Friday, November 20, 2015
National Security Is Not Job 1
Think about it, folks!
The primary role of government is NOT to provide security or protection, as many advocates claim in regards to pulling up our national drawbridge to Syrian refugees.
The primary role of government is to ensure that our human rights are protected, and there's a big difference.
Presuming that our government exists primarily to protect us from physical harm is short-sighted at best; and at worst, potentially lethal to human rights.
After all, what good is being protected from "harm" when we can't think, act, speak, and congregate as we wish?
The Soviet Union did a good job of protecting its citizens, but who would want to live in that environment of civil oppression?
There is a growing wave of security-minded zealots in the United States who want to be able to control our population through official scrutiny and incessant oversight. We've already resigned ourselves to the fact that our government knows far more about each of us than we likely do ourselves. Our banking transactions, credit card purchases, drivers license numbers, medical records, and airline ticket purchases are all strictly monitored. Security cameras record much of our movement in public. Toll tags and cell phones track where we go, and when. And all of this data is recorded and stored by people we don't know for a length of time we don't know.
To be used in ways we don't know.
Part of the trend towards hyper-security is driven by atrocities like terrorism, but part of it also involves our government's desire to control us. Politicians on both sides of the partisan spectrum have already admitted this. So why do we keep feeding our government's thirst for control by parroting the grim hawkish mantra about physical security being our government's top priority?
After all, if we're physically secure yet unable to find privacy or think and act freely, how wonderful is that?
So the next time you hear a politician or media personality sternly reminding you that your government's primary role is to protect you, don't buy it. I want my government's primary role to be protecting my civil rights. And my civil rights extend to more than my physical safety. The government can turn my physical safety to my disadvantage if they've already taken away my right to champion my independence.
Frankly, I'm surprised at how gullible all of my evangelical cohorts are in this matter. On the one hand, we complain about our religious freedoms being taken away, and then on the other hand, many of us want to give the government a responsibility that could compromise our religious freedoms in the future. If you say that protecting us from physical danger is what Washington should be doing, how long do you think it will be before some left-winger convinces enough people that Christianity poses some physical danger to society in general?
Now do you see why "national security" is not government's primary role? For your sake and mine, I hope so.