“Who among us has not experienced its all-encompassing embrace? In all truth, there is no step, thought, action, or lack of action under the heavens which could not be punished by the heavy hand of this article.”
Perhaps there is an explanation for the acceptance these empty assurances have found. After all, our nation is only familiar with the travesties of tyranny by reputation, from the words and suffering of others.
But Americans should know that, to eyes familiar with tyranny by experience, Congressional consent to these broad new powers marks a major milestone on the road to serfdom. Before it’s too late, let us resolve to renew and reinvigorate our vigilance for freedom.
Until such time, we are left with a familiar refrain as the proponents’ last refuge: “If you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear.”
That, too, rings hollow. In a nation that casts aside the shield of individual liberty for the fig leaf of faith in a benevolent government, citizens with nothing to hide have precisely everything to fear. The long story of humanity is very clear on this point: Benevolence is fleeting.
And once it’s gone, we are at the mercy of that old Black Raven.
Igor Birman, chief of staff for Rep. Tom McClintock (R-Calif.), arrived in California as a Soviet refugee at the age of 13.
Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., right, hugs Harold Schaitberger, General President of the International Association of Fire Fighters, after the Congressman spoke at the IAFF's Legislative Conference General Session at the Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill, March 9, 2015. The day featured addresses by members of Congress and Vice President Joe Biden.