Saturday, June 14, 2008

Big Brother Needs a Poke in the Eye


In comparative government classes as well as MSM for the boomers, a frequent distinction was freedom. The cliché often ran that in the Soviet Union, everything not explicitly permitted is forbidden, while here everything not specifically forbidden is permitted.

Alas, today's youth cannot allow themselves that fantastic ideal. The Greatest Generation, the Entitlement Generation (a.k.a. the Silent Gen.) and boomers have managed to let pseudo-patriotism knock us way down the liberty tree. Those in other nations used to envy us our freedoms. We can understand why they're not so sure anymore.

You would think that the WWII and Korean Police Action sorts would abhor what restrictive affronts have befallen our traditional freedoms, our separation of powers and our Bill of Rights. You'd be wrong. The nefarious Bush administration and its abettors largely get praise and support from those who fought the big wars.

George the Lesser himself is a boomer. He is a disgraceful example for the rest of us. With the steady clucking support of the capons in Congress and the Supreme Court, he has used post-9/11 culture to flip America into a Soviet mentality.

Today's assumptions are:
  • If you don't OBEY Big George, you are yielding to terrorists intent on destroying America. Forget that yielding to him is destroying America.
  • If you don't have anything to hide, our spy agencies and Homeland Security should be able to violate all your privacy and freedoms to (don't laugh now) keep you free.
  • Torturing Americans and non-Americans alike, then stripping them of any liberty or due process is okay. It (somehow) preserves liberties and due process for the rest of us.
Back to the not so thrilling days of yesteryear, among the paradoxes and ironies of the 50s and 60s ideal were:
  • Those freedoms were for a select group, not as limited as ancient Athenian citizens, but still more or less for adult whites.
  • Returning troops didn't bring their devotion to liberty home. They got their housing, education and other benefits without then pushing for rights for women, blacks and others. Freedom stopped at their checking account.
  • Quickly, paranoia about communism trumped domestic freedoms of speech and association.
We used to take comfort, deep comfort, as a nation that we might not be perfect, but we were by far the best of what was out there. No country had our liberties and respect for its citizens. Dagnabbit.

Instead, George the Lesser's presidency has given new and terrible meaning to the eyes of Texas are upon you. Our government has previously unacceptable powers to spy on us -- you and me. Through kidnapping, torture, unreasonable search and seizure, and violations of the entire Bill of Rights, we have become the enemy of freedom, the dictatorship to avoid.

Where are the freedom loving Americans? Where at the liberty supporting legislators? Does the most recent Supreme Court decision calling for an end to GITMO violations of the Fourth Amendment signal a change? If the Congress and courts and presidency no longer understand and love liberty, have they no sense of decency?

It is fearsome to look at recent history, particularly the past seven years. How quickly we have abandoned the ideals that boomers grew up hearing and learning and living. Now we must ask whether even such a wishy-washy liberal as Barack Obama bolstered with a bigger majority in Congress can and would reverse these disgraces.

That America we boomers grew up believing in is noble and worthwhile indeed. Our jaded parents taught us that much more than they lived it. Yet, we hold those ideals as a generation because of the words if not the deeds.

I suggest if a time to rectify the errors of the recent past is to come, it should be in November and afterward. With the support of the seemingly awakened young voters and the inculcated idealism of the boomers, we have a decent shot at walking the right path.

Tags: , , , , ,

3 comments:

Robin Edgar said...

Here's a
poke in the eye for "Big Brother". . .

Just a little reminder that "Our Father In Heaven"* is watching him. . .


*please excuse my use of traditional patriarchal religious language here but it works well here.

massmarrier said...

Ah, yes, as Thomas Jefferson wrote as well, "Indeed, I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just."

Uncle said...

Heh...even we the godless can get behind Tom's sentiment.

Loved the Fifties. I was an adult before I knew that one reason we kids were not supposed to ask the grandparents political questions is that they were all Socialists of the more or less hard-boiled variety. The disclosure made me much fonder of them.

UpTweet