“We all deserve credit for this new surveillance state that we live in because we the people voted for the Patriot Act.”
-Colbert closing the RSA conference on Friday
It’s true. But only somewhat.
We never voted for the Patriot Act. It could be argued that politicians didn’t even vote for the Patriot Act. The Patriot Act was shoved through Congress under the cover of “security” while Bush enjoyed 90% approval ratings.
When someone has a 90% approval rating, it means that there’s war. That’s it. There is no other cause that could possibly unite a nation of rational people and Confederate flag-waving tea partiers.
But it’s fairly obvious that a terrorist act isn’t a declaration of war. Rather, people overreacted to it, perceiving it as a conspiracy by Middle Eastern countries to destroy us. You know why?
The last major event in which the US was attacked in the US was in the War of 1812. We came out of both World Wars without a scratch, feeling invincible, because nobody had the time to cross the Pacific just to attack us. (Pearl Harbor was not a terrorist attack. The Japanese attacked a military base in retaliation to the US’ freezing their assets.) Two centuries since we last experienced a major act of terrorism would definitely fuel some overreaction.
Now that it’s been well over a decade, most people are regaining their sanity and realizing that there was no World War III with Middle Eastern terrorist groups. Maybe the NSA doesn’t need to spy on us. But it doesn’t matter, because we can’t take it back anymore. Once you make that drunk text, you can’t un-text it.
Remember how SOPA and PIPA were killed? They died because they were unjustified and completely retarded. The government was unsuccessful in brainwashing people into thinking that piracy was that deleterious of a problem, considering 70% of 18-29 year old people do it.
But the government was able to convince us to assent to mass surveillance because of the overreaction fueled by 9/11. And what do they have to show for it?
Absolutely nothing. There was not a single foiled terrorist plot in the US– if there were, we’d hear about the trial and conviction through loudspeakers from Obama’s desk– making the entire thing utterly useless.
Americans are realizing that, and for once, tea partiers are on the right side of the debate (no pun intended).Well over half of Americans want an end to the preposterous destruction of civil liberties taking place. But no mainstream politician will represent that view– after all, if 9/11 happens again, they will be left in the dust, and Obama will become a god.
We may have voted for the Patriot Act while drunk on nationalism, but we want to take that back now. And the right to nullify our past mistakes is– *cough21stcough*– critical to the success of America.