237 years ago our Founding Fathers signed the United States Declaration of Independence. They were branded as traitors by their then government (the British Empire), and in signing, they knew that they were signing a possible death warrant. In fact, just before signing the Declaration of Independence, Ben Franklin said “We must, indeed, all hang together or, most assuredly, we shall all hang separately.”
They were attempting to extricate themselves from a corrupt government. A fascist state that taxed the Colonies, but didn’t bother to listen to them. And every year, on the 4th of July, we celebrate them and their accomplishments. And yet, if the vast majority of comments on articles on sites such as CNN are to believed, we do not hold Snowden and his ilk in the same regard.
This surprises me. A majority of Americans believe the spying has gone too far, and it turns out, even the secret court that ruled on it, gave indications that it was unconstitutional. Or “circumvented the spirit of the law,” as they said. Is it not corruption to so blatantly circumvent the constitution and then force the court that said so, to keep that ruling secret? And isn’t Snowden acting in the same spirit of our founding fathers, who fought for our right to be free from such corruption?
The real issue in why more people don’t believe him to be a patriot, is because we’ve become blinded by “The Terrorist Threat.” We turn on our TVs and we’re inundated with it. I don’t have a TV, but every time i visit my parent’s house, the shear amount of airtime devoted to “Terrorism” is a wake up call.
But the threat of terrorism is a mathematical falacy. Since 2000, less than 3,000 people in the United States have been killed by terrorism, yet 1.2 Million people are killed in traffic accidents every year. To put that in perspective, in the same time frame, 15.6 Million people have been killed in traffic accidents. Which means that terrorism is, mathematically, a .00019% of a threat. We are 10,000 times more likely to die in an accident, yet, if we were to get in our car and be afraid, we consider that an irrational fear.
And we’ve spent more than $5 Trillion on the War on Terror. That’s $16,000 for every man, woman, and child in the United States.
But even if the number of deaths due to terrorism were much higher, it would still be a red-herring. The way to prevent terrorism is to enact a foreign policy that doesn’t encourage it. Everything else is simply reactionary. The trouble is, we’ve given a lot of folks legitimate reasons to be pissed off at us. As a thought exercise, I encourage people to consider how long they would keep a favorable opinion of a nation that killed your family members in drone strikes and then called them “collateral damage” – 50 civilians are killed for every terrorist by drones. I know, personally, it wouldn’t be very long until I was motivated to disrupt that regime.
So tomorrow, when you start lighting off your fireworks to celebrate the traitors that founded our once great nation. Light a roman candle for the guy that is out there fighting for us right now, and is a traitor only to the corruption that is rotting us.