Here we stand, facing the worst economy since the Great Depression, and Americans no longer feel free to do anything about it. We have lost the idea, at every level of social life, that people can grab hold of a problem and fix it. Defensiveness has swept across the country like a cold wave. We have become a culture of rule followers, trained to frame every solution in terms of existing law or possible legal risk. The person of responsibility is replaced by the person of caution. When in doubt, don’t.
I’m very tired of politicians overusing words like “freedom” and “liberty” as if they are somehow newly-discovered concepts instead of catch-all applause lines that don’t really mean anything. Come to think of it, they have kind of become meaningless through predictable repetition, haven’t they?
Many would say the current administration is on the road to massive curtailing of individual rights in the name of some grand Common Right. Others would say the previous administration was guilty of same. What I have noticed is a disquieting acceleration of governmental influence and presence in our everyday lives (seen a red light camera today? How about a surveillance sign?). I agree with this writer that the legal system needs to be massively pruned and some semblance of sanity reinstituted in our common legal discourse.