After nearly 8 years in office, most of it after the world changing events of 911, President George W. Bush still doesn’t understand his responsibilities. In a recent interview he insisted again that “The most important job I have had — and the most important job the next president is going to have — is to protect the American people from another attack,”
His complete disregard for his real top priority to “preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States” has been evident constantly throughout his administration. One cannot defend the Constitution by violating it. Protecting the lives of American Citizens around the world is an important job of the government of the United States. It is not however the top priority. What good is life without liberty? We cannot sacrifice the very foundation that others have died to protect in the name of preventing criminals from attacking us. The loss of life is always a tragedy. But without liberty you have a pale imitation of what life is about.
The founders didn’t include the words to be spoken by the President upon taking office by accident. They didn’t intend for the president to ignore them as his primary responsibility.
We have countless law enforcement officials, intelligence organizations, diplomatic corps, and military personnel who do have very important responsibilities to protect us from harm. The President, while trying to keep us as safe as possible, must answer to a higher standard. He must put the law before individuals. He cannot sacrifice our Constitution in order to save lives. As cold and harsh as it sounds it cannot be any other way for the Constitution to have any meaning. If we give up our beliefs for safety we have lost already.
“Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.” Benjamin Franklin 1755