Targets of opportunity

Victor Davis Hanson takes a look at the allegations that the Bush Administration is The Real Threat to Civil Liberties. With so many targets, why are only a few cited and so many ignored when it comes to allegations about the threat to civil liberties? That is almost as interesting a question as to why those targets that get the attention do not really support the allegation being made.

Four targets are identified: selective enforcement, prosecutor privilege, trends in the Supreme Court, and efforts to assure ‘fairness’ in public dialog.

It is stereotypically easy to identify authoritarians who seek restrict civil liberties during war in the name of “national security.” But it is much harder to take on crusading special interest groups, district attorneys, court justices, and liberal Senators who ignore, twist, or subvert our constitutional freedoms under the liberal clarion call of helping minorities, stopping the war, or championing the underclass.

If we are to lose our civil liberties, it won’t be all of sudden due to Patriot-Act zealots in sunglasses and flattops, but rather insidiously and incrementally by egalitarian professors, moral crusaders, muckraking journalists, and government utopians all unhappy that constitutional justice is too little and too late for their ever impatient desire to ensure heaven on earth.

In other words, yes there are threats to our civil liberties. These threats are represented in targets that are often allied with our own views. That is why those who choose targets of opportunity rather than targets of merit must be very careful of their aim.

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