This is how it dies
I think this goes beyond fear of being yelled at. You look at national political players - press, congress-critters, whistleblowers - and you see a disturbing trend. Take Snowe or Specter in regard to the NSA spying. Outright criticism and then... meek silence, and a return to the party line. Same with the McCain mutiny. Same with all the 9/11 probes. And now consider the things the NSA spying might afford a ruthless power elite. There's a real possibility that the man behind the curtain has been using espionage on domestic political opponents to silence people somehow. Blackmail? A tease of enough information (true or fabricated) to say "hey, you are one of us now, you have a moral obligation to keep silent about this"? Or both? I think it's high time we start discussing in public how you would take over a democratic government by:
- avoiding totally fixing all elections (just enough to help)
- neutering the press (and more importantly, enlisting them to trash the few who buck the system of privilege) - but allowing "independent press"
- arm-twisting critical political opposition with a high degree of reliability (90% would be enough with good strategists on top)
- constructing phony narratives and pressing them with "big lie" techniques (e.g. Iraq and Al Qaeda connections - "no I never declared that, but it's easy to understand why people have the impression there's a connection')
- using "boiling the frog" techniques to slowly yet deliberately erode fundamental rights.
Thu May 18 23:34:24 EDT 2006