Dear A.M. Costa Rica:
Throughout history it appears that, when powerful people make decisions out of fear which affect society, in the aggregate time shows they tend to get it wrong. Unfortunately the Patriot Act seems to be one of those decisions that has mushroomed into an abysmal budget sucking, constitutional- and civil rights-eroding action.
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has established teams to patrol train stations, sporting events etc., etc. These teams have the rights to question and search citizens at these locations. This smacks of the days of the Brown Shirts in Germany (Show us your papers, Why are you here? Where are you going?) Homeland security has become an attempt at increasing employment. There are existing procedures for boarding airplanes without the obtrusive physical measures used by DHS personnel.
As U.S. citizens, we desperately need for our elected officials to return to their sworn duties of protecting the Constitution, providing for federal infrastructure and defending the U.S. in times of war. We do not need for our elected officials to protect us from ourselves and our neighbors.
Perhaps the problem is we want to be taken care of. When we want our officials to take care of us, it changes the dynamics of the government. Suddenly our elected officials become a class unto themselves. They have special perks (retirement and medical programs) unavailable to their constituents. Suddenly the focus changes. There is a touch of arrogance. The focus becomes holding on to the job, being re-elected. The constituent becomes less important because they won’t pay for the reelection campaign. Perhaps the special interest groups will pay these costs (financial institutions, ever changing names of other special interest groups pacs, lobbyist, etc., etc..) It appears the constituent becomes of secondary importance to the elected official because the official is beholding to the special interest that funds the campaign and enables the elected official to hold onto the job.
The other issue is how do these elected officials handle the electorate once they catch-on. The Republicans and Democratic parties, they can’t help, they are now the same people.