Would Our Founders Be Proud
After travelling to other locations in the world it is even more solidified for me that this is still the greatest nation on earth. However, I see some changes that have me very concerned for our future. I have a feeling the founders of this Country wouldn’t be very happy with some of the things that are going on. For example our freedoms are being infringed upon by the Executive Branch of the Federal Government. President Barack Obama before becoming a U.S. Senator was a Professor of Constitutional Law at Chicago University. He graduated from Harvard Law School and his areas of expertise were due process and equal protection. Which is why it is disconcerting to think he has continued policies enacted by his predecessor President George W. Bush and even expanded upon them. These policies have reduced our civil liberties in the name of increased national security. A bit of background. In 2001 after the bombing of the World Trade Center President Bush signed an executive order enacting the Presidential Surveillance Program which allowed the National Security Agency to monitor any communications between suspected terrorists outside the U.S. with parties inside the United States including citizens of this Country without obtaining a warrant, as required by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. The Patriot Act was passed including the National Defense Authorization Act which allows the assassination of U.S. Citizens by Presidential order. This also allows the President to indefinitely detain citizens accused of terrorism. In addition the President is also given the authority to decide whether the suspect will receive a military tribunal or a court trial. Somehow I don’t think our founding fathers would be too pleased to see the Executive Branch given this kind of broad power. In 2011 President Obama extended the Patriot Act and added the power for the President to order warrantless surveillance including searches of everything from your business documents to your library records. The U.S. Government can now simply issue a national security letter to demand without probable cause an organization to turn over information on citizens. Not illegal aliens, U.S. citizens. Remember Obama was a civil rights attorney specializing in due process and equal protection. NO due process involved here. That’s not all. These new powers were questioned by some and in the courts the Obama administration successfully defended their use of GPS devices to monitor every move of targeted citizens without securing a court order. The expanded powers also allow the President to order the transfer of a citizen or non-citizen to another country for torture. Republican Senator Lindsay Graham of South Carolina defended this saying. “We’re in a war.” Do we really want to trust ANY U.S. President to have this kind of authority? James Madison warned the U.S. needed a system that didn’t depend on good intentions or motivations of rulers. As he put it, “If men were angels, no government would be necessary.” In 1787 after the signing of our U.S. Constitution Ben Franklin was asked by a woman, “What have we got, a republic or a monarchy?” He replied, “A republic, madam, if you can keep it.” As we celebrate our 238th birthday let’s bend the ear of our U.S. Senators and Representatives and voice our objections to allowing this kind of power to one human being in the U.S. I ask, would our founders be proud?