The Senate renewed the Patriot Act by an overwhelming 89-11 margin of votes, including favorable votes from 33 out of 44 Democrats. Note that the Patriot Act had passed by a 98-1 margin the first time, back in 2001. Reasonable people would interpret the overwhelming bipartisan support of the Patriot Act, in two instances over four years apart, as evidence that this was never a controversial issue among thinking people. They would be right.
Yet, there is a lot of noise outside the mainstream about how the Patriot Act is a bad thing. Let's apply basic logic to deconstruct these arguments for what they really are :
1) "It reduces our civil liberties.." There are many possible problems that could theoretically occur, just like the US military could theoretically take over the country and enforce a police state, but there has been no example of an abuse actually occuring under the Patriot Act. Most of the people who claim this are the same people who feel convicted child molestors should not be punished for their 'misunderstood' lifestyles. Therefore, you can pin them back to the real world :
"Please give me specific examples of liberties you have lost. No hypotheticals, just actual examples of events that have occured"
Your opponent will have no answer and will seek to hastily change the subject.
2) "The Patriot Act was passed in haste after 9/11. Most Senators did not read it." Each Senator has a support staff that summarizes large documents for the Senator. Some may have skipped over the material, but to suggest that *all* of the 48 Democrats who were part of the 98-1 vote in 2001 in favor neglected to read the summaries provided to them by their staffers, is absurd.
Even if that were the case, then how does one explain the 89-10 vote to renew the Patriot Act in 2006, over four years after the first vote? Ask your opponent about this in a way that puts the burden of explanation onto them (which they will hastily retreat from) :
"Why did Senators Clinton, Kerry, Kennedy, Boxer, Reid, and Obama vote to renew the Patriot Act in 2006, even after years of protests over it? They had time to think about it, yet it passed 89-10. Why?"
Of course, we know that there are two types of people who oppose the Patriot Act :
1) The 'Fashion Sheep' or 'Useful Idiots', who like to be told what to think. They listen to one statement on television, memorize it, and feel secure that their opinion is a sufficiently informed one.
2) The 'Fanatical Anti-Americans', the fifth-columnists who view America as a force of evil, and truly are rooting for the terrorists.
Opposing the Iraq War can be a reasonable position for a patriotic American to take, if that person offers alternative, practical suggestions on how to aggresively fight terrorists. But, if you find someone who opposes both the Iraq War and the Patriot Act, yet offers no alternative suggestions on how to fight the terrorists, then it is logical to conclude that some of these people are part of group 2), and are not actually on America's side. Normal Americans wrongly give these fifth-column fanatics too much of a benefit of doubt, and fail to judge them by their actions while assuming that they value their own lives more than their hatred of America. They do not, and are more than willing to die in the process of obstructing any efforts to fight terrorism.
This fifth column comprises 8-10% of the US population, and we cannot win the War on Terror until we recognize and thwart this internal enemy. The Patriot Act is a strong tool to do this, as it is a lightning rod by which many anti-Americans expose themselves.
The comments section here will be entertaining, as fashion sheep will repeat the same points already deconstructed in the article, and will flee when questioned about alternative methods to fight terror. Enjoy.
Update : This article is criticized on Daily Kos. Read their views too, but the reply is precisely what is anticipated in the article above, and the author has refused to answer the same two questions when posed to him. He is proud to be opposed to something that passed 89-11 in the Senate, so clearly lies far outside the mainstream of American society.
Also, this person does not seem to have any interest in actually stopping the operations of terrorists. I will change my opinion if he condemns the terrorist attacks in New York, London, Madrid, Delhi, Beslan, Bali, Kenya, Tanzania, etc. and offers suggestions on how to prevent such attacks.
Patriot Act, 9/11, anti-terrorism, anti-Americanism, leftists