The Government: Protector Or Predator?
On Tuesday morning, Representative Thomas Massie took to social media with a warning to the American people.
Today, while everyone is distracted by the impeachment drama, Congress will vote to extend warrantless data collection provisions of thePatriot Act, by hiding this language on page 25 of the Continuing Resolution (CR) that temporarily funds the government. To sneak this through, Congress will first vote to suspend the rule which otherwise gives us (and the people) 72 hours to consider a bill.
The scam here is that Democrats are alleging abuse of Presidential power, while simultaneously reauthorizing warrantless power to spy on citizens that no President should have… in a bill that continues to fund EVERYTHING the President does… and waiving their own rules to do it.
Just a few hours after posting his warning, the House indeed rushed through the temporary funding bill, and with it, the extension of the warrantless data collection provisions of the Patriot Act.
Living and working in Utah, I drive past the NSA’s massive data collection center nearly every day. I joke sometimes that I should buy a small plot of land right beside it and construct a giant Eye of Sauron as a visual protest of its creepy existence. Seeing that mass of buildings against the backdrop of our beautiful mountains serves as a constant reminder to me that our government has become anything but a protector of the people.
About six years ago, when the NSA facility was still under construction, I appeared on Fox and Friends to discuss the completely unchecked authority the NSA had been granted to spy on the American people and the staggering amount of data being collected. There was a sense, at that time, that maybe once everyone came to understand that gross misuse of power the intelligence community was regularly exercising, something would be done to reign them back in.
But as we just saw—and have continued to see with each year’s reauthorization of warrantless spying on the American people—the government has no intention of limiting this abusive power. Even in the midst of an impeachment circus, where each side is mud-slinging and decrying the other as unfit to govern, they manage to come together to agree that you and I have no right to privacy in our own communications and our own homes.
In fact, it seems that the only time our elected representatives can agree is when they are giving themselves raises, expanding their power, limiting our freedoms, or spending our money. They’ve created themselves in the exact image of the government our founders warned us about.
Murray Rothbard, in his Anatomy of the State, wrote that, “The State is that organization in society which attempts to maintain a monopoly of the use of force and violence in a given territorial area; in particular, it is the only organization in society that obtains its revenue not by voluntary contribution or payment for services rendered but by coercion.”
I based The Tuttle Twins and the Fate of the Future on Rothbard’s work because I believe—and I think most of you do also—that a generation of children raised with an understanding of the coercive and predatory nature of government may very well be our best hope at restoring freedom and liberty. Too many adults, I fear, have become so used to government’s abuses of power that they have just resigned themselves to this being “the way things are.”
I think that the fate of the future rests in the hands of a well-educated, freedom-loving generation of kids who will grow up to look beyond party and politics and craft a society in which liberty, natural law, and individual rights stand as pillars and predatory and coercive government has no place. We, as parents, bear the responsibility of giving them all the tools they need to be fit for that task.
And of course, the Tuttle Twins team will keep working to make their jobs a little bit easier 😉