Democracy Gets Droned Out

Drew Sheets, Staff Writer

In 2008, American citizens had the pleasure witnessing the most progressive and contested primary in our country’s short history.  The heavy-weight favorite going in was the ex-first lady, then New York senator Hilary Clinton facing off against a seeming nobody; a one-time senator from Illinois not too far-removed from being a community organizer named Barack Obama. The heated primary was to see who would get the Democratic nod for president. The two fought ferociously over who was more liberal, both swearing to reverse the Patriot Act. We know the outcome of that primary, and less than two weeks after Barack Obama’s swearing in as president he resigned the Patriot Act, but not before strengthening it with an even more aggressive attack on our Bill of Rights.

President George W. Bush put the Patriot Act into law, and although Democrats want to claim they are the anti-Bush party, the fact remains that their progressive agenda took us deep down the rabbit hole. The slippery slope ends when Alice is found guilty and sentenced without trial. This is essentially what the president did in legalizing the assassination of Americans around the globe.

By nominating John O. Brennan, a former Bush agent, as CIA director, the president made it abundantly clear that he will not stop attacking our Bill of Rights until it is rendered completely useless. The National Defense Authorization Act includes the ability to kill Americans anywhere in the world and legally turns the United States into a battleground.

Feb. 22, a lone senator from Kentucky swore to the American people that he would do everything in his power to stall or stop the appointment of Brennan unless Obama came out and declared that they could not kill Americans on U.S. soil with a drone missile attack. March 5 the senator got his answer from the Department of Justice, and it was bad news for liberty. The attorney general, Eric Holder, sent the senator a letter saying that the law did in fact protect the president’s ability to use lethal force, with drones, against Americans on U.S. soil.

So March 6, just before noon Eastern Standard Time, the Kentucky senator, Republican Rand Paul, started talking on the floor of Congress and he didn’t stop for nearly 13 hours. For almost 13 hours this man stood for individual liberties and the Constitution. He stood, by himself might I add, for the rule of law, the magna carta, habeas corpus, but above all he stood for all the best values western civilization has produced since declaring we wouldn’t just let the king round us up and behead us out of sheer boredom.

Forget about Bush, Republicans and Democrats. Forget about the Patriot Act and the elimination of the Fourth Amendment via unwarranted wiretaps. Forget about Citizens United and money’s corrupting influence over federal policy. Don’t think about social and economic injustice, monetary policy, inflation, deflation, the Federal Reserve, gun control, abortion or anything else. Right now, just focus on the concept of allowing a politician to kill a citizen without a trial: no due process, no jury of peers, nothing but a whim or an itch in the pants and bam, you’re dead.

My question is: where the hell are all the liberal leaders, the so-called “liberal” media and the independents? It seems they have forgotten the words of their late, great leader Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., “There comes a time one must take a position which is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular—but one must take it because it is right.”

The legislative branch makes the laws, the judicial branch interprets the laws and the executive branch enforces the laws. So I ask, if the executive branch is making the laws, interpreting the laws and enforcing the laws, with no checks or balances, why even pretend the other branches matter? They are irrelevant.

If a judge can’t interpret the law, what makes us believe a politician can? Where does society make that leap? Laws are supposed to protect the citizens, not grant the government authority to execute citizens without a trial. This country’s direction reminds me of another Reverend Dr. King quote, “Everything Hitler did in Germany was legal.”

“I’m not saying that anyone is Hitler, don’t misunderstand me. But what I am saying is…when a democracy gets it wrong, you want the law to be in place,” Rand Paul said on Tuesday during his historic filibuster.

I tip my hat to the man from Kentucky, but unless the president comes out and contradicts his Department of Justice, there can be no doubt that we are bearing witness to the death of the American democratic experiment.