A new breed of conservative

Let us assume the Constitution of the United States is in letter and spirit a conservative document. Further, let us set that beside the approval many conservatives in the U.S. have given surveillance of U.S citizens without court issued warrants. This kind of surveillance seems contrary to the Fourth Amendment right of Americans to be secure from illegal searches and seizures. It would seem that conservatives would join ranks with those on the left in opposing illegal search and seizure outside judicial and legislative review. Illegal search and siezure is one of the defining characteristics of a tyrannical regime that has no regard for basic liberties that might be used to oppose the regime.

In fact, what people who oppose the Bush Administration on this issue want is the restoration of a court that operates in secrecy in overseeing secret executive agencies. This in no way impedes the government’s attempt to discover and apprehend suspected terrorists. Yet it does provide at least some check on unbridled executive power and a preventive for abuse.

On the other hand, surveillance without warrant or judicial review opens the door to loss of liberty and the creation of a despotic police state. To be secure in one’s papers is to be secure in one’s property, for our papers are one of our most important properties. One of the central tenants of traditional conservatism is respect and protection of personal property.

However, what we have now is a new breed of conservative, unmindful of traditional liberties guaranteed by the Constitution and who do not care if those liberties are protected by vigorous action from the Executive and the courts. A long time ago, during my conservative days, I would never have believed such a breed would have come to call themselves conservatives.

Times have changed.

Published in: on October 9, 2007 at 3:40 pm  Leave a Comment  

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