Former US presidential candidate and Congressman Ron Paul called on Libertarians to “work with the left” on certain issues, saying that the NSA issue and recent Supreme Court ruling in favor of privacy are two excellent examples. Ron Paul, however, disagreed with a key tenet of a Supreme Court Justice’s opinion on “sacrifice of anything” to protect constitutional liberties.
Supreme Court ruling to ban NSA’s warrantless searches
Noting the recent Supreme Court ruling to ban warrantless searches of cellphones when stopped by the the police, Paul noted the unanimous decision, “which makes it an even stronger ruling,” before hitting on a more significant topic.
“Here’s a good example of how conservatives/libertarians can build coalitions with the left,” he said. While conservative Libertarians and progressives on the left are destined to disagree about the role of government in several areas, key issues they can agree on are the intrusive ability to create a potential police / surveillance state, big bank executives being held to a different criminal standard than the general population, and legalization of marijuana.
Ron Paul: Take that, NSA, and smoke it:
Reflecting on the decision that essentially said cellphones are protected under the 4th Amendment, Ron Paul was blunt. “Take that, NSA, and smoke it.”
But then perhaps Paul maneuvered to his most controversial remark in the statement, posted on his web site. This is when he challenged Chief Justice John Roberts conclusion when he said “Privacy comes at a cost.”
Ron Paul notes that the cost appears to indicate “there would be some disadvantages of giving us this protection,” he said. “Though I like the ruling and agree with it overwhelmingly, I do not like this idea that you have to give up something in order to have your liberties restored.”
American liberty requires a sacrifice
While it is hard to argue that the idea of giving up a core American liberty requires a sacrifice, isn’t that the core lessons taught throughout history? The country was founded on the premise of sacrifice. Obtaining liberty cost lives, livelihoods and the comfort of those involved at the time. Choices have consequences.
“I think the invasion of our privacy comes at a cost, a much greater cost than anything about the police not getting enough information by not obeying the constitution,” Ron Paul concluded. “Restoring liberty should never be seen as a sacrifice of anything.”
No one wants to think that a sacrifice, a choice, isn’t in play with such a core right fought for and won in 1776. The problem is when terrorists successfully hit targets – and the predictable blame comes claiming restrictions on domestic spying were to blame – will the public be prepared? With speaking the truth – privacy may come at a cost – at least the American public is prepared not to abandon privacy and freedom if an event were to be successful inside the US.