Anyone pursuing effective dissent can be made to look bad even if they have lived noble or saintly lives. In fact, military veterans and devout Christians are already heading to the top of the charts in Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano’s hit parade (I can see it now: “People who make a habit of going to church at least once a week must be dangerously obsessive-compulsive”).
The day is not far off when attempting to protect one’s privacy by paying cash, avoiding the banking system, using PO boxes, and masking one’s online presence will themselves be seen as reasons for presumptive suspicion.
The existence of the NSA’s high-tech data trove may also partially explain why certain center-right politicians and judges have so quickly, thoroughly, and otherwise inexplicably betrayed their erstwhile supporters.
Unlike the pre-planned acknowledgment of the IRS’s harassment of Tea Party and conservative groups and Eric Holder’s nearly simultaneous missive to the Associated Press revealing that his department had obtained personal and business phone records involving over 100 AP reporters and editors, the exposure of the NSA’s PRISM program by Edward Snowden appears not to have been an orchestrated administration stunt. Nonetheless, it quite conveniently furthers our Punk President’s agenda of harassment and intimidation, not only of his opponents, but of those within his ranks who might otherwise be tempted to stray from the party line.
The question with which Dylan taunted his subject in “Like a Rolling Stone” applies to America today — “How does it feel?”
And what are we going to do about it?
There’s no perfect answer, but Ohio Tea Party activist Tom Zawistowski recently gave Fox’s Neil Cavuto a pretty good one: “We fix it by Americans individually having the courage of their convictions and standing up and pointing out things that are wrong and demanding that people fix them.” He could have added: “Because what we all stand to lose if we fail is far more precious than anything we think we have to lose as individuals.”