Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Y Not Care

Most Democratic voters don’t care if they are being spied on by the U.S. government. Most assume they are, and most do not care either way. Being spied upon by the government does not register high on the scale of stuff. Nor does letting off scot-free the corporations that have done it. Most Democrats don’t really give a crap because, like torture, they know it will never actually affect them personally. The Constitution was written by people obsessed with philosophy, about the “concept” of stuff. Americans and most Democrats have not been raised or educated in the philosophic tradition, nor do they travel in places where this is paramount. Superficial is as superficial does. Pass me the HD remote.

I will say that if you visit any rod and gun club in southeastern Massachusetts (oh … say the Easton Rod & Gun Club) you will meet people who deeply understand the “concept” of gun ownership and the “concept” of the 2nd amendment at about one googol levels. Why this conceptual depth does not translate to other parts of the Constitution has always perplexed me. But then again, rod & gun clubs have forever excluded women from being members (and … ahem … deeply tanned males) so I think I answered my own question.

The legal right of gun ownership is palpable. It can be weighed. You can either legally possess the heavy steel thing or you can’t. Spying by the U.S. government only takes away your privacy — your lack of being spied on. Nobody comes and arrests you. Nobody comes and takes away a big block of expensive metal that you bought. Nobody at a store tells you they can’t sell you something. Same with torture. Your Constitutional protection from being tortured only becomes palpable when you are being tortured.

Unlike the right to buy and own a gun, when your right to not being spied on and not being tortured is taken away by a Legislature, you don’t feel anything or seem to lose anything because these are negative rights. They are the sacred rights to be left alone in your own body and to have your body left untouched. Unlike buying a gun, you are not acquiring or adding something to your body when not being spied on and not being tortured. You are just asking your naked body to be left alone in the condition that it was created when you left your mother's womb.

It's not like you have to go to K-Mart every year and buy a license to not be spied on and not be tortured and all of a sudden, they refuse to sell you one.

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