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How Close Is America to Totalitarianism?

I remember, when I was a kid, the question often being asked in Social Studies class, “How could the Nazis have risen to power in a democratic system?” At the time, the question was asked with a great deal of mystery, as if the creation of a despotic, totalitarian regime like like the Third Reich would be unimaginable in today’s world.

That naive illusion is dashed to pieces by a recent poll commissioned by the Associated Press. In this poll, 42 percent of Americans say that the federal government should be able to spy against Americans without even getting a search warrant to do so. In the AP article accompanying the reporting of this poll, a 32 year-old Republican from Sacramento is quoted as saying, “I think our security is so important that we don’t need warrants. If you’re doing something we shouldn’t be doing, then you ought to be caught.”

Hear that? According to these people, in America, we just don’t need search warrants any more, because the need to feel secure is more important than liberty. Without the restraint of search warrants, of course, the police, the FBI, and other government agents would be free to enter your home at any time, search you and your property without notice and without cause, and you wouldn’t be able to do a thing to stop it.

It’s lucky that, for now, 56 percent of Americans believe that search warrants should be required, in order to stop the police state from trampling over its citizens. Still, I’d like that warrant support number to be a bit higher. It does not take a lot of imagination to see how, with a frightening event like a new terrorist attack or, say, the burning of the Reichstag, would elevate support for the revocation of search warrants from 42 percent to over 50 percent.

How close is America to totalitarianism? I want you to pick up your left hand in front of your computer screen, and put your thumb and index finger about a half-inch apart. See that space in between? We’re that close.

5 comments to How Close Is America to Totalitarianism?

  • Mark

    I think you can move those fingers a little closer together. On today’s CNN website:

    “WASHINGTON (Reuters) — U.S. officials are opening personal mail that arrives from abroad when they deem it necessary to protect the country from terrorism, a Customs and Border Protection spokeswoman said Monday. Grant Goodman, an 81-year-old retired history professor, drew attention to the policy after a letter he received from a colleague in the Philippines was opened and resealed by Customs and Border Protection, and only then sent on to him.”

    And in response to their “QuickVote”: Do you think the government’s ability to read letters mailed to the United States from abroad is a legitimate tool in the war on terror? 39% responded “Yes”. Over time, I have observed that the responses to these QuickVotes are generally more liberal than the average American, so the nationwide result would be substantially higher.

  • HareTrinity

    Do they even know what warrants are?

    They’re the case presents in court by the police and then a judge decides if there’s enough evidence to so much as trespass over.

    It’s not like they’re some magical note that appears out of nowhere after the amount of time it takes to fill out a form, it’s part of a SYSTEM to PROTECT RIGHTS.

    If there’s not enough evidence, then of course they can stay off your property! The police and similar organisations aren’t above the law, either.

    Also, warrants allow them to TRASH the place. Drawers pulled out, stuff thrown everywhere. They shouldn’t be able to do that whenever they feel like it, it’d get misused way too quickly.

  • MIKE

    In 1803, in a case known as Marbury vs. Madison, the Supreme Court of The United States declared that, “Any law which is repugnant to The Constitution is void of law and is not law!” In simply English this means if you have a law in one hand and The Constitution in the other hand, The Constitution always wins hands down.
    So the question is: Why does Congress continue to pass laws which they know or should know are unenforceable? The Patriot Act is REPUGNANT to The Constitution and is therefore void of law and is unenforceable and yet Congress passed it and renewed it. Any act or action authorized under the Patriot Act that violated The Constitution is an illegal act and is punishable to fullest extend of the law! That means that any element or agent of the government that in following the Patriot Act violate any Constitutionally guaranteed right of The People, that element or agent has committed or is committing a criminal act.
    As to Bush’s act of spying or his action of authorizing spying, this is a criminal act and should be punished to the fullest extent of the law. In this case, that means impeachment and imprisonment!
    Based on the Supreme Courts decision in Marbury vs. Madison, any law which has been passed which violate, ignores, suspends or supersedes The Constitution is void of law, is not law and is unenforceable.
    The Constitution is the supreme law of the land, and no law may be passed regardless of the motive or intention, that changes what has been put forth in The Constitution. The authors of The Constitution gave us Article 5 which permits changes to The Constitution when carried out according to the rules and conditions specified in Article 5. If Congress wishes to pass laws which alter what has been presented to us in The Constitution they need to do so according to those rules set forth in Article 5, other wise they are, according to the Supreme Court of 1803, creating laws which are void of authority and constitutionally unenforceable.
    I know Bush believes The Constitution to be “just a God Damn piece of paper,” but that God damn piece of paper is the most important document ever written because for the first time in human history a government was founded on the principle that the rights and powers of the individual precede and exceed the rights and powers of government itself! Never before and probably never again will such a government be created.
    It is the duty of every American to protect and defend our Constitution from all enemies foreign or domestic! This includes even those masquerading as president.

  • Drewski

    Why ISNT this guy impeached yet?

  • Jim

    House impeaches, Senate tries. House and Senate are Republican. Republicans put party over law.

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