I find it shocking how often I have people tell me the Constitution is out of date and is no longer relevant or necessary. Then there are the vast majority of people that think about the Constitution the same way they think about religion; it makes us feel good to believe in it and we’ll even worship it on a holiday or two The reality is that those who seem to get very worked up to the point that they are willing to act in defense of the Constitution even against the highest levels of government make up a very small minority of Americans. This is a real problem.
You see if people gave a damn the government couldn’t get away with negating the Constitution. But the vast majority of people just don’t give a damn and so the government very easily provides ridiculous and false legal sounding arguments to explain away why they have become a higher law than the Constitution. Now I’ve tried to understand why it is that we Americans are so damn apathetic about everything the government and government officials do.
Let me give some examples for which our apathy just boggles my mind. We know the NSA is collecting emails, cell calls, have established back doors into virtually every computer program. We know Homeland Security is collecting similar information under the Patriot Act without going to their super secret court to obtain a warrant, we know they detain citizens they label as “national security threats” without due process. We know the President is quite content with using drones on American citizens to kill them if they are deemed a “security threat” No charges, no trial, no sentence other than death.
But because today’s American is simply a shell of a citizen none of the criminal atrocities creates even a stir from us. Sure we all read about these atrocities and we are angered in the moment but it passes rather quickly and we fall back into our self induced ignorant bliss.
Only two things can get Americans to formidably rise up. The first is a very direct and immediate impediment to our comfort. For example try cutting back on the monthly social welfare checks or changing any social program. You’ll have riots. The second way is if the mainstream media relentlessly instructs us to be upset about a particular issue Ferguson, Baltimore, Donald Sterling, etc… Outside of that there is absolutely nothing the new American won’t move past like water off a duck’s back.
We have lost a functioning understanding of the limits and protection the constitution affords every American. We are far to busy making sure that this group of Americans are protected and that group is protected. We never step back and say “Crap if we just followed this document all Americans would be protected.” We now use the power of the government to protect gays, minorities, illegal immigrants, etc….., but the Constitution was designed to protect every American from the greatest threat of all government!
Today’s legislators rarely discuss the founding fathers or the Constitution beyond the very thin idea that they know we expect them to defend it. That is, like freedom and apple pie, they love it during the campaign cycle. However, ask them why then they continue to legislate against the Constitution and well they don’t want to talk about the Constitution anymore. And we the people ,like apathetic morons , buy into the crap they feed us because we simply don’t care. It’s to the point they can pretty much do anything knowing they can bullshit us with any damn nonsense that pops into their swollen heads. And so they do things like hack into our webcams, take nude pictures of us and send them to foreign governments and tell us it’s for our own good. We don’t care because 1. it doesn’t impede our immediate comfort and 2. the press isn’t telling us it’s something to be concerned about.
The danger of being apathetic until it impacts our immediate day to day is that we allow the government to take away all the freedoms we are not currently using. What I mean by that is we so far have not had to face what it means to be powerless and in chains. But only because we haven’t yet ventured out far enough so as to reach the end of our chains. Like a sleeping dog that isn’t aware he’s been shackled until he wakes and tries to chase a bird, we are asleep and unaware of the shackles placed around our ankles.
Some will say “wait, it isn’t apathy it is a trade off between safety and freedom”. But the truth is freedom and safety are not compatible we’ve only been led to believe they are. Fear has replaced freedom here in America and that is not by chance but by strategy of a government that has its own agenda, separate from its oath to uphold and defend the Constitution. So while we should have prosecuted these recent governments for treason we’ve instead rewarded them the rights of dictatorship.
The Constitution is our freedom keeper but once the Constitution is made subordinate the precedent is set and in our legal system precedence is king. The strength in the Constitution is just that, it’s strength. Once we allow an exception to the Constitution’s superseding authority it no longer has any authority. Unfortunately that exception has already been made. With it, the destruction of the Constitution and the end to a guaranty of freedom.
Let’s look at Edward Snowden’s situation to see how one loses one’s freedom. Snowden is a man that knowingly sacrificed his own freedom to expose the corruption and criminality of our policy makers and their respective agencies. He is also a citizen that has been deemed a threat to national security. Why would a man who exposed the criminal enslavement of Americans and citizens around the world be deemed a terrorist rather than a hero?? Because he is a threat to the power and control and really the entire system of those who can now legally classify him as a threat, removing his right to due process.
In effect, these political criminals can now legally lock away any whistle blower, opposition leader at will. This is a gross conflict of interest and the man that exposed this conflict of interest is now a victim of it. Edward Snowden not only informed America, he recognized that he would be the first example so that Americans would see, first hand, the sort of corruption that has infected our system. I can only infer he made himself known because he believed seeing it actually happen would get Americans to rise up and correct the moral transgression. And what did we the people do in response to Snowden’s incredibly brave and patriotic action? Nothing, barely a whimper, now he is forced this to live in exile. We don’t even demand the corruption to stop. We do nothing. How very American of us. And why do we do nothing? Because it doesn’t impede our immediate comfort and the media hasn’t told us we need to be concerned about the issue.
The lives of Americans have become so easy and so secure that we no longer recognize living in The Land of the Free comes not with costs but with obligations. We seem to believe that paying taxes indemnifies us of our real obligations as citizens who have been handed a beautiful gift and who are responsible for passing on that precious gift to future generations of Americans. And that is a mistake that will have historians writing of us as we write of Eve in the garden of Eden. Our lack of principles resulting in the suffering of all future generations having destroyed a gift we obviously didn’t deserve.