Thursday, April 8, 2010

Just Because You're Paranoid......

No surprises here, but I don't easy fall into a ready-made political designation. Oftentimes, my views seem completely foreign to "mainstream" folks or at least the level of my concern baffles them. I've given a lot of thought to why that is recently. How can I explain to folks why its important to be concerned about the growth of executive power (no matter what party may currently occupy it)and the protection of constitutional freedoms? Well I saw a story that might help me.

Perusing I happened upon this headline: "Confirmed: Obama Authorizes Assassination of U.S. Citizen" You can read the story at the link if you're so inclined.

I balked at this headline. Even for me, this had to be sheer sensationalism. No way was the headline to be taken literally. Wrong.

To give you the cliffnotes version of the article, there's a suspected terrorist who is a U.S. citizen. Obama officials have confirmed the administration wants to put the hit on this guy. No arrest, no indictment, no trial, no firefight necessary. Just put a slug in his head while he sleeps if you can.

Now, if you want to argue the administration can do whatever they want with anybody that's not an American citizen, I wouldn't fault you. I personally believe the good guys should act like good guys, but constitutionally speaking, I can see how you can argue that. But this guy's an American citizen.

Think about that for a second. You know what the next step is right? I don't even have to say it do I? We had domestic terrorists first after all didn't we? Once this precedent is set, it will be used again, and it will be expanded. You can't put a genie like this back in the bottle easily. It doesn't matter what location and period of history you look at, you'll see this same pattern. History repeats because human nature is immutable.

So how did we get here? By not being vigilant, that's how. Take off the partisan glasses for a second. Even if you're a die-hard republican and are jubilant at having this new weapon to level at your hated Obama, we didn't get to this point just yesterday. Obama ran as the anti-bush: no more war, no more civil liberty incursions, no more executive unaccountability. Read some of his pre-campaign stuff, and I think its pretty hard to say he didn't mean it at the time. Likewise, Bush ran on a platform of a non-interventionist foreign policy initially. Opposite political affiliations, same progression towards executive hegemony.

As disappointed as I am, I'm not surprised, nor would I expect these guys to act otherwise. I've said it before, but it bears repeating, it is utterly FOOLISH to expect any individual, group, or entity to act in any way other than its own perceived self-interest. Such is the case with the past 10 presidents. However much they might believe in checks and balances before-hand, their agenda immediately becomes the expansion of the power of their new position. This will include the use of this new-found tool on those they see as threats.

As Gandalf said, "I would use this ring from a desire to do good... But through me, it would wield a power too great and terrible to imagine." It is the grand nature of the position itself driving us down this well-tread path. Few of us have the capability to resist its seductions for long. Folks like Cincinnatus, Washington, and Eisenhower who were willing to advise against their own power are exceedingly rare.

So that's why we need to care about this stuff. Do you want your children to grow up in a nation where they can be marked for death by the executive on a blind accusation? So quit believing the lie that we only have 2 choices, a guy with a D or an R before their name. Because I don't see a whole lot of difference. The lesser of two evils is still evil. Doing what is right is more important than being on the winning campaign's team. Even if all elections were 100% rigged, the right thing to do is vote for the person you believe is right. If we don't vote and act in a way to restrict the power of the executive, we're willingly submitting ourselves and our progeny to tyranny. And shame be upon us if that's what continues.


Anonymous said...

I don't think you and I disagree on much of anything. I read a story about this very guy yesterday. I mean, don't get me wrong, he isn't exactly a saint but it makes no sense for Obama to want to try the 911 suspects in NYC but thinks a bullet in the head is good enough for the American citizen!! God have mercy on our country!

Candace said...

What is the litmus test for altruism? I'm not asking this rhetorically, but I'm really hoping you have an answer. I'm totally with you on all of this and you've sold me on so much, but the question that keeps bouncing around in my mind is if the absence of a D or an R really guarantee incorruptibility?

Also, I view the kind of tyranny as you described as an inevitability. Maybe it's because we're watching at waiting for Jesus to come back and we know to expect this kind of trouble (in 20 or 2000 years, and obviously no one knows when). You're right, however, in rallying us to action and to raise our voices against it. I really have to watch my level of apathy.

But in the meantime, I thank you for getting me to really consider all of this and if you have any specifics on the "act" part of "vote and act," post away, brothah.
Until then, I'll vote and pray.:)

Love you and thanks!

Jonny said...

Candace, I certainly didn't mean to imply that just because someone does run as an independent, that makes them an inherently better candidate. I'm just saying don't limit yourself.

As far as a litmus test for altruism, there certainly isn't any perfect one. Everybody has to evaluate candidates by their own criteria.

And I guess I sort of agree on the inevitability of tyranny. It does seem to be the rule rather than the exception historically. However, we had such a rare confluence of circumstances that led to the creation of our extraordinarily free nation. With such a unique gift, I think it would be a tragedy to let it quietly slip away. Yeah, my new car is inevitably going to be a lemon one day, but I should on and maintain it while it lasts.

Anonymous said...

To me it is kind of like when Paul talks about grace not being a lisence to sin too. We are secure in our salvation but we don't just give up and give in to our flesh because we are safe.

Man and his societies and his leaders are ultimately sinful and corrupt and we are waiting for Jesus to come and govern perfectly but does that give us the right to just give up in the meantime and not fight for the best possible system? I for one would like to see a country in which the gospel can be preached in the street without fear of persecution survive!