Keane observations about life, politics and sports.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Undefended Freedom Doesn't Exist

Defense of the 4th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution is not just about the Patriot Act and whatnot. No, the biggest violators of our constitutional rights are law enforcement at local, state and federal level looking for short cuts.  Our courts have allowed law enforcement to do bad things because societally "we" generally agreed some crimes were so bad extraordinary measures should be taken to protect us. 

  1. Stopping a car for no reason to see if the driver is intoxicated? Clearly unconstitutional, but we didn't scream because drunk driving is bad and blah, blah, blah. 
  2. "Stop and frisk" where cops can go up to people on the street and search them? No chance that is really constitutional, but crime is high in some areas so we'll allow cops to spit on the constitution if it temporarily lowers crime rates in an area. 
  3. Fill in the blank __________________  with what ever high profile crime so horrified people that they demanded "something oughta be done."
When do police violate our rights? When we beg them to. No, people don't directly and openly ask law enforcement to violate our rights. No, people screamed at politicians to "ensure ______ never happens again" and politicians in turn write legislation unlikely to ensure bad people won't do bad thing but will sound good on the campaign trail. Allowing infringement of our rights does nothing but give a false sense of security. There are probably hundreds of other examples where we gave away our constitutional guarantees of freedom thinking we were only giving away the freedoms for crooks. Wrong! Gone for the "crooks" also means gone for you.  

I am not anti-law enforcement. However, law enforcement like any government bureaucracy is prone to excess. An "ends justifies the means" mentality quickly develops and often is encouraged in how we reward and promote in law enforcement. 

Any right not zealously guarded will not long last and that includes every right delineated in the Bill of Rights. Also, we can not pick and choose to defend only those portions of the Constitution we like. Allow today's hack politician to crap on a right you don't exercise (2nd Amendment, maybe?) and you forfeit the rights you care strongly about. 

I'll finish with a great quote from President Reagan:

“Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn't pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children's children what it was once like in the United States where men were free.”


Blogger bob said...

A government too long established becomes too comfortable in it's power and protection of said power. Short of collapse I don't know how we reign it back in.

July 21, 2013 at 12:13 PM


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