“Free speech! Free speech! I am an American, I deserve my freedoms!” Surprisingly, this phrase was uttered from the marginal crowd of pro-Bush and pro-warrantless wiretaps that graced the Impeach Bush rally Thursday afternoon. I was shocked, not so much by their presence, but by the fact that they were supporting illegal actions by Bush that have violated our rights protected under the Constitution while claiming other equally important rights. It was a contradiction unto itself.
I was further entertained by their inability to grasp what the true meaning of the rally was about. Signs such as “Real men like Bush,” “Peace by superior firepower,” and “You lost, get over it” were all demonstrative of the lack of argument such groups possess. None of the signs, or any of arguments given, proved beyond a reasonable doubt that the demonstrative illegal violations Bush has committed against the American people are for their own well-being.
National security has often been used as a premise for those holding positions of authority to extend their power while limiting those of others, whether it is internationally or domestically. History has proven that those in power, especially the president, will violate the privacy of American citizens in order to preserve the security of the nation and the freedoms of democracy. The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) of 1978 was a step towards providing guidelines and multiple prerequisites that the executive branch must fulfill before undertaking any surveillance action in the foreign intelligence sector. Less than thirty years later, our government has taken a drastic step backwards, ignoring both our Constitutional rights and the implementation of FISA in the name of national security.
How can I support a government that violates my rights? How can I have faith in the policies it pursues or the wars it fights, all in the name of peace, justice and liberty? I have lost faith in the institution of democracy because of this open disregard for its statutes by the leader and the administration that are supposed to be representing my interests and fighting to uphold my rights and freedoms. Bush violated his oath of office and has repeatedly lied to the American public. The halting of his actions will not sufficiently make up for the damage he has caused. I support his impeachment and call for others to stand alongside me.
Kristina Keeler is a third-year English and global studies major.