Sunday, June 09, 2013

Why we can’t take national elections for granted any more

In the June 7 The Atlantic, writer Conor Friedersdorf’s article All the Infrastructure a Tyrant Would Need, Courtesy of Bush and Obama goes into depth on a subject I wrote about recently; future presidents.

The secret surveillance policies set up by Bush and expanded on by Obama, with the approval of Congress, are ripe for abuse. The Obama administration could very well be filled with honest, scrupulous men and women (although everything is so secret we have no of knowing that), but what about the next administration? If you consider the yahoos and nutjobs who regularly get elected to Congress, this is a legitimate concern.

Many of us as citizens want to think that in America, despite it’s frequent failings, the government has our best interests at heart. That it would never use its immense power for evil. And maybe that’s true for Obama, but what about the next president? As Friedersdorf makes clear, the secret policies that have been put into place give future presidents far more power to invade the personal lives of Americans than any previous Commander-in-Chief ever had.

Although terrorist attacks on American soil are extremely rare, we have allowed our government to set up a surveillance system that makes 1984 look like tin cans with strings. Think about the implications the next time you walk into a voting booth.

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