The American government was designed by the Founding Fathers to elicit a sense of trust from the people so it could have the freedom to handle the complexities of governing, but the abuse of this sense of trust is fast eroding the American people’s tolerance for government to do the things necessary to function properly in today’s complex world.
The business of governing a country is messy and complicated with varying degrees of grayness. Leaders must weigh multiple options and decide on the most prudent course of action that advances the interests of the country. These courses of action often involve distasteful options carefully considered to balance their ability to advance American interests against their morality or apparent odds with our core beliefs as a nation.
For instance, America is a nation of peace dedicated to spreading the ideas of democracy, freedom, and capitalism around the world, yet we were forced to drop two nuclear weapons on Japan in order to end World War II. President Truman had to balance the horror of using nuclear weapons on our enemy against the horror of sacrificing up to a million Americans in an assault on the Japanese homeland. Modern historians easily criticize Truman’s decision, but they apply current standards and attitudes while conveniently ignoring the context of the times in which this action was undertaken.
President Truman was able to undertake such an action because the American people trusted their government and their leaders to make the most prudent decisions on their behalf. American leaders took their fidelity to their various offices seriously and strove to be worthy of the trust placed in them as leaders. They were not without fault and the occasional scandal arose, but Americans continued to trust in the American system of government as it continued to keep prosperity flowing.
At some point in American history, there arose a movement at odds with the ideas of American government as laid down by the Founding Fathers in the Constitution for the benefit of a free people engaged in capitalism to satisfy the needs of their fellow man. This movement realized that their ideas were at odds with the prevailing traditions, but they took a long view and set about infiltrating the various organizations and institutions that underpin American society to build support for their ideas.
They infiltrated education because it provided an avenue to indoctrinate young impressionable minds in subtle ways that would gradually produce adults more receptive to their ideas. This process took decades as they first had to infiltrate universities then force adoption of their ideas in gradual steps presented as reasonable modifications to reflect the changing times. They simultaneously infiltrated government at all levels to smooth the way for their ideas always patiently taking the long view and soothing their detractors with assurances that they were only being reasonable.
At present, this movement has successfully infiltrated government, academia, the courts, the media, the military, the church, and virtually every other institution in our society. Their progressive agenda is to tear down and destroy these institutions because they see them as preventing their adherents from doing as they please. These institutions which have been so crucial to the success of the American experiment in self-government and America’s overwhelming prosperity are to be destroyed merely for the sake that the progressives feel they are an obstacle preventing them from doing what feels good to them. Mind you, they have nothing with which to replace these destroyed institutions so as to continue American prosperity. They just wish to destroy them to be destroying them.
The progressives have used the media to redefine terminology to their benefit and poison our culture with inane filth. The press have become their willing accomplices in their quest to control government by excusing their actions, failing to report certain details to the American people, and ridiculing their opponents as knuckle-dragging Neanderthals for defending the preservation of these institutions as necessary for the success of the American experience.
The American people are becoming aware of the progressive agenda and their tactics for realizing that agenda. They are rejecting the progressive agenda as it is at odds with the ideas of liberty espoused by the Founding Fathers in the Constitution. The progressives have always known that their agenda would not be accepted by Americans, which is why they have hidden its details through the media and used the courts to push through the more unpalatable portions. They have gradually enslaved Americans on entitlement programs to ensure their access to the power necessary to promulgate their agenda.
Americans realize they are being lied to by the media which is why so many newspapers are in financial trouble. Their owners prefer to blame the Internet for disrupting their business models while ignoring the fact that Americans are turning to the Internet in a quest for the truth they are no longer getting from journalists pushing the progressive line and repeating the progressive talking points. Yes, the Internet is disrupting their business models, but not in the way they think.
The American people have lost trust in their institutions and in their government. This loss of trust is displayed in the overwhelming cynicism exhibited by Americans when it comes to government and its leaders. We roll our eyes when politicians launch into prepared talking points to hide their unwillingness to tell us the truth. We no longer vote for candidates for office, rather we vote against candidates in selecting the lesser of two evils. As our trust in our government and its leaders has evaporated, we no longer extend them the freedom to perform those complex functions that are necessary to protect and defend American interests.
The National Security Agency (NSA) is currently under fire for allegedly spying on the American people in violation of our constitutional rights to privacy. This is certainly an extremely complex issue that balances the constitutional protection against an invasion of our privacy with the need to protect America from the irregular warfare of Islamic terrorists who wish our death and destruction. However, due to the lack of trust Americans have in their government and their leaders, the American people are understandably upset with this arrangement. We are no longer willing to give government the benefit of the doubt that they have our best interests at heart because we no longer trust our government.
The NSA employs an automated process to search the metadata of the billions of calls placed each day for anomalies that suggest which calls should be screened for closer scrutiny. This metadata is information about the phone call and is not the phone conversation itself, nor does it contain any information from the actual conversation. This metadata includes such information as the time of the call, the length of the call, and the origination of the call. This call metadata is requested through a warrant provided by the United States Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court established in 1978 through the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA). These warrants are issued by the FISA court against suspected foreign intelligence agents inside the United States to federal law enforcement agencies such as the NSA and the FBI.
Every foiled terrorist plot has included officials stating that they were tracking the communications of the terrorist cell members, that they were fully aware of the terrorists’ actions through every step of the way, and that there was never any real danger to Americans. These officials were able to track terrorist communications precisely because the procedures and organizations were in place to do so. Because the NSA exists and has automated the search through billions of calls, because the FISA Court exists to protect Americans’ constitutional right to privacy, because our government is aware of what to look for to identify terrorist plots, we are much safer now than we were prior to the terrorist attacks of 9/11.
Now we learn that the secret FISA Court has only denied eleven requests out of some 34,000 granted in 35 years, making it appear to be just a formality for the illusion of our constitutional protection. We learn that the FISA Court has issued outstanding warrants to obtain call information from each of the major telecommunications companies that are routinely renewed every three months. Couple this information with the fact that our progressive president appears to be obeying only the laws and constitutional aspects that allow him to advance the progressive agenda, and you suddenly have a strong reason not to trust either the government or its present leadership. We really have to ask ourselves if these actions are for our protection or the advancement of their agenda.
In today’s complex world of international relations complicated by irregular warfare through an amorphous terrorist network stretching around the globe, it is more important than ever for the American people to trust their government and their leaders, and more important than ever for our leaders to preserve our trust in them and our government to preserve, protect, and defend America from enemies both foreign and domestic. In abusing our trust, our leaders are significantly shrinking the space in which we will allow them to operate, thus compromising their ability to protect us and further eroding our trust in them. The fall of America will come when we no longer trust our government enough to allow it to protect us, and our leaders no longer place our protection above their partisan political agendas.