President Obama wants more tourists at Disneyworld. Mitt Romney wants the race for the nomination to be done already. And Newt Gingrich wants us to ignore his second ex-wife who claims that he once wanted an “open marriage.”
The headlines of Election 2012 are packed with entertainment value. But here’s something that the American people should want– and demand – from a prospective new President: some fresh ideas on protecting our civil liberties.
As the campaigns twist and turn with promises to ignite “job creation” and to eliminate Obamacare, very little has been said in this election cycle about a resource that is increasingly in short supply for U.S. citizens - civil liberty. One might have thought that President Obama’s signing of the National Defense Authorization Act in December, complete with its “indefinite detention without a trial” provisions, would have ignited some debate about the liberties of citizens.
To his credit, Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul was quick to condemn the new law and note that it signals a “descent into totalitarianism” (Congressman Paul has now introduced legislation to repeal the law). Yet Mitt Romney offered his approval of the law when asked about it, and stated that had he been President, he would have signed the bill into law himself.
So while the dominant news media focuses on allegations of adultery and cultural insensitivity among the candidates, the tentative nature of our liberty mostly gets ignored by both the candidates and the press. Worse yet, Republican frontrunner Mitt Romney is now championing another liberty-crushing policy as a means of controlling illegal immigration: the mandate of a national I.D. card for all U.S. citizens.
The idea of a national I.D. card has been around for decades. Over the years Democrats have most often proposed it as a mechanism for easily determining one’s citizenship, and one’s eligibility for government-funded healthcare services. Republicans, on the other hand, used to consistently oppose the idea, on the grounds that in order to issue federal I.D. cards the U.S. federal government had to collect more private personal data about individual citizens. And the rendering of one’s personal information, Republicans used to say, was a violation of one’s civil liberties.
Austin Hill is an Author, Consultant, and Host of "Austin Hill's Big World of Small Business," a syndicated talk show about small business ownership and entrepreneurship. He is Co-Author of the new release "The Virtues Of Capitalism: A Moral Case For Free Markets." , Author of "White House Confidential: The Little Book Of Weird Presidential History," and a frequent guest host for Washington, DC's 105.9 WMAL Talk Radio.