June 10, 2013

Trading liberty for security

The debate that president Obama supposedly welcomes - how much security versus how much liberty - is one that is just now getting started. I plan on writing a lengthy position on it in the near future.  I need to analyze my own thinking on the subject first.  It's something I have recommended others to do as well.  Everyone should think about this - it is a very serious issue.  

The 'debate'  Obama wants is necessary. But I don't think it really should amount to a debate. A debate implies two resolute, absolute and mutually exclusive and collectively exhaustive positions.  But I don't believe that is the case here.  The false choice president Obama has implied are on the one hand unfettered operational environment for terrorists but absolute personal privacy and Big Brother on the other hand.  There are clearly possibilities between those two extremes.

The one thing I would also note at this point, it is very interesting that you are getting far left liberals like Dennis Kucinich agreeing with the likes of Glen Beck and Rand Paul.  And there seems to be a pretty high level of agreement between the left and right about the slippery slow of government intrusion into personal lives that the country seems to be on now.  It gives me hope that on an issue such as this there is apparently a libertarian streak still alive in America.

One counterpoint to that libertarian view that is worth mentioning is that in reaction to 9/11 a lot of people supported the Patriot Act and were of the view that this was the new world that America had to operate in. While something definitely needed to be done, it is easily argued that there was a knee-jerk over-reaction going on.  The same case can be made now.  After all, the assertions Snowden has made are not necessarily all factual.  More insight is required.  More transparency is required or else the debate that Obama welcomes will be a waste of time window-dressing discussion that will have no impact on what is really going on.
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