This democratic congress is finding it easy to be seen as soft on civil liberties, and by voting for militaristic measures and funding, finding it tough to be seen as soft on fighting terrorist acts. Many are complaining about this “wuss factor” seen in the democratic party’s elected representatives, and called so by an increasing number of their constituents. I know, we want to cast a schoolyard type blame, to imply some inherent trait in their characters, for their seeming inability to have a spine, but that is too easy an out for us who are seeking legitimate answers. But it is the constituents fault alone that our representatives have been voting as they have.
The fault for the democratic congress voting against civil liberties, like the expansion of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) extension bill of August, 2007, lies firmly with the people, with their knowledge, and with their willingness to communicate with their representatives. Consider it is easy to be soft on civil liberties because the constituency is relaxed on civil liberties. The people find the bill of rights too complex, too boring, too much nuance. The arguments for and against amendments in the Constitution are tedious, intellectual, and deep. Its no wonder the phones and fax machines don’t ring off the hook, from the people in the districts, save for a few dedicated civil libertarians and liberals screaming to save civil rights. Hence, it is easy to vote on the floor for measures which tip the scales out of balance from civil liberties to fighting terrorism and militarism.
In 1755 (Pennsylvania Assembly: Reply to the Governor, Tue, Nov 11, 1755), Franklin wrote: "Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety." This is likely a truism. However a key word here is “essential,” as in our basic needs for liberty, for freedom. Too many simple thinkers can not foresee them ever losing their essential freedoms, sure losing some liberties they can concede, but the basics, just not fathomable.
UNFINISHED sorry. It just got tedious.