Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Trading Freedom For Security

Listening to the radio while driving home this evening, I caught a quote that really struck me:
You and I are told increasingly we have to choose between a left or right. Well I'd like to suggest there is no such thing as a left or right. There's only an up or down. Up: man's old-aged dream, the ultimate in individual freedom consistent with law and order, or down to the ant heap of totalitarianism. And regardless of their sincerity, their humanitarian motives, those who would trade our freedom for security have embarked on this downward course.
Hearing this, how could I not think of warrantless wiretapping, the suspension of habeas corpus, and other such trades of freedom for security that our present administration has sold us. A bit further in the same speech, the speaker warily quoted a Senator who said that the President "must 'be freed,' so that he 'can do for us' what he knows 'is best.'" That Senator was concerned that the President was "'hobbled in his task by the restrictions of power imposed on him by this antiquated document [the Constitution].'" The speaker was clearly alarmed by the expansive power sought by the President's ambitious programs, and completely skeptical of an Administration that says "just trust us to make the decisions about what's best for you".

Expressing such ideas today gets you labeled a soft-headed leftist at best, and probably unpatriotic and anti-American. But that speech was made in 1964, and the speaker was that well-known anti-American leftist Ronald Reagan, stumping for Barry Goldwater.

No comments: