Saturday, February 11, 2006

Lost in Exportation

If there was one quote that best represents the failure of the current Republican Party agenda, it would have to be that of the late Edward R. Murrow:

"We cannot defend freedom abroad by deserting it at home."
This is a concept that has seen much debate over the years and has come to the center stage multiple times throughout the current administration's reign. It is important to remember here that it would be unfair to assume those in power have malevolent intentions or somehow hate the notions of democracy, for I do not believe this is the case. What is present, however, is that there seems to be two views at the head of this debate. The first one being those in line with Mr. Murrow's beliefs, that by going on this quest to spread democracy around the world we find the only possible way to do this is by abandoning some of those beliefs and ideals we are trying to promote. The other view (held by the administration) is that it is okay to relinquish some of these freedoms for the greater good - a sense of "in the end everything will work out fine."

While this latter view is arguably a solid one, and evidently good enough for many Americans, I feel that it is nothing less than irresponsible. The only consequence of sharing such a belief is that there will be no end in sight for what freedoms we’ll have to give up.

How can the United States claim to spread democracy and freedom to all corners of the world, but right here at home there are people in power trying to undermine the very foundations of our society? Similar to how Athens lost track of her morals and traditions during the Peloponnesian War, America stands the chance of doing the same. This is a track the United States cannot remain on for long. It is a track Americans must demand an end to.

The news constantly quotes people who say they would be willing to give up certain freedoms for security. The trouble with this is once we begin to relinquish some of these ideals we’ll find ourselves on a slippery slope. One day we’re allowing the government to lock people up without any representation the next we’re allowing them to monitor our phone calls, emails, and books we’ve checked out at the library. What next? They can break into our homes without a warrant! The sad thing about all these examples is they are either occurring right now or the administration is trying to make it legal. Way to go haters of big government! Way to go Republicans!


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