Outrage Fatigue

I realize this isn't very democratic of me, but honestly, I'm just tired of being outraged.

I was outraged when 455 members of Congress and President Bush passed the PATRIOT Act and signed it into law at the end of October 2001.

I was outraged when, despite the world's largest anti-war demonstrations, and based on a series of falsified information, Bush invaded Iraq in March 2003.

I was outraged when Bush was caught illegally authorizing warrant-less wiretapping from 2002-2005.

I was outraged when, in response, Congress (including then-Senator Barack Obama, despite having campaigned against it) simply passed a new law stating that warrants weren't needed for wiretaps so long as someone could say it was somehow related to terrorism.  And stating that everyone involved in the illegal warrant-less wiretapping program would be granted retroactive immunity for their illegal activities.

I was outraged when the TSA decided that it was okay to take and store nude pictures of airline passengers.

I was outraged when the TSA lied over and over and over again about the capabilities and refused to allow any independent organization to examine potential health risks of the scanners.

I was outraged when the TSA decided they would perform highly invasive pat-down procedures in what only appears to be an attempt to discourage people from opting out of the scanners.

I was outraged when the TSA began running checkpoints at bus stations, train stations, and highways.

I was outraged when it was discovered that President Bush had authorized the permanent imprisonment without trial of pretty much anyone the military felt like picking up (including U.S. citizens).

I was outraged when it was discovered that President Bush authorized the use of torture (and here) on prisoners of war and attempted to side-step the Geneva Conventions by calling it "enhanced interrogation techniques" and them "enemy combatants" (including U.S. citizens).

I was outraged when President Obama redefined due process to exclude the Judicial Branch and began assassinating U.S. citizens.

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So please forgive me when I hear about wide-spread dragnet surveillance of U.S. Citizens and I just can't seem to muster the energy to continue to be outraged.

I've expressed my discontent with the above practices.  I've written letters to my Congressional Representatives and the President.  I've voted for third-party politicians (none of whom win, of course).  And I've donated money to the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) and the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC).

I've tried to share my opinions in a reasonable and rational way, but it makes no difference when apparently, millions upon millions of people think these programs are a good thing because "I'm a good guy so it won't affect me" and "whatever keeps us safe from terrorists is A-OK."

It also doesn't help that about half the people that also dislike this crap think the best response is to buy more guns, but won't bother to do anything else.  And more than half of those people think electing Republicans is the solution!

Let's not pretend this is a partisan problem.  But if that's too much, at least try to look far enough ahead to realize that any power you allow "your" party to have today will also be wielded by "their" party within 10 years.

One thought on “Outrage Fatigue”

  1. These most recent revelations are disturbing to me but not really surprising. I did think the Democrats were less likely to engage in these practices than the Republicans since they seem to be more into supporting civil liberties than Republicans who seem to be more likely to think "If it adds to my security, it's OK".

    However, I imagine the pressure to avoid another 9/11 on his watch is tremendous for Obama (as it would be for anyone in this office) so I would think until Congress repeals the carte blanche approach to anti-terrorism they will continue to use everything they can or risk being vilified if something goes wrong.

    It is a disturbing trend for sure but I have long figured that every move I make on any kind of electronic media can be scrutinized already and that I am on camera pretty much any time I leave my house.

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