Thursday, December 22, 2005

I don't know these people anymore

There are still a few actual old-style conservatives who are appalled at the modern right-wing's slouch toward fascism. As for the rest of them - Barry Goldwater must be turning in his grave.

Conservative Blogger Mark Earnest is on the way to becoming an outcast in his own party.

I almost feel I don't know these people anymore. It seems now they feel government cannot have nearly enough power. Secret courts, secret warrants, secret prisons, suspect torture, massive data gathering on all aspects of US citizens including medical records, library records, and financial records are all wonderful things. They hold up the Patriot Act as a great piece of legislation that the Bush Whitehouse pushed through to combat terrorism (little seem to understand most of it was written during Clinton's years).

I truly and honestly do not understand. People who once proudly quoted Franklin's "Those who give up essential liberty for a little safety deserve neither" now cheerlead the executive branch on in removing any judicial oversight, congressional oversight, and in fact ANY oversight (as most of these laws are secret) from the land. Far from the transparent government the founders imagined, we are now entering a system where laws are kept secret, prosecutions are kept secret, and national security is a password to removing any and all liberty that stands in the way of anything government wishes to do.

I however, unlike most conservatives it seems, did not change from the 90s. I am still fiscally conservative, which means I think Bush is totally destroying the "small government" ideals I hold with through the roof spending. I'm all for tax cuts, but you have to cut spending also for that to work right. And I still remain wary of government claiming unprecedented and unconstitutional powers over US citizens, especially when they are so veiled in secrecy. A common conservative talking point is "so point out any abuses the government has used these new powers for" and that is simply an ignorant statement. You cannot, the very use of the secret warrants, secret courts, and spying without warrants is SECRET. You cannot find out how the government is using these new powers, we are lucky to occasionally find out these new powers even exist, usually due to a bureaucratic mistake or someone with the courage to come forward.

Lastly, the one thing I notice that conservatives who applaud these powers seem to be completely missing is that Bush will not be in power forever, nor will a Republican Congress. These things always go in cycles. Even if you feel the current government is not abusing this power at all, how will you feel when an ultra liberal president gets a Democrat controlled congress and now has all of these powers. What happens when the focus on all of these secret surveillance powers, secret trial powers, and cloak and dagger style of government come to bear on conservative causes. Do you people even think more than one year down the road?

Conservative or Liberal, the new powers the government is illegally giving itself are sowing the seeds of this country's destruction. It may not be tomorrow, but we have shifted so far already from what we once all believed in that some consider it already destroyed. I am not one of them, but I will admit it is getting pretty damn close, and it is showing no signs of stopping.

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