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“They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.” Those short-sided people who only value living inside a bubble should heed Benjamin Franklin’s warning more than ever.
I find it quite ironic that the very conservative Wall Street Journal has called for U.S. Attorney Anton Valukas’ resignation following the attorney’s alleged misuse of the Rico act. The law gives the federal government the power to confiscate property without due process of law. On the same day, that Du Page County State’s attorney Ryan implements his zero tolerance drug policy which also confiscates property without due process of law.
Where do the Du Page conservatives stand on these two issues? It seems to me that most of them support the Wall Street Journal in condemning Valukas for throwing out the Constitution vis-a-vis stock brokers, but support Ryan in his drive to nullify the Constitution concerning ‘druggies’.
Of course, conservatives do not have a monopoly on inconsistency. Those on the left side of the spectrum have been quite silent when people have complained about the IRS abusing their rights, such as confiscation of property without due process of law. The American Civil Liberties Union has always refused to take on cases of IRS abuse claiming that the right to due process of law (a civil liberty) is not important enough in matters of money.
So expediency is the rule of the day, whether conservative or liberal. These people have no qualms about using the awesome power of government (the means) to satisfy their emotional desire for security (the end) no matter how illusory it may be, no matter what the long-term consequences.
I have always thought that America’s greatness lies not in its power, but in its passion for liberty. For such a concept our founding fathers pledged their “lives, fortunes, and sacred honor.” Is there any other concept or value worth dying for? Or living for? Security, egalitarianism? Not for me. The means to the end of liberty consist of the values of tolerance, openness, diversity, objective law (justice), opportunity, and respect for property.
The reigning values of today have little tolerance for the above. Zero tolerance, unthinking emotion, short-term security, expediency, power— these ‘values’ drive the American engine down a path taken before, recklessly, with little thought to long term effects (e.g. 1930’s German engineering). This means/ends shortcut may briefly satisfy the heart. But beware. Head injuries may follow. The short-cut road may quickly lead to a precipice. Once in a totalitarian abyss, it is very difficult to exit. Just ask the Russian people.
The DuPage State’s Attorney Ryan is a reckless driver. Let’s follow the example set by the Wall Street Journal and suggest that he get off the road.
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