The Rights of Man, or as Jefferson put it:
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.
These rights are not bestowed by governments or politicians. These rights are not theirs to give and take.
These unalienable rights are what make all men and women more than serfs and chattel to the Ruling Class. These rights are the difference between a free people and a servile people cowering in fear at the whims of their faceless rulers and governments.
These rights are not granted by governments, they are ours. They cannot grant them….but they can pass laws and take actions that take them away. A Congress just did. As the President did before them…by secretly spying on the free citizens of our representative democracy. These rights are not theirs to take or even to abridge. They are stealing from us.
This country was founded specifically to establish these rights. For two hundred and thirty years Americans have fought and died for these rights. Generation after generation these rights have been defended to the death against foreign powers, foreign TYRANTS who would take them away. Blood has been spilled, lives have been sacrificed, children have been orphaned for these rights. These rights are what America is.
And now they are being willingly surrendered by those who We The People elected to protect them. For no good reason.
Fighting for civil and constitutional rights, at every possible opportunity, is much much more than fighting against any particular law. It is the fight for Human Dignity, the fight for the individual, the fight for freedom from the historically inevitable totalitarian urges of those who hold power.
To some, to those who cannot understand the outrage and ‘hysteria,’ this is just another bad bill. To those who value freedom and dignity, it is just the latest assault on our rights by a government that has come to serve itself, not those who elected it to power….a bill that serves their interests, covers their asses, serves their corporate donors…. not the interests of The People.
When such a self-serving flimsy excuse as this is used to abridge the rights…and thus the freedom and dignity…of an ostensibly free people, there WILL be outrage.
As the bumper sticker so succinctly says: If you are NOT outraged, you are not paying attention.