is suddenly in fashion across American. Flag-waving has become
so popular that the Chinese are actually working overtime to manufacture
enough American flags to meet demand. Everywhere, citizens are
demonstrating their patriotic support for their country and their
President. Across our great nation, there is new pride in America
and a new sense of community. There's just one problem
in our rush to defend America, our most basic liberties are under
attack as never before.
in 1778, Thomas Paine warned Americans about false patriots who
wave the flag on sunny days, but fail to uphold liberty in stormy
weather: "These are the times that try men's souls. The summer
soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink
from the service of their country; but he that stands now, deserves
the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not
easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the
harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph."
want those responsible for the WTC tragedy caught and punished.
However, that doesn't mean that Americans must lose any of their
Constitutional rights. To the contrary, any infringement on the
Bill of Rights not only violates America's heritage of freedom,
it violates the Constitution and dishonors the brave American
patriots who sacrificed their lives for our freedom.
the flag and singing patriotic songs may help unite us as a nation,
but let's not forget that America's Constitution and Bill of Rights
must always come first. As Thomas Jefferson so wisely advised
his fellow Americans:
"A bill of rights is what the people are entitled to against every
government on earth, general or particular; and what no just government
should refuse, or rest on inferences."
real tragedy of September 11th is that the public's fear of terrorism
is being used to fraudulently barter away rights that are supposed
to be guaranteed, without exceptions, to all Americans. Cowed
by public hysteria, Congress has turned its back on the Constitution
and passed anti-terrorism bills (H.R. 2975 and S. 1510) that authorize
completely unconstitutional activities such as the "delayed notice"
213, allowing the government to conduct covert searches. This
means that law enforcement agencies can enter a person's home
or office, search through the person's possessions, in some cases
seize physical objects or electronic information, without the
person knowing that law enforcement agents were there.
once admired for its freedom and democratic ideals, suddenly finds
itself in a secret war, with secret courts, sealed warrants and
secret searches. Like deer caught in the headlights, we are too
paralyzed by fear and denial to take proper evasive actions. Waving
flags and promoting false patriotism, this new and highly secretive
oligarchy is shamelessly using our fear of terrorism to suspend
our rights and the media's access to the truth. Even the Freedom
of Information Act is under attack with Attorney General John
Ashcroft issuing a
new statement of policy that encourages federal agencies to
"resist Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests, whenever they
have legal grounds to do so."
of summer soldiers and sunshine patriots, how is it that the Congress
abrogated its responsibility to exert checks and balances on this
power grab by the Bush Administration?
Congressional oath is to uphold the Constitution, and the rights
guaranteed by that document, against all enemies foreign and domestic.
There is nothing there about selling out our Constitutional rights
a war or "national security." No, each member of Congress took
an oath to defend our rights. Now Congress has betrayed its oath,
sold out our rights, and is guilty of aiding and abetting a slow-motion
solidarity with the President may seem patriotic, but no one has
the right to barter away our inalienable rights, especially the
Congress, since their oath requires them to defend the Constitution
and the rights it guarantees. Yes it's terrible that 5,000 innocent
people were so brutally slaughtered on 9/11, but we must remember
that hundreds of thousands of brave American patriots also paid
the ultimate price to preserve our heritage of freedom.
is more than waving a flag or supporting the government. Real
patriotism demands an unwavering commitment to upholding and defending
all of our rights, regardless of any argument of necessity or
Kubby was 1998 Libertarian Party candidate for Governor of California.