But don’t worry, the Plumbers reassure us, trust us: Anything we break into will only “inadvertently” violate your right to unreasonable search and seizure.
It won’t be used against you.
It is this very eventuality that our Founders, previous political philosophers, great statesmen in our history sought to protect us from by the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution. It is the eventuality that Senator Rand Paul and contemporary political activists seek to protect us from right now
“Never before since Jamestown and Plymouth Rock,” said Franklin Roosevelt, “has our American civilization been in such danger as now.”
Yet today the enemy is not just a collection of thugs from across the ocean, although they include those thugs as well.
Today, the enemy is here, amongst us.
“I’m not against the NSA, I’m not against spying, I’m not against looking at phone records,” Paul told Politico. “I just want you to go to a judge, have an individual’s name and [get] a warrant. That’s what the Fourth Amendment says.”
Paul’s right. The enemy is not the people in the intelligence community or the work they do.
I go to church with them, meet them at civic meetings and have coffee with them.
And so do you.
They are moral people.
Not so the government. I have regularly observed that institutions, like government, are neither moral nor immoral. They are amoral, doing whatever necessary for survival. When combined with the increasing immorality of the people who lead us in the government—and I’m not just talking about the Democrats; people who are expected to make moral judgment and flunk the test-- the danger is real and urgent.
“For just as the magnanimous man tends to great things out of greatness of soul,” says Thomas Aquinas, “so the pusillanimous man shrinks from great things out of littleness of soul.” Or as William Manchester summed it up: “Thomas Aquinas once raised the issue of choosing between a proud man and a pusillanimous one. Take the proud one every time, he advised, because you will be sure that he will at least do something.”
Senator Rand Paul, tossed into a sea of pusillanimity, is doing something to defend us against that proud man in the White House who is doing anything he wants.
From Jamestown to Plymouth Rock, pride like Paul’s ought to be encouraged.