At the time of our nation’s founding, a primary responsibility of the central government, with its limited powers and narrowed scope, was the preservation of the people’s rights and constitutional government. How things have changed.
Today, such notions seem distant, antiquated and, to far too many American leaders, outdated. Today, the central government is a behemoth – outsized at every juncture far and away beyond parameters envisioned by our founders – whose primary mission has changed from protecting and defending constitutional government, to self-preservation at any price, even if it means vilifying and disobeying the very system it was charged with protecting.
The movement toward authoritarianism has accelerated under the Obama administration, and the signs of that are everywhere. Obama’s regime has targeted journalists more than any other administration in virtually the history of the country – at least since the Civil War. Obama himself has laughed off constitutional constraint, and a donor-compromised and neutered Legislative Branch has enabled him at every turn. The federal bureaucracy has been weaponized against the people, with virtually every agency including the IRS, Bureau of Land Management and even the Departments of Agriculture and Education funding and supporting small armies of SWAT teams.
As for Americans concerned about losing their constitutional liberties, they are branded “patriots” – as if it were a four-letter-word – by the very government that ought to be supporting and defending such movements, instead of targeting and demeaning them.
No one realizes that more than those very patriots who, for some time, have sensed that something is amiss.
“Many of us saw it coming a long time ago — increasing confrontation between liberty proponents and the corrupt federal establishment leading to increasing calls by political elites and bureaucrats to apply to American citizens the terrorism countermeasures designed for foreign combatants. It was only a matter of time and timing,” writes Brandon Smith wrote at Alt-Market.com.
“My stance has always been that the elites would wait until there was ample social and political distraction; a fog of fear allowing them to move more aggressively against anti-globalists. We are not quite there yet, but the ground is clearly being prepared,” he added.
The roots of discourse against patriots really began in earnest following the election of the most Marxist-leaning president in U.S. history, Barack Obama, the Alinsky-trained and influenced radical, who early on personified his political enemies using the federal bureaucracy, while seeming to remain aloof.
Back in 2009, three months after Obama was sworn in for his first term, the Dept. of Homeland Security released a report citing “right-wing extremism” as a top concern for domestic security, and naming returning veterans from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan as being of particular concern.
The report even upset some members of the president’s own party.
“This report appears to raise significant issues involving the privacy and civil liberties of many Americans – including war veterans,” said Rep. Bennie Thompson of Mississippi, chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, in a letter to DHS, in which he also said the report “dumbfounded” him.
But it didn’t stop there. In 2015, the administration took to rephrasing patriots and conservatives; no more talk of corralling “right-wing extremists.” Now, the administration says it’s concerned about “domestic terrorists,” but not the kind of ISIS-inspired jihadis that killed 14 Americans in San Bernardino. Again, it’s the conservative/Tea Party/patriot/Christian types that Obama is talking about.
In February, as Reuters reported, the focus on domestic terrorists/conservatives narrowed. The administration is attempting use a couple of recent incidents – a standoff between the BLM and a longtime Nevada rancher, Cliven Bundy, in 2014, and a more recent event in rural Oregon – to “prove” that patriots are the real threat to domestic security, not ISIS. And, as the Oregon stand-off proved, the SWAT-crazed Feds are now more willing to kill dissenters.
Extremist groups motivated by a range of U.S.-born philosophies present a “clear and present danger,” John Carlin, the Justice Department’s chief of national security, told Reuters in an interview. “Based on recent reports and the cases we are seeing, it seems like we’re in a heightened environment.”
None of this will bode well for the country, say tuned-in observers. Clear and present danger is code for how serious the government considers such “threats.” What’s lost in all of this, of course, is that the government sees nothing wrong with its encroachment into Americans’ lives, and its vast and growing constitutional overreach, and everything wrong with Americans who attempt to defend their rights or, at a minimum, use unconventional means to draw attention to the overreach.