The Founders’ vision of the United States as a beacon of liberty for the rest of the world grew largely from their desire to ensure that the Nation never resembled that from which they were forced to fight a bloody war to free themselves. The law of the land, in its original construct, was designed to protect personal freedom, privacy and the right to self-preservation against the malicious intent of both agents of the state and free-actors with equal vigor.
But, for busybodies and statists hell-bent on total control, the modern world is too different a place for Americans to value the historic advice — and legislation — of the Nation’s Founding Fathers. And every tragedy or event that has the potential to affront the hearts of Americans with the least bit of unease represents a new chance for the liberty-averse to make their case for less Constitutional consideration.
If you don’t believe the preceding statements coming from an average American peon who values his own naturally ordained and Constitutionally guaranteed rights, take it straight from the horse’s mouth.
Speaking in reference to the Boston Marathon bombing that occurred last week, Mayor Michael Bloomberg — who has gone out of his way to make New York City as Constitutionally bereft as possible — had this to say: “The people who are worried about privacy have a legitimate worry. But we live in a complex world where you’re going to have to have a level of security greater than you did back in the olden days, if you will. And our laws and our interpretation of the Constitution, I think, have to change.”
Bloomberg said later in his remarks: “It really says something bad about us that we have to do it. But our obligation first and foremost is to keep our kids safe in the schools; first and foremost, to keep you safe if you go to a sporting event; first and foremost is to keep you safe if you walk down the streets or go into our parks. We cannot let the terrorists put us in a situation where we can’t do those things. And the ways to do that is to provide what we think is an appropriate level of protection.”
Just outside of Bloomberg’s city in New York Harbor stands a world-famous neoclassical sculpture given to the people of the United States by France in 1886. Originally named La Liberté éclairant le monde, or Liberty Enlightening the World, the Statue of Liberty is representative of the Founders’ vision of an America known worldwide as a beacon of liberty. For more than a century, the colossal representation of the Roman goddess Libertas has watched over the city with her ever burning torch in one arm and tubula ansata, representative of the rule of law, in the other.
In the stairwell of Lady Liberty’s pedestal hangs a plaque bearing a slight variant of a quote attributed to Benjamin Franklin circa 1755, “Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.”
It is duly noted that Franklin and, especially, the ancient Roman Libertas are undoubtedly not contemporary enough to be afforded the consideration of a man as progressive as Bloomberg. But one is forced to wonder how either of the advocates of liberty — real or imagined — from the “olden days” would feel about Bloomberg-era policy initiatives like big soda bans, stop and frisk, and universal surveillance.
Would they simply throw up their arms and mutter, “Times have changed; and the world is too dangerous a place for liberty”?