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Saturday, March 6, A.D. 2010
American Mandarins

I read yesterday that the Transportation Security Administration was installing more full body scanners at eleven additional airports, including Cincinnati, Columbus, Reagan National, and Baltimore Washington International—the very airports I most frequently use (and I bet that they will arrive in Dayton soon enough). Each scanner costs $250,000, but no price is too steep for a federal government that spends like a sailor in port and that cares as much for the dignity and privacy of its citizens as any crass Politbüro managerial overlord.

In protest, I wrote the following to my Congressional representative and senators:

I read today that the Transportation Security Administration is installing body scanners in more airports, including DCA, BWI, and our own CVG. If one refuses to submit to this invasive and humiliating “security measure,” then one has to be pat down like a criminal by T.S.A. employees. For how long and to what degree are Americans willing to act like an enslaved people? These regulations are not fitting for a free people, and yet Americans are being reduced to non-questioning, eagerly nodding lemmings that willfully suffer in an increasingly oppressive Big Brother society.

Please work in Congress to uphold Americans’ individual dignity. Are we to sacrifice everything for some phantom “security” that the all watching state keeps on promising? I would rather the government take a more direct approach to save us from terrorism—such as not promoting American hating radical Moslems in the military, increasingly cracking down on jihadist organizations in the U.S. as well as on Saudi funded institutions whose aim is the imposition of sharia law on our Western society, and restricting immigration from countries with populations that hate the traditional American way of life and seek to replace it with an alien political ideology.

We expect our people to submit to strip searches in order to visit grandma on Thanksgiving, but we open the doors to folks whose own religion commands them to kill Jews. This is madness. As an elected official, you have the responsibility to work against such policies that harm Americans and empower people who wish our destruction.

Of course, my little bit of civic participation will not amount to much, but if everyone complained about these bastards’ attempts to control our lives, the fiends would back off. Liberty is not secured by papers in the National Archives but by the conviction of a people to maintain it. Learned Hand spoke to the heart of every true liberal when he addressed his countrymen in Central Park during the Second World War:

We have gathered here to affirm a faith, a faith in a common purpose, a common conviction, a common devotion. Some of us have chosen America as the land of our adoption; the rest have come from those who did the same. For this reason we have some right to consider ourselves a picked group, a group of those who had the courage to break from the past and brave the dangers and the loneliness of a strange land. What was the object that nerved us, or those who went before us, to this choice? We sought liberty; freedom from oppression, freedom from want, freedom to be ourselves. This we then sought; this we now believe that we are by way of winning. What do we mean when we say that first of all we seek liberty? I often wonder whether we do not rest our hopes too much upon constitutions, upon laws and upon courts. These are false hopes; believe me, these are false hopes. Liberty lies in the hearts of men and women; when it dies there, no constitution, no law, no court can even do much to help it. While it lies there it needs no constitution, no law, no court to save it. And what is this liberty which must lie in the hearts of men and women? It is not the ruthless, the unbridled will; it is not freedom to do as one likes. That is the denial of liberty, and leads straight to its overthrow. A society in which men recognize no check upon their freedom soon becomes a society where freedom is the possession of only a savage few; as we have learned to our sorrow.

What then is the spirit of liberty? I cannot define it; I can only tell you my own faith. The spirit of liberty is the spirit which is not too sure that it is right; the spirit of liberty is the spirit which seeks to understand the mind of other men and women; the spirit of liberty is the spirit which weighs their interests alongside its own without bias; the spirit of liberty remembers that not even a sparrow falls to earth unheeded; the spirit of liberty is the spirit of Him who, near two thousand years ago, taught mankind that lesson it has never learned but never quite forgotten; that there may be a kingdom where the least shall be heard and considered side by side with the greatest. And now in that spirit, that spirit of an America which has never been, and which may never be; nay, which never will be except as the conscience and courage of Americans create it; yet in the spirit of that America which lies hidden in some form in the aspirations of us all; in the spirit of that America for which our young men are at this moment fighting and dying; in that spirit of liberty and of America I ask you to rise and with me pledge our faith in the glorious destiny of our beloved country.

“Liberty lies in the hearts of men and women; when it dies there, no constitution, no law, no court can even do much to help it” is so true. We Americans are losing this spirit; we are becoming a nation of Mandarins.

It is interesting that the forces eager to cripple American liberty originate on the Left and on the Right, both of which are willing to sacrifice American freedom to their other pet projects (such as socialist leveling or police state law and order). Similarly, we find that the American Civil Liberties Union and traditionalist American institutions (those old paleocons) oppose the slide to an increasingly Orwellian society. Shall we say that totalitarianism and opposition thereto are bipartisan endeavors?

Posted by Joseph on Saturday, March 6, Anno Domini 2010
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