COLUMN: Safety at the cost of freedom

Don Norvell

During my senior year of high school, I turned 18. Being a political junkie in training, I was most enthused that I could finally vote.

There were a number of issues on the ballot for that primary election, but I was worried about being scarred as a Republican or a Democrat.

My government teacher assured me that voting in a primary election would have no such effect because all elections are done by secret ballot. Viewing the GOP as the lesser evil, I chose a Republican ballot.

Over the years, that choice has in no way influenced my life. I have received fliers from both parties listing their official candidates. I have received fliers from individual candidates on both sides.

This year something strange happened.

I started getting mail from the National Republican Congressional Committee. I was confused. Why me? Don’t they read my columns? My friends insist that voting in the Republican primary five years ago is the root cause.

Last week, the NRCC sent me the “Ask America, 2005 Nationwide Policy Survey” which contained the following question: “Some critics say that in tracking down potential foreign terrorists, the FBI and other investigative agencies are infringing on individuals’ Constitutional rights. Do you think this is reasonable if it leads to exposing more terrorists in our country?”

How frightening!

Is the GOP asking if we want to forsake the Constitution?

Does this question imply that the GOP wants to eviscerate the Bill of Rights?

How else could this question be interpreted?

This nonsense is precisely the reason I voted for the Libertarian Party and the Constitution Party in 2000 and 2004 respectively.

It is truly sickening that any political party can hold power long enough to consider such anti-Constitutional measures reasonable.

Most regrettably, it’s not surprising. Ever since the New Deal, politicians have become increasingly hostile toward the restrictions upon their power. They seem to have forgotten that the Constitution exists to protect us against them. Protection against the government is the reason we fought for independence!

That question shows that our nation is in much worse shape than I imagined. I’m fearful of what may happen if too many people reply “yes,” it is reasonable.

With so much media attention outside our country, it is too easy to ignore those within. There are people who have spent their entire lives within our borders, yet still want to turn everything inside-out.

Once I discovered third parties the summer after graduating high school, I knew the major parties had outlived their usefulness. A few years ago, I wrote a letter to the editor encouraging everyone to start voting for third parties.

Everyone, including myself, thought we had many years before the situation became urgent. If that question is an accurate indication of the near future, we were wrong.

As my dad told me shortly after Sept. 11, “If we lose our way of life, the terrorists win.”

Don Norvell is physics graduate assistant and a columnist for the Daily Kent Stater. Contact him at [email protected].