By Frank Lovato
While getting ready to go to work this morning, I was listening
to the TV morning news. The newsperson asked a caller if she
would give up "a little freedom" for additional security and
she answered, "Yes." All the time I was in the shower I kept
thinking why that sounded so stupid. My initial reaction was
that giving up a "little freedom" is very much like giving
up a "little virginity."
If I were asked that question, my answer would have been
a very emphatic NO. But why?
I guess the shower is a good place to think because not
much gray matter is utilized to rub soap on your self and
let the water wash it off. The first thing I thought was,
is there a direct trade off between freedom and security?
Can you put them on a balance scale and measure one against
the other? Way back when I was in school I was taught that
insight into a logic problem could be obtained by "driving
it to the absurd." (If that is not the right term, please
remember it has been a long time since I took a logic class.)
So I asked my self where and when did people have the least
amount of freedom. I immediately thought of Nazi Germany and
the USSR. These governments repressed almost all personal
freedoms - but did that in turn allow their people to live
in complete security?
Drying off it came to me that the Gestapo in Nazi Germany
and the KGB in the USSR could arrest or kill anyone at any
time for any reason. So the very government that was supposed
to guarantee security was actually the greatest threat to
that security. Logically, giving up freedom in no way provides
more security. They are not on the same scale so they can
be traded like sugar or rice.
I then decided to flip the logic coin: does freedom guarantee
security? The answer is, again, a very emphatic NO. With a
lot of luck and dedication a group of fanatics hijacked four
planes, flew them into buildings and killed thousands of innocents
along with themselves. In an imperfect world, there is no
such thing a perfect security - but did those fanatics actually
endanger the security of the nation?
They destroyed the World Trade Center, damaged the Pentagon,
disrupted the economy, killed thousands of innocent people,
and affected countless others either related by family or
related by humanity. But in no way was the nation as a whole
endangered. What was endangered was our freedom - and not
by the attackers but by our very own government.
Capitalizing on the shock, anger, and fear generated by
these awesomely terrible acts, the Bush administration drove
through the Congress the so called "Patriot Act" that legalized
taking away our freedoms but in no way increased our security.
They now can arrest American citizens just like the Gestapo
in Germany or the KGB in the USSR - without writ or warrant
or due process. If allowed to remain, this perverted law and
the subsequent Patriot
Act II being proposed will just diminish our freedoms
While combing my hair I came to the great realization that
we are letting ourselves in for an American dictatorship if
we allow our freedoms to be taken away piece by piece for
the illusion of security. What is being offered is the security
of the child, the slave, or the animal - they have no say
into what will become of their lives. We have not existed
as a free people for over two hundred years just to allow
fear to make us give up our freedom. No foreign power has
been successful in taking our freedom from us, but I fear
we may be on the path to willfully surrendering it to the
rich and powerful now in control of our government.
Amazing what a guy can think of getting ready to go to work.