Republican Fear is Dangerous, Not Funny
I did a first draft of this post, and I started it with a clever knickname for frightened Republicans. I deleted that, though, because mocking the Republicans may amuse me, but it really is not funny. We have a serious problem here in America, when the majority party is eager to aggressively expand the role of government and police in our society. A new survey by Zogby International confirms some of my worst suspicions about Republicans and their level of fear.
Here is a sample of how far the Republicans are willing to go to shift the balance between liberty and security in our still-great nation. The following numbers reflect the percentage of Republicans who agree with the respective police measures, with the corresponding number for Democrats in parentheses.
Would you favor allowing these methods if it meant increased protection from terrorist acts?These numbers reflect a collective loss of nerve I never could have imagined in America. Maybe it is because I grew up in cold-war America, where an essential part of the definition of America was that we are free, in stark contrast to the spied-upon police states of the Communist world. Now that we have outlasted the restrained and restricted Reds, the Republicans want to become them.
* Allowing your purse, handbag, briefcase, backpack, or packages to be searched at random anywhere: 66 (45)
* Allowing regular roadblocks to search vehicles: 62 (38)
* Allowing your car to be searched at random: 60 (37)
* Allowing your telephone conversations to be monitored: 56 (20)
* Allowing your mail to be searched at random: 49 (26)
Can you imagine regular roadblocks to search vehicles, and random pull-overs to do the same? In America?
American Republicans, who are you? Why does this seem like a good idea to you? Does this really sound like a fitting response to a few threats? This, from a nation that once prayed for the enslaved people of the Soviet Union and Cuba?
I'm not mocking the Republicans for their fear. I am afraid, too. I fear the authoritarian impulses of our own government and the corruptible people within it, though, more than I fear what terrorists can accomplish in the face of a determined and courageous nation.