• Medill Reports - Chicago, Northwestern University
The Patriot Act: Name in Action
When you ask a political strategist about the impact of a bill’s name, they all point to the same example.
The USA Patriot Act of 2001 was actually an acronym for a much longer name: Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism. The bill gave additional monitoring permission to intelligence officials in the post-9/11 years, but was criticized as an invasion of privacy and civil liberties.
“Being against the Patriot Act sure implies that you’re not patriotic,” said New Mexico Assistant Attorney General Joel Jacobsen. The name starts opponents of the legislation on the defensive and with a disadvantage, he said.
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