Of all the tiresome political talking points to emerge post-September 11, the civil libertarians have been by far the most tiresome. Attorney General Ashcroft went to great pains to please this group in the original anti-terror bill (the PATRIOT Act) only be to painted as the Devil Incarnate.
There is a lesson to learn in all of this. The Civil Libertarians are a relic of a time that has long since past. They, in the name of freedom and commerce, continually stand in the way of much-needed measures that aim to insure that every American has the opportunity to live free lives and pursue commerce.
One of the major faults I have with the Bush Adminstration is that it has not gone nearly as far as it should have to root out terrorists in the mainland United States. The PATRIOT Act takes some good first steps, but that particular act is badly in need of a supplementary law to complete what PATRIOT started.
If the United States Congress were serious about protecting this country, it would explore:
· A National Identification Card
· A Domestic Intelligence Service
· Greater video surveillance at major cities and airports
· Greater monitoring of international communication done by online methods like e-mail
· The monitoring of all news services, news websites, and movies for messages and biases that encourage sympathy with terrorists or terrorist sympathizers.
We live in a Hobbesian state of nature, and now, in this time of great threat, is when the citizenry should increase the amount of personal sovereignty it gives to the government in exchange for personal safety. Without personal security, as Hobbes noted, there is no room for Arts or Literature, Industry or Commerce. Without security that can only be granted by the types of measures listed above, the life of Americans will be nasty, brutish and short.
This is not the time to listen to libertarian nonsense that is better suited for a time when men rode horseback. This is the time to recognize the dangers Americans face and take the measures that would respond accordingly.