Recently I was told by a person of the Conservative nature that I should move to Canada, being as I said that I question everything that the government does.
My immediate reaction was to be my condescending self and tell this guy that people who don't question everything are wasting my air, and that he should promptly fuck off (I did this, of course). Honestly though, it irritated me a lot more than I thought it would and not because this guy told me to move out of the country. What truly bothered me is this cult of apathy that is going on now in regards to politics in general.
Is this still America? Aren't we supposed to question everything? Isn't that whole "Freedom of speech" thing what this country was built on in the first place? If not, then maybe I should move to Canada, because I obviously don't know American history that well.
The freedom to question our leaders and to demand that they be accountable for their actions is what is at the very heart of "being American". The right to burn the American flag is the reason that I love that very same flag- we are allowed to protest. Hell, we shouldn't even be allowed to protest, we should be encouraged to protest.
Don't get me wrong, of course- if you believe nothing else, believe that the last thing the government (or any government for that matter) wants is an aware, active public. They don't want angry masses determining what laws they think are just; they want the public watching American Idol and rooting for that dude that sings Queen songs real good.
This is being proved more and more currently, with the disgusting mess that is the NSA spying program. The folks who defend this use the classic line, "If you're not doing anything wrong, than you shouldn't be worried". The stupidity of that statement is the fact that they don't realize who gets to define right and wrong, and that is where the true danger lies.
To me, Al-Qaeda is fucking dangerous. If there is anyone to track, it's them. It is safe to say that I hate these people, these zealous purveyors of a form of an organized religion that is meant for killing (although honestly, which one isn't?). If you want to listen in on them...I can deal with that.
However, who's deciding who else they should listen to? Why are the calls of average Americans being logged? Simple: so the government can know what its citizens are doing. Freedom of speech has always been a myth - the government has killed or jailed many people who have said things that are potentially dangerous to its existence. There were points in the 1800s when Union members were jailed because the bosses thought it to be a "Communist rising". In the 1950s, many Hollywood types were "blacklisted" for allegedly being part of the Communist Party. Every black movement in history has been under the watch of the government; some, like the Black Panthers, were murdered in their sleep for thinking how they did.
There are a million other historical events where the United States Government has abused its power; why would anyone think that this administration would be any different? If anything, they have proved themselves especially untrustworthy, with their ridiculous war, their tax cuts only for the rich and powerful, and their consistent lies about what is going on in the world. That being said...why the fuck would you give them your phone records?
It is very disappointing to me that people have all this trust in the government and its agencies, although I guess I shouldn't be surprised. I think it was the white trash piece of shit Britney Spears that remarked, "I think we should just trust our government and our President" a while back (thank God she's got tits, because she's certainly got nothing else going for her). I don't think most regular people pay much attention to history, but if they did, they'd realize that power corrupts. Every government that has gotten too powerful, or had its people trust it too much, has ended up in rubble at the end of an uprising. Rich and powerful people are dangerous for the simple fact that you can't trust them to care about the working masses, but you can always count on them to care about themselves. Don't get me wrong- I'm not sure what the solution is here. I don't know whether we need a revolution every hundred years to keep people in line, or if we can solve this simply by tightening laws on lobbyists and campaign contributions.
What I can say is that the American government has proven time and again that it is not to be trusted. Saccho and Vanzetti, the blacklisting of Communists, McCarthyism, the Pentagon Papers, the Gulf of Tonkin, Watergate, Iran-Contra, and now Iraq, have all proven that the government of this country will take power when we let it and abuse it immediately after. We cannot trust the NSA to be fair in its eavesdropping, and we cannot trust the government when it sneaks into our private lives. This kind of thing crosses party lines, and should concern everyone who calls themselves Americans - get off your asses, and start making some noise.
Unless, of course, you hear that clicking in the background on your phone. Then, you might just want to shut up for a while.