So the NSA is harvesting our phone calls and e-mails and web searches. I am not totally surprised. But I am surprised at the reaction or rather the lack of reaction to it. It goes to show that most Americans feel completely disassociated with government. Americans should be (and maybe are) unhappy with this turn of events. But even most of the educated people I know and speak to feel that there is nothing they can do about it. Government is too far removed from my day-to-day life. They will vote every four years but by then they will have forgotten the significant issues and instead be inundated by 30 clips that the two parties want you to focus on. The level of disenchantment with government is embodied by the passing recently of Senator Lautenberg of New Jersey.
He passed away at age 89 as an active, elected Senator from New Jersey since 1982. 1982. He has been in Washington as a Senator for 31 years. Most recently re-elected in 2009 when he was 85 years old. I mean no offense to the man because I did not know him, or know of him until his recent passing.
But it is actually possible that he was an effective representative of the citizens of New Jersey for the last few years? He had been living in the highest of socioeconomic and political circles for three decades. He resided in Washington DC for most of each year. He was 80+ years old. What did he know or understand about the plight of the poor and homeless in Camden? Had he experienced the pain and suffering of the families of shooting victims in Newark? When was the last time he filled his own car up at the gas pump? Bought groceries? Again, I do not mean to pick on someone that I do not know. There are many in the highest level of national politics that are similar. John Kerry of Massachusetts has never had a private sector job in his life. He has live a life of luxury since marrying his billionaire-heiress wife.
It is all part of the current establishment passively working to disenchant the American public. Get the majority of Americans to tune out the sequesters, the partisan bickering, the broad invasion of privacy. Get us to just shrug and move on with our day-to-day life and leave the politicians to do whatever they want because we can not do anything about it. And I am a part of that. I may be a bit more active in the steps that I have always take to protect my privacy, but too often I shrug off what I believe to be government intrusions into my life. We all do. And that is the way Washington DC wants it to be. They win when we shrug.
“There was of course no way of knowing whether you were being watched at any given moment,” George Orwell wrote in “1984.” “How often, or on what system, the Thought Police plugged in on any individual wire was guesswork. It was even conceivable that they watched everybody all the time. But at any rate they could plug in your wire whenever they wanted to.”
From Pastor Martin Moeller, 1945:
First they came for the communists,
and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a communist.
Then they came for the socialists,
and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a socialist.
Then they came for the trade unionists,
and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a trade unionist.
Then they came for me,
and there was no one left to speak for me.
When are we as Americans going to speak up about the continued encroachment by our government on our civil liberties?