I’ve watched something amazing happen over the last couple of weeks. The left-leaning part of our society is suddenly worried. Not just about Donald Trump per se, but about a whole host of things. I wish I still had the link, but about two days after the election I read a post by someone calling on President Obama to use his remaining time in office to dismantle the government’s surveillance apparatus, lest it fall into Trump’s hands. And this morning we have this post on the wildly popular kottke.org: Five Steps to Tyranny.
I’m happy to see both things. We should dismantle the surveillance state. We should be concerned about how easily good peoples allow themselves to be led to tyranny. “It can’t happen here” / “It can’t happen again” don’t apply – it could. It’s on us, left-thinking and right-thinking alike, to make sure it doesn’t.
The question remains, though. Where were these concerns before the election? Where was this worry when the left-thinking folks felt their own hands firmly on the steering wheel? My recollection is that then they were more than happy with the idea of the government cramming a uniform world-view down everyone’s throat. I was concerned about the surveillance state before the election – I remain concerned after. People who feel government power is great when it’s in their own hands but not when it’s in the hands of others are as misguided as those they oppose. Until we realize that any government, regardless of its philosophy, can potentially become tyrannical we are on the wrong path.
I don’t think most of these people mean any harm. I think they’ve simply failed to think.