But I disagree with him whole-heartedly on the issue of a national id card. In September of 2002, Mr. Barnes wrote in The Weekly Standard an article entitled Let's See Some ID, Please:
The major objection to a uniform card is that it curbs our freedom. It does not. It may reduce our privacy, but not much more than has already occurred because of credit cards, bank accounts, electronic toll passes, movie rental cards, car rentals, phone usage, driver's licenses, voter registration, and airline records--all of which are readily available to investigators.He goes on with his thoughts here.
Since the REAL ID Act is indeed a national id card, I want to post my comments to Mr. Barnes' article. We have to be willing to challenge the thinking on this issue. Here are my comments:
Mr. Barnes,Those are my comments, Mr. Barnes.
I just read your article promoting the virtues of a national id card. I oppose a national id card--passionately. I'm concerned about 4th Amendment issues. If I voluntarily associate myself with private sector entities which maintain some information about me, that's my business. If the government needs that info, let it get a search warrant.
If the government mandates a seizure of my biometric information in order to establish a platform for ongoing verification of my identity, the government has taken to itself a massive power of control. People who have to have "permission" from the federal government to function on a daily basis are not free.
A national id card is not simply a secure card. It would be an entire infrastructure of card, scanners, records, and access by government officials. In short, it is a platform for increasing control and regulation over the individual. Such schemes would be used by liberals for an avalanche of regulation.
Why "conservatives" cannot see the inherent increase in government presence and power is beyond me. Conservatives tout "limited government" and then embrace national id card schemes like the REAL ID Act.
To say that the Constitution was not written to protect us from such government is just silly.
I don't want government to hold all the cards--whether in the "right" hand or the "left."
Big government is big government.
Admit the obvious!
Here is a post script:
In the context of America's Constitutional thought and heritage of freedom, the concept of a national id card is a radical idea.
Let's leave such schemes for totalitarian countries and dictatorships.
America is supposed to be different--and free.