I grew up during the Cold War. People called those they didn’t like a “communist” as an epithet. We despised totalitarian regimes because of their lack of freedoms, because of their abuses, of their spying on their own citizens, of their willingness to “disappear” people, to whisk them off to Gulags.
We have become just like those “enemies” we despised.
And for what?
Our government says that if they didn’t rendition people, if they didn’t spy on us, if they didn’t assassinate people, it would put us “at risk.”
And I say, “So effing what?”
Do they also say that because of our government’s actions, they are radicalizing more and more people, thus increasing our risk? Do they also say that absolute safety is impossible? Do they also say “there are other ways?” No, they do not as that would undermine their actions.
I live in the city of Chicago. It is highly racially segregated. The South Side and the North Side are quite different racially. What would be people’s reactions if the police were to start patrolling the South Side and shooting any young black man who looked like a gangbanger … because of the “risk” of crime and mayhem they might commit on the North Side? How do you expect those who live on the South Side to react to this?
We have something called “due process” in this country. Often the police say things like “our hands are tied because no crime has been committed,” indicating they can’t act based on vague threats, they need evidence of a crime first. This is one of our cherished freedoms.
This is what we are eschewing in the face we turn to the world. Those freedoms are for us, not for you.