Doesn’t the term “patriot” sound so good? Being called a patriot is something that every citizen of every country considers a badge of honor and distinction. So in the political battle of words and semantics, whoever can claim the “high ground” of patriotism would most likely emerge as the victor.
After the terror attacks of 9/11, former U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft brought before Congress a list of recommended changes in the law to combat terrorism. Some of these measures had long been opposed by members of Congress as infringing on the rights of Americans.
In order to claim the high ground of the debate, the former administration of Republican President George W. Bush introduced a bill that was termed “The Patriot Act.” Rather than look “un-patriotic” most of congress was willing to grant the former President, and his Democrat successor, many enhanced but unconstitutional powers. That is until now.
Rand Paul of Kentucky demanded a stop to this wordsmithing and came forward with something I call a new Patriot Act, almost single handedly forcing many unconstitutional practices of U.S. intelligence programs to, in the words of Time magazine, “go dark.” This act of Patriotism, or Patriot Act, Rand Paul proposed brought much-needed attention to the centralized elevation of the executive branch.
Why do I call this Patriotic? Won’t this make us less safe? “Patriotism” as defined by Webster’s 1828 dictionary is, “The love of one’s country; the passion which aims to serve one’s country, either in defending it from invasion, or protecting its rights and maintaining its laws and institutions in vigor and purity.”
This has always been a struggle between God-given rights and laws, liberties and powers, the Bill of Rights and delegated Constitutional powers, the people and their government.
You see, if you think government is the source of your rights then you will have no problem with them taking certain rights from you to keep you safer. Yet founding father Benjamin Franklin inferred, “Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.”
This is because our founders believed that rights come from God, and that God instituted governments to protect those God-given rights.
What would a nation become if all authority to govern our God-given liberties was given to a central power that we could not limit? Where “independence” is just another word in the war of semantics. Look around the world; this is the stuff that Communist, Socialist, and Totalitarian governments are made of.
“I came here to defend the Bill of Rights, not to be popular,” Senator Paul tweeted. Though he may not be popular with many of his colleagues, I believe the good Senator is popular with the founders of the American View, and the most holy author of our Liberties.