What interested me was the hits Tim took in the comment section of the editorial by "conservatives." It seems to me that many folks would rather call names than think. We have forgotten our heritage, ignored history, and think only of "now." That is why we are facing "REAL ID."
My comment defending Tim was:
Where do you want to draw the line, folks? Do you want police cameras in your home? Of course not. So drawing the line on government power is not a matter of paranoia. I just think we should draw the line closer to the Constitution and our heritage of freedom.
A national id card does an end-run around the 4th Amendment. If the government wants to search the life of an American, let it get a warrant.
Also, freedoms are lost in theory long before they are lost in practice. I can see where this kind of id program can threaten individual freedom. How it can enforce arbitrary rules from liberal policy-wonks only remains to be seen. We need to fight for our freedoms at the level of theory and philosophy. A national id card is not what our history has been about. We've got to look beyond our noses. And the burden of proof is not the shoulders of someone questioning REAL ID. The burden of proof is on people promoting it. Show me exactly how this is not a threat to freedom or an increase in government power. If it is simply a lateral move, why are we doing it? What is the track-record on programs like this. Hasn't Social Security shown massive "mission-creep?" Ad hominem slurs of "paranoia" show a lack of thinking skills about the issue.
As a conservative, I believe in limited government. If knowledge is power, increased knowledge is increased power. So, I--for one-- don't think the government needs to know everything there is to know. When the id program grows to include DNA, fingerprints, medical histories, retail purchases, etc.--it will render an immense amount of power of government to control.
I hear people say,"We've already got a national id card, so REAL ID is no big deal.' This is the It's-Already-Bad-So-Let's-Make -It-Worse Fallacy. If the program did not render more power to the government, we wouldn't be doing it.
If things are bad now, then let's work to reverse the problem. If Social Security is being abused by illegal immigrants, then let's privatize the program so it can't be abused. What's yours IS YOURS, in your own account. Social Security was a bad idea to start, and it get's worse every day. Let's not add to the problem with ID schemes.
When S.S. Numbers first came out, the back of the cards said "Not to be used for identification"--or something like that. We all know where that has gone. Are we to trust that REAL ID will remain static?
Where does all this love and trust of government come from all of a sudden on the conservative side? This is amazing.
If we're on the wrong road, the soonest way back is to turn around. And just because we "can" doesn't mean we "should."