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President Bush Continues To Push America Toward A Police State

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This column is archived at http://www.chuckbaldwinlive.com/c2007/cbarchive_20070109.html

President George W. Bush's brand of conservatism is something completely foreign to traditional norms. He has outspent even the most liberal administrations. He has led the nation into undeclared foreign wars under false pretenses. He has bloated the size and scope of the federal government like no president since Franklin D. Roosevelt. He has consistently promoted "civil unions" for homosexuals. He has increased federal funding for abortion providers at home and abroad. In addition, over the objections of a Republican-controlled Congress, Bush even supported the Clinton gun ban.

However, it is President Bush's preoccupation with turning America into a total surveillance society that separates his administration from any and all others. Before this administration, no conservative president had endorsed the concept of turning the United States into the fulfillment of Aldous Huxley's Brave New World, but that is exactly what G.W. Bush is attempting to do.

Under the rubric of fighting terrorism, President Bush has done more to strip the American people of constitutionally-protected freedoms than any administration since Abraham Lincoln. The latest example of Bush's tyrannical tendencies comes in the form of his most recent "signing statement." And please understand that President Bush has issued more "signing statements" than any president in history. In fact, before President Reagan, there was a total of only 75 "signing statements" by all previous administrations. Then, Presidents Reagan, George H.W. Bush, and Bill Clinton issued 247 "signing statements" combined. So far, President George W. Bush has issued 147 "signing statements" that have challenged constitutional restrictions (upon him) to more than 750 statutes. (Source: The Boston Globe)

After signing a postal reform bill called H.R. 6407, the "Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act," President Bush issued a "signing statement" that declared his (Bush's) right to open the private mail of American citizens without a judge's warrant.

According to the New York Daily News, "That claim is contrary to existing law and contradicted the bill he had just signed, say experts who have reviewed it."

The News continues by saying, "Experts said the new powers could be easily abused and used to vacuum up large amounts of mail.

"'The [Bush] signing statement claims authority to open domestic mail without a warrant, and that would be new and quite alarming,' said Kate Martin, director of the Center for National Security Studies in Washington."

Furthermore, a career senior U.S. official who reviewed the legal underpinnings of Bush's claim said, "You have to be concerned. It takes Executive Branch authority beyond anything we've ever known."

President Bush's decision to grant himself the power to open private mail without a warrant is similar to what he has done in the recent past. Remember that Bush recently said he had the authority to perform warrantless eavesdropping on the American people.

A total surveillance society is something that Americans heretofore understood to be completely contrary to the principles of liberty. Such a society was reserved for Marxist or Nazi regimes, and was repugnant to all true Americans. No More. President Bush has taken the concept of a surveillance society into the mainstream of America's public life and culture. Sadder still is the fact that there is only a handful of people that seem worried about it, and none of these are conservative Christian leaders.

Since G.W. Bush became president, the American people have lost their Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, and Seventh Amendment protections. Their phone calls, emails, and even private discussions can be (and are) monitored by federal police agencies without court order. Beyond that, virtually all of their major banking transactions are constantly monitored, as well as their travel and shopping activities.

The Republican Party has demonstrated that it has no inclination to oppose Bush's New World Order, that is for sure. For one thing, the GOP always was, and still is, the party of Big Business. And just who do you think is getting all the high-dollar federal contracts to do all this national snooping? You bet. The GOP's Big Business buddies.

The national conservative Christian leaders have likewise demonstrated a total disregard for Bush's push for an Orwellian society. After all, they have been too busy enjoying the perks and benefits of sitting at the king's table. Plus, they don't have to worry about being the target of Bush's secret police stings. They are part of the "inner circle," don't you know?

That brings it down to the Democrats. What will Nancy Pelosi and company do to slow down this emerging police state juggernaut? Probably not much. She has made reference to the need to restore constitutional safeguards to Washington politics. But we have heard that kind of talk before, haven't we? The track record of the Democratic Party is hardly reassuring. After all, this is the same bunch that took delight in trashing the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

In the end, it always comes down to "we the people." Until America's local pastors, local sheriffs, local and state elected officers, and local and state judges begin standing up to this out-of-control federal monstrosity, the slippery slide into fascism will continue. Aw, shucks! I just remembered that most of those people are also on the federal take. Therefore, a return to traditional conservatism is just about out of the question.

Then again, we could do something revolutionary, such as casting aside both major political parties, and start supporting true constitutionalists for a real change in America. The skeleton for such a movement already exists in the form of the Constitution Party. Here is their web site: http://www.constitutionparty.com

One thing is for sure and for certain: we don't need any more "conservatives" like George W. Bush.