I have one question: are you safer today than you were 8 years ago? Typically, the question is do you feel safer today–but feeling safe and being safe are distinctly different.
I would argue that we are not safer today than we were 8 years ago. To date, the fruit of our labor against terrorism has resulted in the conviction of Osama’s chauffer. He is scheduled to finish his sentence in Gitmo in five months time. Honestly, we can do better.
Today, we have sacrificed, or lost, our civil liberties for an illusion of safety. Bin Laden has not been caught.
Afganistan is still not secure. The “surge” has not done anything to repatriate the Iraqis who fled the ethnic cleansing of their neighborhoods. However, the executive branch can label anyone an unlawful combatant and ship them off to Gitmo or a prison ship. Our government can spy on us and read our emails. Our executive branch refuses to participate in congressional supervision–a check on executive power–unless said supervision is a rubber stamp. We are worse off today than we were 8 years ago.
Given my support for Obama, this is where some might think I say that electing him is the answer. That’s naive. Obama is not enough. Some of his positions, namely his stance on domestic wiretapping and FISA, are far too close to Bush & Co’s own positions. (McCain is worse in this regard, but that is a post for a different time.)
What we need is more information and debate in the public sector. Not a bullying Sean Hannity or the rantings of Michelle Malkin, but an honest and reaserched debate. More facts, less adhomin attacks.
Obama brings more of that to the table than McCain;however, for this to work, we need more citizens to stay active in politics. In order for us to be safe, we need to monitor our government, and make sure they are doing their job.