The Daily Kos describes Rep. Justin Amash (R-MI) as a “selective libertarian.” Chris Christie warns his party against “libertarian populism.” Jeremiah wonders, what is this “L” word that has riled up a leftie blog and a Republican governor? It must be good, if critics are saddling it with descriptions like these – selective, populist, phony. The first thing you learn, when reading the news, is to question the adjectives.
The idea is clever political gamesmanship that enables the libertarians to walk on both sides of the fence at once.
Not to be outdone, The Huffington Post adds “extremist” and – their vilest insult – “tea party.” The proximate cause of all this attention is the debate over government surveillance. Jeremiah has previously anatomized the anti-privacy establishment. It’s funny to see pundits on both sides warning against the libertarians.
Pundit Sanghoee’s remark, above, echoes the complaint of Jon Huntsman (R-UT) who said that Ron Paul “appeals to the extremes of both parties.” You can see how this reveals a red versus blue mentality. The privacy debate has people standing on principle – thinking for themselves, without party whips and talking points. Clearly, a dangerous trend.
See also: Free Minds and Free Markets
If you are a French photographer, and you use a telephoto lens to shoot candid photos of a British princess sunbathing topless, you will get busted. The British government will file criminal charges. The royal family will sue. They will shut down the magazine, and you will be lucky to stay out of jail.
On the other hand, if the local gendarmes fly this little gem over your backyard, and catch you and the missus cavorting naked, that goes on YouTube – along with positive images shot by the TSA with their naked picture machine.
The difference, of course, is that the rich and powerful have a “right to privacy,” and you do not. Law and order types like Mayor Bloomberg and Secretary Napolitano think this is just fine. Your precious little privacy issue is nothing compared to the big bad threat of terrorism – or shoplifting.
Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.
Benjamin Franklin’s maxim bears repeating. We are so weak that we will not protest the government’s wanton trampling of our civil rights. Better yet, government agencies use “privacy” as a smokescreen to hide their own malfeasance. It’s the topless princess all over again. They have a right to privacy, and you do not.
See also: Massive Aerial Video Surveillance