There use to be very few absolute defining issues comprising the public policy discourse of this nation. That is to say that most debates of the past between Republicants and Democrats were how to implement policy that was in the best interest of the people of this great country, while still maintaining constitutional integrity. Modern times have found this nation in the grips of one party (Democrats) that wishes to replace the constitution and the free choice and privacy it enshrines, with the tyranny of big government. And another party (Republicants) who seem ineffectual at stopping them, and at times even supporting their destruction of personal liberty.
The National Security Administration spying scandal is an issue on which there can be no compromise, if one believes in the citizen's constitutional right to be secure in their papers and personal effects. This includes phone calls and emails. For me it has been a sickening sight to watch many on the Right agree with the egregious violation of basic rights inherent in the NSA's electronic dragnet in which they have snagged every American. These so-called conservatives have decided for everyone that security is more important than liberty and that information has become a government commodity to be traded for the country's constitutional soul.
The defenders of such privacy invasions as the NSA collecting the phone records and Internet traffic of every American, say it is necessary in a post-911 world to keep us safe from terrorism. But safety without the freedom of personal privacy is just another word for tyranny. These who have the sacred duty to protect the God-given rights of free people enshrined in this nation's founding documents, have traded the holy grail of liberty for the profanity of big government progressivism.
The defenders of the NSA spying on innocent Americans justify the program by stating that the data collected is "meta data," and will never be used unless there is reason to believe there is a connection to terrorism. But this "meta data" is the key which unlocks the vault of personal data on every American. In the hands of an out-of-control executive branch, this data can be used to target political opponents or anyone else the administration deems worthy of privacy invasion. This has already happened in a spectacular and frightening way with the Internal Revenue Service. There is no reason to believe that this administration would not use other agencies under its control to advance their political agenda and destroy any opposition to it.
I do not oppose the NSA spying on Americans because Barack Obama is president, although he is the first president since Franklin Roosevelt to use the power of government to crush his opposition in such a blatant and public way. I oppose the NSA spying on Americans because it is antithetical to the very foundation of the American Revolution, which for those who still remember, was about severely limiting the power and authority of centralized government. Liberty can hardly survive under the rule of a government authority with virtually unlimited access to personal information ripped from the dwindling privacy of every American citizen.