Overreaction: Safety over the Constitution?
After the Boston Marathon bombings, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg said the correct response was to give up constitutional rights so the government can better protect us from terrorists. It was not surprising to hear such a tyrannical statement come from Bloomberg. What was surprising was the poll from last week showing that most Americans agreed, more or less, with the nanny mayor.
The would-be king of New York City said after the bombings, "we live in a complex world where you're going to have to have a level of security greater than you did back in the olden days, if you will. And our laws and our interpretation of the Constitution, I think, have to change."
One of the changes he advocated was to expand government surveillance of citizens. Last week, a New York Times/CBS News poll found that 78 percent of respondents wanted more government surveillance of public spaces. Worse, 66 percent said information about making explosives should not be permitted on the Internet. The Founding Fathers would be appalled.
Empowering the government to ban speech and track our every movement will not make us safer. It will do the opposite. Americans unfamiliar with the phrase "secure the blessings of liberty," which would seem to be most Americans, would do well to Google it.