The Bush Led Assault on Civil Liberties

President George W. Bush signs the Homeland Security Appropriations Act of 2004 and introduces Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge at the Department of Homeland Security, October 1, 2003. The $30 billion spending bill was the first-ever for the new department. Photo by Mark Wilson

“Any man worth his salt will stick up for what he believes right, but it takes a slightly better man to acknowledge instantly and without reservation that he is in error.” – Andrew Jackson

Alright, I will admit it - I was wrong. As much as it pains me to state it (not because of my error, but because of the consequences), I was colossally wrong. Within weeks of the 9/11 terrorist attacks on our country, George W. Bush signed into law the Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism (USA PATRIOT) Act of 2001. At the time, there was great consternation amongst a cadre of Democrats and liberal Americans (and a few clear-headed conservatives) who presciently saw this as an unbelievable transfer of power from the citizen to the government, ripe for abuse. As an aside, man do I miss the days when there were elements in the Democratic Party who could provide a coherent counterpoint to Republicans.

I heard their lamentations and smugly thought to myself, “Well, what do I have to hide? I’m a law-abiding patriot. Surely this doesn’t impact me. They must be worried because they have something to hide.” Fifteen years later the Department of Justice and the national security apparatus used these tools to try and prevent the election of a president, and then failing that, to take down that president.

As I have stated previously, this is not a Republican versus Democrat war that is raging within our country, but an elite assault on the working and middle classes. In order for the few to hold power over the many, they must use authoritarian means. They must control the hive-minded narrative and “other” those who think critically and speak out. They must sow fear so that you will gladly give up your rights for security. They must divide and conquer – think through the prism of race and identity politics.

“Those that give up freedom for safety deserve neither.” – Benjamin Franklin

I am going to apologize for the liberal use of quotes today, but I like them as they remind us that great leaders and thinkers have given thought to these issues before. The birth of our great nation was a radical experiment based on the founding principal that man was imbued with God-given rights and that a government only held power over the citizenry through their consent. The United States of America has stood for close to 250 years as a shing beacon of freedom and civil liberty for the whole world to see – even if we were imperfect and did not always live up to those ideals. All you have to do is look at the wave of immigration to our shores – both legal and illegal – as evidence of how much the people of this world covet the rights and liberties with which we are blessed. But I would argue that this past year has seen an assault on our individual liberties unlike any other.

The COVID-19 pandemic, the January 6th “insurrection,” the rise of domestic terrorism, and the danger imposed by the vaccine hesitant have all been used as justifications to erode the rights of the average American. The current occupant of the White House throws out dictates through imperial decree circumventing our Constitutional process and irrespective of its system of checks and balances. The elite tell us you must not question the 2020 election results. You must obey and get vaccinated regardless of what you and your doctor decide is in your best interests. You must not question school boards. And you absolutely must not vote for or support a mean, orange man who threatens to expose and tear down the system that is rigged against you. If you oppose any of these edicts then you are not part of the hive. And if you are not part of the hive then you must be a Nazi and we all know we must punch Nazis.

The tragic irony of this is we willingly gave them this power to wield as a cudgel against us. And it is not stopping but only accelerating as the elite double down against us unwashed masses. Don’t believe me? Just research recent congressional testimony on who Ray Epps is and whether or not the January 6th “insurrection” was choreographed. Just look at the latest report that Education Secretary Miguel Cardona asked the National School Boards Association for the letter calling parents “domestic terrorists” to justify a DOJ response. Just read the latest announcement from the DOJ on the formation of a new unit to fight domestic terrorism – and lest you think they are discussing the Antifa and Black Lives Matter riots that burned across our nation last summer, please read the justification given by Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Dick Durbin. Just look at the cajoling from Anthony Fauci and Joseph Biden, who is losing his patience with Americans.

One sole Democrat senator from Wisconsin, Russ Feingold, opposed the Patriot Act in the Senate which passed October 25, 2001 by a vote of 98-1. In a speech he gave addressing his concerns of the bill, he quoted Irish statesman John Philpot Curran, who stated, “The condition upon which God hath given liberty to man is eternal vigilance.” My fellow Americans, it is time to be truly vigilant unless our freedom is to disappear entirely. I am open to the possibility that I am wrong, but have yet to hear the argument as to how.