As civil liberties began a steady state of erosion since the Patriot Act, many other countries have followed suit sacrificing the liberties of their people for an unquantifiable increase in level of safety. It makes me ill to think about.

One of the common claims I recurrently hear is: “Law abiding citizens should have nothing to fear.” This argument is so sad and short-sighted.

I am a law abiding citizen… today. Our governments can make new laws and there is certainly no reason for us to believe they would necessarily match our respective moral compasses. When they do not align, we have decisions to make. Those decisions should not result in the erosion of civil liberties. Namely, a protest by the people is not (nor ever will be) terrorism. We should never grant our government the ability to change the process by which it resolves disagreements with its people. It should always remain a process of the people. Statements like the above cross the line between building a society that protects its liberties and building a cage from which its people cannot escape.

I very rarely consider the “founding fathers” of the United States as they lived in a different time, in a different world with different risks and threats. There should be no reasonable expectation that their perspectives would remain unaltered given the influence of subsequent American history. However, there is on basic sentiment that haunts me… the one that resonates with me is regarding the value of liberty. It was more valuable than life.

“Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety. - Benjamin Franklin