There is a phenomenon that occurs here at ATS that both amazes and disappoints me each time it manifests itself. I have decided to call it "feeding
the white elephant". It's something I will never understand; and it is a dichotomy of sorts. In a community filled with intelligent, informed, and
aware members, who on a daily basis blow me away with the things they reveal and the depths of knowledge and thought they contribute, when it comes to
issues in which this phenomenon manifests itself, there are a number of you, in my humble opinion, who flunk
the "intelligent discussion
test" - every single time. And it always happens on the same type of discussion.
We have at least a couple of ATSNN article threads going right now on issues surrounding practices by the U.S. government that could be interpreted
as encroaching on, or at least representing a danger to, the U.S. citizen's rights and freedoms. When it comes to issues like this, it is not a
partisan matter. It is a constitutional matter. But more importantly, it should be a "stewardship" matter. We should care enough about our fellow
citizens, and our children, to objectively analyze these issues. Discussions on these issues should be 1. is the government's intentions the way I
(or you) are currently interpreting them?; and 2. is their method of implementation constitutional, or is it detrimental to our rights and liberties?
But the conversation never remains at that level of analysis that could actually reveal whether on any given new "practice" by our government, we
may be losing rights that were afforded by our constitution. Instead, to a discussion, it turns to a democratic/republican argument, and anything of
substance gets lost in a petty "you vs us" catfight.
I am a Republican. If I do not OBJECTIVELY
look at the conduct of the administration while my own party is in place, and call violations
against our rights and our constitution when they appear - or at least have an appearance of existing - then when the Democrats come into power, and
THEY violate the constitution, I will deserve to have to defend myself against every insinuation that I am "only picking on the other side". It
won't be true, but there would be historical actions (or lack thereof) within my own personal conduct that would lead to that appearance. The rights
and liberties of the citizen should trump any party-line, any party allegiance. I will speak against dangerous practices within my own party, so that
I can continue, unfettered, to speak against ALL dangerous practices regardless of who is in power.
I don't care who is in office. If I see something that looks unconstitutional, or threatening to the U.S. citizen's rights (or for that matter
treats the global citizen in a manner that is beneath traditional American values) it behooves me to speak against it. And if it is my own party, I
feel even more obligated because that empowers me to continue to speak against transgressions once I find myself in what could be perceived as a
"politically biased" position. And I don't understand why more people cannot stop feeding the partisan elephant, and start nurturing our rights
To the Democrats who want to state that the expanded power afforded and the encroachments of civil rights via the passing of the PATRIOT Act are
results of "Neo-Con" powermongering, and that the Democrats are some pristine vanguard of the protection of our rights who would NEVER
consider such fascist actions, I say to you that is a load of crock!
Clinton tried to get the Ombnibus Act passed in 1995 after the WTC
bombing in 1993, and it is virtually verbatim the PATRIOT Act.
To the Republicans who want to state that their party is the only party with the spine to do something in the name of "homeland security" (i.e. the
PATRIOT Act) and that Clinton did nothing to try to prevent terrorism, I say to you that is a load of crock!
The Republicans shot down
Clinton's attempts at the same measures in the name of security that the Republicans now laud as the second coming of the Savior of the U.S.
citizenry - only they made darn sure the savior was riding an elephant instead of a donkey this time. Major point you're missing in this argument:
if you think the PATRIOT Act is a reasonable measure due to the attacks of 9/11, and that these measures are in place to thwart, or have thwarted,
further terrorist actions you MUST admit that if the Republicans had not killed the passing of the Omnibus bill in 1995, SEPTEMBER 11TH MIGHT NOT HAVE
HAPPENED! YOU CAN NOT HAVE IT BOTH WAYS.
This is NOT a partisan issue. This is a constitutional issue. And the only thing that should divide the discussion is interpretation of the
constitution, the actions of our government, the intent behind those actions; and whether you think its okay to lose that for this...not who is taking
the that and promising the this. Every time you guys start discussing issues like this and reduce it to a "bleeding heart liberal is a traitor" or
"neo-con right-winger is a nazi" argument, you lose another chance to look intelligently at a trend that has manifested itself for going on FOUR
PRESIDENTIAL TERMS...and you also make yourselves look real petty.
There is a systemic problem in our representative government that we are allowing ourselves to overlook by fighting with each other. The white
elephant we're not only all shouting around, but feeding with our inability to logically discuss these concerning issues, is some dangerous mentality
within the representatives we send to Washington. This mentality is in direct opposition to the mandates we give them to represent our civil rights
and defend our freedoms. BOTH PARTY'S POLITICIANS HAVE DECIDED THAT THE FIRST LINE OF DEFENSE AGAINST ANY "DANGER" WILL BE DRAWN FROM OUR
CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS AND OUR FREEDOMS.
Doesn't that bother any of you enough to put your bag of peanuts down and start a rational, nonpartisan discussion?
[edit on 12-19-2005 by Valhall]