Safety trumps privacy issues

Does the government have a right to access our private lives? Our emails, search engine history, text messages, phone calls, and anything else deemed personal? Hell yes they do. The NSA could set up their main office in my underwear drawer if it would help protect the people of this nation.

Given the recent terrorist attacks and other every day evils like gangs/cartels, child porn distributors, identity thieves and the dark web, there is a grave need for the people of America to not only allow the government access to all forms of communication, but to encourage a transparent, citizen-approved and vetted understanding between the government and the people when it comes to national security.

I understand those that are weary of the government and believe in upholding their privacy rights. There is a very long list of governments that have hurt and oppressed their people by encroaching on their basic human rights and trapping a lot of people into a life they can’t escape. We have tons of different names for these forms of government. Sometimes we call them dictators, communists, fascists, oligarchy’s, autocracy’s, and sadly sometimes they even have the nerve to call themselves democracies or republic’s.

But in America we have checks and balances, we have a population of more than 350 million people, we don’t need to be scared of government take over, because we are the government.

The right to privacy in today’s world is an archaic ideal that doesn’t take into account the vast changes that have made today’s world a lot less safe. We have the Internet, cell phones, social media, etc., so I find it a bit ridiculous that people fight so fiercely over an entitlement that is arbitrary and not tied to any concrete civil liberty. The government is the paparazzi and we’re not celebrities, they are the people in charge of protecting us.

The NSA doesn’t care about some 21-year-old pot dealer, or whatever people are so scared of government “encroaching” on. What do you have to hide anyway? If you’re not doing anything wrong, then why the paranoia?

In order to have a healthy, effective government that can truly take on the responsibility of protecting its people, we need policies and precedents that can keep up with our ever-changing world. We need to stop screaming and crying bloody murder when you see the headline ‘ NSA wiretaps’ and then standing dumbfounded when you have two terrorists — in the case of the Boston bombings — that were under our radar but because of archaic laws protecting “privacy,” allowed them to slip through our fingers and commit an act of terrorism.

I realize that it’s easy to blame in hindsight, but the truth is, if we supported unlimited government reach only under the circumstances of protecting our people from terrorist attacks, then federal agencies like the NSA, the FBI, the CIA, Homeland Security and law enforcement could do a more effective job of watching out for the bad guys.

Many people are confused about the difference between civil liberties and civil rights. Civil rights are positive legal actions by the government to protect from unequal treatment based on race, gender, disability, and sexual identity such as the 14th amendment — the right to vote. Civil liberties, on the other hand, are supposed to protect people from the government, such as The Bill of Rights, like freedom of speech or religion or the right to bear arms.

We all know that when our government and its foundations were structured in 1776, they probably didn’t think it would morph into protecting African Americans, women, the disabled, and the LGBTQ community.

But we as a people have changed for the better — we’ve become a better people. Nowadays, freedom is constantly growing to cover and protect more and more people, making our union more perfect.

So lets make it even greater, lets support laws and the reach of the government to protect our country from senseless acts of terrorism and other evils.