The poll which reveals that the number of Americans who believe that the government tracking of phone activity is an acceptable method of “keeping us safe from terrorists” has actually risen from 51% in 2007 to 56% today is seriously disheartening to me. Bernie Sanders talks about an “Orwellian future,” but this poll makes me think we are living in an Orwellian present.
One has to suppose that the Boston bombing is contributing to this, but the problem I have with that idea is that this surveillance didn’t prevent the Boston bombing, and so this theory suggests we are surrendering our civil liberties based on a visibly false premise.
Other than that, we are farther than ever removed from 9/11, the “terror wars” are supposedly winding down, Osama bin Laden is dead, we are being told repeatedly that Al Queda is all but wiped out, and yet more people than ever are willing to have an authoritarian government in the name of “being kept safe from terrorism.”
One of the numbers in the poll is quite revealing of the “cult of personality” which has developed around Barack Obama. In 2007, when George Bush was in office, only 37% of Democrats thought that the NSA surveillance programs were acceptable; this year, with Barack Obama at the helm, 64% of Democrats find them acceptable.
This is the population of which dictators are made.