You know all those memes that are floating around all over the place, right? Some of them, especially the political ones are less than accurate. In fact, MANY of the political ones are. Well, there is a quote that has been wrongly attributed to Ben Franklin and paraphrased many different ways that goes something like this: “He who sacrifices freedom for security deserves neither.” Here is an example:
Ben Franklin didn’t say that. He as much as admitted he didn’t say it in a letter to a colleague. The more interesting story is that the phrase first appeared back in November of 1755, twenty years before the Declaration of Independence, in a letter from the Pennsylvania Assembly (in which Ben Franklin served) to the Governor of Pennsylvania. In it, they were addressing concerns of protecting the people on the frontier from unfriendlies and said “Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.” In 1755.
In yesterday’s post, we talked about the PATRIOT Act. We talked about how it is possibly the worst assault on the Bill of Rights since the time of Lincoln. It was passed while our nation was in a panic, under the guise of “protecting us against terrorism.” Many Americans, like the colonists before them, are not willing to give up individual liberties for personal safety. If only members of Congress would pay attention to what Americans actually want.
A section of that piece of legislation is coming up soon for renewal. While some people in politics, like Rand Paul, aren’t so keen on it, others believe that the PATRIOT Act is the best thing since sliced bread. Take Former Governor Jeb Bush, possibly soon to be running for president, for example. He has said that he believes the NSA surveillance of Americans should continue and that it’s the “best part of the Obama Administration.” Senator Marco Rubio, who also plans to announce soon a run for the presidency, has called for the the PA to be reauthorized. Have either one of these men read the Bill of Rights? Do they know what it says? Better yet, have they talked to the American people? Obviously not.
But I digress.
I saw an article today on remarks made by New Jersey Governor Chris Christie at a town hall forum held in New Hampshire. I’m not sure what the governor of New Jersey was doing in a town hall meeting in New Hampshire, but apparently, he hasn’t read the Bill or Rights either. And apparently he thinks the PA is an awesome thing.
In his remarks he stated the 9/11 attacks stole Americans’ liberty. I’ve got some news for Governor Christie: It wasn’t the attacks that stole our liberty. It was what our government did afterward by passing the PATRIOT Act that stole it.
He urged for more funding and support to increase the U.S. capabilities to prevent terror attacks. More funding? For more agencies to trample all over the Bill of Rights? No, thank you, Mr. Christie. We will take a pass.
He said, “There are going to be some who are going to come before you and going to say ‘Oh, no, no, this is not what the founders intended.’ The founders made sure that the first obligation of the American government was to protect the lives of the American people.” Holy crap. Is he for real? But wait. Jeb Bush said almost the exact same thing in a interview. He said in his comments about the NSA surveillance being Obama’s finest hour, “Even though he (Obama) never defends it, even though he never openly admits it, there has been a continuation of a very important service, which is the first obligation I think of our national government is to keep us safe,”
That’s hysterical. The “best part of the Obama administration”, yet Obama himself never mentions it? Hmm. I wonder why that is? Could it be that he never mentions it because it shreds the Bill of Rights to pieces? Oh, wait. Maybe it’s because it wasn’t passed initially during the OBAMA ADMINISTRATION.
The founders were of the opinion that the government should do nothing more than leave the American people alone. If you read our post from yesterday, you know that Section 215 alone of the USA PATRIOT Act has the founders turning over in their graves and looking for their muskets. They dumped tea in the Boston Harbor over a tax of three pence per pound, for crying out loud. What the hell do you think they would do over the PATRIOT Act???
Okay. Back to Chris Christie. Do you know what else he said? Are you ready for this? You should probably sit down. He added, “You can’t enjoy your civil liberties if you’re in a coffin.” I’ll just let that sink in. I’ll be over here.
I don’t even have any words that I can use in response to that. I’m afraid that I would offend some delicate sensibilities if I said what I truly thought about that statement.
But I will say this. I’ll take my chances with that coffin, Mr. Christie, if it means that the Bill of Rights will be in full effect again before I die.