Sunday, November 3, 2013

To Germany: "Help us!"

Washington Post
Everyone is familiar with the obsessive, clingy stalker girlfriend, or overprotective and inquisitive boyfriend. The "overly attached girlfriend" videos and memes are a kind of humorous satire of this kind of thing gone extreme.

Okay, maybe not satire or extreme, but still funny in abstract. But no one tolerates this kind of thing from their significant other for very long, and from their friends, not for a second.

Except Americans, for some strange reason. Our government has done precisely this, and now we're past a point of being able to control the tiger. Our overly-attached girlfriend completely controls our lives, and we're trapped. It's only natural for us to assume that other countries are similarly controlled.

It's easy for Americans living in a post-9/11 America to make post-hoc excuses for this kind of espionage, usually cynical ones along the lines of, "well, isn't this kind of normal, even if it isn't good? Didn't everyone know about this already, like, 10 years ago?" The answer is no, and even if everyone around the world did know the American government was spying on them, it wouldn't make it okay.

I hope that Angela Merkel doesn't forgive Obama, and I hope that France, the UK, and other countries jump on the shame train to try to change our governments policies. Here in the United Staes, around 75% of Americans are against the Orwellian NSA's spying operations, but that wasn't enough to stop it from happening. Both Obama and Romney supported these operations, despite Obama's stated opposition, and even if 100% of the American public had voted for Gary Johnson (the candidate I voted for who actively opposed excessive government growth and power, including the War on Terror and its spying operations, and who received just under 1% of the popular vote), not a single member of the electoral college voted for him. There is literally nothing the American people can do to stop this at the moment, short of something as drastic as a violent revolution. Given most gun-regulations, in blatant violation of the spirit of the 2nd Amendment, that isn't really a possibility either.

The American people have been spied on and locked up by their own government for things like whistleblowing or speaking out against the government, not just more than any other time in American history, but more than all of American history up to this point combined. Between the occupy movement, the espionage act of 1917 (now used to defend government espionage, instead of protect against it), and the broad and vague list of laws that leave most citizens guilty of several felonies daily, there's nothing we can do. Most Americans seem to be disillusioned with politics, but lack the willpower, the knowledge, or the conviction to change things, and are certainly not willing to go to prison in the attempt. It might be up to foreign powers like Germany using a big stick in order to change things, if they really do think that American spying is unacceptable.

For our freedom's sake, I hope they do. Help us Germany.

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