We Criticize the Government Because We Love AmericaOne of the things that many people don't understand about progressive dissent is that it is borne not out of a hatred of America, but out of a patriotic love for America. We criticize the American government when it betrays the promise of the American vision of a nation of laws and of liberties established by the Constitution. We are progressive patriots, and that demands that we criticize our government when it betrays the cause of American freedom. Yesterday, in the House Judiciary Committee, there was a hearing organized in response to the effort by Dennis Kucinich to impeach George W. Bush. At that hearing, Frederick Schwarz of the Brennan Center for Justice summarized the constitutional crisis caused by the kind of false patriotism that supports the President even when the President attacks the constitutional foundations of liberty. Schwarz said,
"Based on what we know now—about torture, about extraordinary rendition to torture, about permanent detention, about warrantless wiretapping, and about the Administration’s “monarchical” theory of presidential power—it seems clear that the course we have chartered over the last seven years has in fact made us less safe, as well as less free."
"in the nearly eight years that have passed under the current Administration, and especially in the seven years since the tragedy of 9/11, the White House has arrogated to itself unprecedented powers of coercion, detention and surveillance. All the while, it has tried to use a patina of legal and constitutional excuses to disguise the degree to which it has abandoned the very ideals in whose defense these immoral tactics have been employed. The result has been a distortion of the Constitution, an evisceration of the rights and liberties of individuals, and a perversion of American values. All of this has done grave harm to our nation’s reputation and has reduced our security here and abroad."(Read the rest of his testimony) We here at Progressive Patriots stand with Mr. Schwarz in criticizing the government's program of undermining the authority of the Constitution in favor of the authority of individual political leaders in the Executive Branch. We engage in this criticism because we love the promise of America, and we want our liberty back. Blind faith in bad leaders is not patriotism.
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