When the government initiates a crazy, extreme policy, it usually becomes permanent. And once it's permanent, it becomes fixed in our minds as normal. Those who point out the fundamental flaws and immorality of the policy then become the ones branded as extremists.
It was once considered "extreme" for the federal government to exercise power where the Constitution doesn't authorize it, such as drugs, health care, education, and banking. Now, to say that the federal government should be confined to the powers enumerated in the Constitution is to be an extremist.
But when these "extremists" are right, they pose a threat to the status quo. They can't be refuted by logic or facts, so character attacks, smears, and rigging of the electoral process become necessary to keep them marginalized. And recently, a government report tried to plant in the minds of police that these extremists are positively dangerous.
On March 11, a report by the Missouri Information Analysis Center (MIAC), funded in part by Homeland Security, was leaked to the public. It was on domestic terrorist threats. Among the suspicious people to look out for are those who voted for Republican Presidential candidate Ron Paul, Libertarian Presidential (LP) nominee Bob Bar, or Constitution Party (CP) nominee Chuck Baldwin. In addition, opponents of abortion, the United Nations, the Federal Reserve System, national service, and gun control fit the profile.
The report has now been edited to remove mention of parties and of Paul, Barr, and Baldwin. But not of supporters of the above-named causes.
Yet, I can't get past the irony.
It is the most peaceful of Americans who were profiled as possible terrorists.
When Bill Clinton launched his unprovoked terror bombing of Serbia ten years ago, those who objected included Ron Paul, the LP, and the CP (which was then under a different name). Meanwhile, most of the Left remained silent or cheered gleefully.
Shortly after 9/11, among those who recognized the attack as "blowback" for America's Middle East policies were Ron Paul, the LP, and the CP. Meanwhile, most of the Left rallied around President Bush and handed him sweeping new surveillance powers at home and an open-ended war powers abroad.
In the run-up to the Iraq War, those who most articulately pointed out it was illegal, immoral, and unwinnable were (or became) supporters of Paul, the LP, or the CP.
Today, President Obama initiates a "surge" in Afghanistan and seeks to expand the war into Pakistan, while Paul, the LP, and the CP would pull out of the region. To the Left, nation-building in Iraq was wrong, in Afghanistan it's just dandy as long as a Democrat does it.
The ones who consistently spoke out against America's acts of terror against Serbian, Iraqi, and Afghani civilians, were branded the most likely domestic terrorists. The very people who are the most "pro-military" because they are most resistant to sending troops into harm's way for any reason other than America's own security, are profiled as the people most likely to resort to force against the government!
It is not coincidental that Paul, the LP, and the CP are also most critical of eminent domain takings and State terror tactics of civil asset forfeiture and no-knock raids - sources of power and profit for state and local governments. No wonder the government hates these people.
For in the eyes of the State, people who endorse State terror are moderate, reasonable people. Because agents of the State get to threaten, harrass, and kill people, they assume everyone else has the same urge. But they have it backwards; people who are attracted to Paul, the LP, or the CP tend to have a value system which rejects the use of force to improve the world.
Frankly, it is far more believable that if anyone will resort to politically-motivated violence, it will be a "mainstream" conservative, a disciple of Republian hate radio hosts, the kind of conservative who hates Democrats more than he loves freedom. After all, mainstream conservatives today couldn't care less about freedom as long as marginal tax rates were lowered. These are the people who smeared Ron Paul during the primary season but now echo his ideas because Democrats are in power.
This is not to say that police should profile those with McCain-Palin bumper stickers instead. The mainstream conservative movement's central theme is hatred, and it is hatred that motivates one to violence. But hatred does not define the values of Paul, or of the LP or CP. Rather, it is commitment to liberty and the rule of law. And because they are rational, they realize that even if violence was justified on paper, it would only lead to greater tyranny in practice. You can't change the world if you're dead or in jail.