Talking About My Generation

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From my perception,
America is changing. More people are waking up to the problems that
plague our nation, and a few of us are doing what we can to make
the necessary changes. As it currently stands, our dollar is failing,
our warfare/welfare state is increasing, and our country is facing
continued resentment throughout the rest of the world.

Now, many Americans
refuse to accept that this is happening. They are living in a state
of willful ignorance that is only making it more difficult to live
daily. However, what they don't also realize is that this willful
ignorance is going to have a substantial impact on the lives of
those in my generation, as well as generations that will come after
mine.

As a member
of the 18–24-year old group I face a failing education system,
a failing social security system, and a failing dollar. However,
I am almost guaranteed an increase on my income tax, an increase
in the amount of war that plagues this nation, and an increase in
the curtailing of civil liberties at home.

Now, out of
all the problems that I face as young American, I am most troubled
by the last one. I am part of a generation that is increasingly
vocal about standing up for what they believe in, and we are not
afraid to let our voices be heard. Unfortunately it seems like this
may no longer be the case. On October 23, the US House of Representatives
passed "H.R. 1955," otherwise known as "Violent Radicalization
and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act of 2007."

This bill seeks
to prevent homegrown terrorism and radicalization using the vaguest
descriptions of terror and radicalization possible. It is enshrined
with more of a blatant disregard for personal liberty and privacy
than any bill I have ever read.

  1. HOMEGROWN
    TERRORISM — The term "homegrown terrorism" means the
    use, planned use, or threatened use, of force or violence by a
    group or individual born, raised, or based and operating primarily
    within the United States or any possession of the United States
    to intimidate or coerce the United States government, the civilian
    population of the United States, or any segment thereof, in furtherance
    of political or social objectives.
  2. RADICALIZATION
    — The term "radicalization" means the process of adopting
    or promoting
    an extremist belief system for the purpose
    of facilitating ideologically-based violence to advance political,
    religious, or social change.
  3. IDEOLOGICALLY-BASED
    VIOLENCE — The term "ideologically-based violence" means
    the use, planned use, or threatened use of force
    or violence by a group or individual to promote the group or individual’s
    political, religious, or social beliefs.

By these standards,
The Founding Fathers, and anyone currently serving in the United
States Federal Government has already violated what this bill was
designed to prevent.

  • "facilitating
    ideologically-based violence to advance political, religious,
    or social change."

Certainly,
the Iraq war falls under this category. Part of the "mission"
was to bring Democracy to Iraq. Certainly the idea of personal freedom
can be seen as extremist to some. It certainly is when it is forced
with a gun.

  • "planned
    use, or threatened use of force or violence by a group or individual
    to promote the group or individual’s political, religious, or
    social beliefs."

Again, Iraq
certainly falls under this category, as does the Attitude towards
Iran. They have yet to provoke us in any way, or show that they
are a threat to the United States infrastructure. Yet, we have not
taken a pre-emptive nuclear attack off the table.

Now, even as
bad as this is for the government, it is even worse for those members
in my age group. Our strong vocal messages of changing politics
in America will certainly be construed as "extremist"
by our current government standards. But the most worrying part
of this legislation is that it can be issued by either party to
further the agenda of the Welfare/Warfare state.

  • Don't believe
    in attacking Iran? Well you're giving comfort to the enemy. Off
    to the gulags!
  • Skeptical
    about global warming? How dare you! Off to prison
  • For school
    Choice? What are you some kind of extremist?!

With this piece
of legislation in progress, it makes it increasingly difficult to
ensure a transparent government. Any question of authority can be
seen as promoting an extremist ideological view that seeks to undermine
the state.

One of the
most useful tools for political campaigns today is the use of the
internet. Certainly we can see how this has been used over the last
few months as Congressmen Paul, as well as other candidates, has
used the internet to spread their messages and appeal to new voters,
but don't worry, HR 1955 has taken care of this:

  1. The
    Internet has aided in facilitating ideologically-based violence
    and the homegrown terrorism process in the United States by providing
    access to broad and constant streams of terrorist-related propaganda
    to United States citizens.

With this piece
of legislation in congress, my generation will no longer be able
to use the internet in a peaceful manner. All activity will certainly
be logged, and every letter typed will be scrutinized by the state.

My generation
has, without their knowing, been forced into a society in which
we cannot choose, where we cannot think, where we cannot be free.
This legislation is another step towards an Orwellian society that
will create misery and despair for generations to come. We will
be forced into more wars, more taxation, and more Statist welfare,
and there is nothing we will be able to do to stop those in power.

That is, unless
we elect Congressman Paul. Ron Paul is the only person in our government
advocating for personal liberty, and for privacy rights of the Citizens
of this country. Sure, Barack Obama may appeal to the youth vote.
But, he has made it clear that he is just another member of the
Welfare/Warfare state. He has already told us that he cannot promise
our troops will be home by the end of his first term. Style and
Substance are two completely different things.

With a Ron
Paul presidency, we can be certain that he will fight for a smaller
government, fight to restore our economic and civil liberties, and
defend and uphold the oath to the constitution that he takes on
Inauguration day.

It may not
be easy, and it may not be overnight, but the flame of liberty can
never be snuffed.

The Ron Paul
revolution has taught us that my generation is paying attention,
and that he will be an ally in providing for those who come after
us.

November
8, 2007

Anthony
Merola
[send him mail] is a 19-year-old
student at Suffolk University in Boston studying Communications.

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