -- but on the whole, the U.S. is decently free. But we are on a precipice. The slope is not nearly as slippery as conservative wingnuts would have you believe, but we have spent the past thirteen years, slowly but surely, walking down that slope. And now, here we are, further down that slope that many probably suspected we were.
It was an overused phrase during Bush's reign, and perhaps we are all still weary of it, but I will repeat it anyhow, in its non-paraphrased form. They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.