Rand Paul’s New Patriot Act?

Doesn’t the term “patriot” sound so good?  Being called a patriot is something that every citizen of every country considers a badge of honor and distinction. So in the political battle of words and semantics, whoever can claim the “high ground” of patriotism would most likely emerge as the victor.

After the terror attacks of 9/11, former U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft brought before Congress a list of recommended changes in the law to combat terrorism. Some of these measures had long been opposed by members of Congress as infringing on the rights of Americans.

In order to claim the high ground of the debate, the former administration of Republican President George W. Bush introduced a bill that was termed “The Patriot Act.”  Rather than look “un-patriotic” most of congress was willing to grant the former President, and his Democrat successor, many enhanced but unconstitutional powers.  That is until now.

Rand Paul of Kentucky demanded a stop to this wordsmithing and came forward with something I call a new Patriot Act, almost single handedly forcing many unconstitutional practices of U.S. intelligence programs to, in the words of Time magazine, “go dark.”  This act of Patriotism, or Patriot Act, Rand Paul proposed brought much-needed attention to the centralized elevation of the executive branch.

Why do I call this Patriotic?  Won’t this make us less safe?  “Patriotism” as defined by Webster’s 1828 dictionary is, “The love of one’s country; the passion which aims to serve one’s country, either in defending it from invasion, or protecting its rights and maintaining its laws and institutions in vigor and purity.”

This has always been a struggle between God-given rights and laws, liberties and powers, the Bill of Rights and delegated Constitutional powers, the people and their government.

You see, if you think government is the source of your rights then you will have no problem with them taking certain rights from you to keep you safer. Yet founding father Benjamin Franklin inferred, “Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.”

This is because our founders believed that rights come from God, and that God instituted governments to protect those God-given rights.

What would a nation become if all authority to govern our God-given liberties was given to a central power that we could not limit? Where “independence” is just another word in the war of semantics. Look around the world; this is the stuff that Communist, Socialist, and Totalitarian governments are made of.

“I came here to defend the Bill of Rights, not to be popular,” Senator Paul tweeted.  Though he may not be popular with many of his colleagues, I believe the good Senator is popular with the founders of the American View, and the most holy author of our Liberties.

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Jake MacAulay serves as the Chief Operating Officer of the Institute on the Constitution (IOTC), an educational outreach that presents the founders’ “American View” of law and government. The former co-host of the syndicated talk show, The Sons of Liberty, he is an ordained minister and has spoken to audiences nation-wide, and has established the American Club, a constitutional study group in public and private schools.
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  • franklinb23

    I was initially opposed to the Patriot Act, but meh …

    I’m not sure that using regulated public utilities or even the internet with total and absolute privacy is a “right”.

    Those of us who aren’t plotting terrorist acts (or downloading child porn) have nothing to worry about.

    • http://www.americanclarion.com/ Bob Ellis

      I initially didn’t have much heartache with the Patriot Act…until I found it was being used as an excuse to monitor and gather private communications of private citizens who were not even suspected of terrorist activities, much less there being enough probably cause present to seek a warrant as required by the Fourth Amendment.

      We needed to have our act together better than we had it prior to 911, but that’s no excuse for violating people’s rights, and we can do it without violating people’s rights.

    • Thisoldspouse

      I view the gathering of electronic communications of non-suspect citizens in the same way as I view our private document communications sent through the mail and other delivery services. Would you be as cavalier about this intrusion if the government were opening your letters, bill payments, orders, or greeting cards without probably cause?

  • Pingback: Rand Pauls insistence on undoing parts of the post 9/11 wiretapping laws has created a series of strange bedfellows and opens an interesting door to further unusual coalitions - TrendZulu()

  • Thisoldspouse

    The Patriot Act was only needed to tiptoe around political correctness. There are other, obvious methods of identifying and monitoring terrorism without involving American citizens in the mess.

    Immediately after 9-11, the emphasis should have immediately been properly concentrated on ISLAMIC IMMIGRANTS and communications between primarily Islamic countries and the U.S. Immigration into the country by those in these countries should have immediately been put on indefinite hold - no exceptions - and those here on visas should have been required to immediately report to the nearest Immigration and Naturalization center for a thorough background check and screening; otherwise, all such Islamists in this country should have been deported.

    None of this would have involved American citizens. Those citizens in sympathy with Islamist foreign nationals would have been identified by incoming communications from those countries.

    But such actions would have been deemed “insensitive” in the stifling climate of PC we now live, so everyone was made to pay to keep those who would kill us happy.