Citizens must defend their rights

During a political discussion, I was once told I must be from another universe. An astute observation.

I do feel like a stranger in a strange land, particularly after reviewing a recent presidential debate. None of the current candidates, members of Congress, the president or the media seem to be concerned whether or not they or we will ever live in freedom again.

What does it mean to be free? There was at least an attempt by our Founding Fathers to include some guidelines in formulating a definition. The First Ten Amendments, the so-called Bill of Rights, was a good start. Those rights and freedoms were meant to be irrevocable, forming the foundation of our legal system, binding on every American and not subject to change without amending the Constitution itself.

For example, the Fourth Amendment says that we are entitled to our privacy. It doesn’t say that we are entitled to our privacy unless the government or anyone else thinks they have good reasons to ignore our rights. Our government now totally ignores not only that right, but pretty much any and all human rights they find inconvenient to observe. They are considering a law that would make it illegal for us to encrypt our person-to-person messages, claiming that it should be illegal for us to communicate with one another without allowing the government to listen in.

In the universe where I come from, citizens know that if they want to remain free, they need to pay attention and faithfully defend any of their rights and freedoms under attack. Why vote for any candidate running for any office who is dangerously uninformed, doesn’t understand what their job is, and lacks sufficient integrity and courage to tell the truth, or honor their oath of office?

—Mark Goldman