TAMPA, November 2, 2012 – It wasn’t so long ago that the following statement could only appear in a dystopian novel or movie script:
The U.S. President has killed an American citizen without due process, without even charging him with a crime. His decision to do this has been challenged by members of neither party.
While the media-fueled frenzy goes on about how supposedly different Romney and the conservatives are from Obama and the liberals, no one even raises an eyebrow about this terrifying political development.
Not even the left, which quite correctly howled at passage of the Patriot Act and the Bush administrations’ other assaults on freedom.
Bush and the Republicans committed egregious crimes against liberty, but did not go near this far in violating the even more important right to life.
The president makes a mockery of the term “due process” by claiming the requirement is fulfilled by a panel of his own self-appointed czars and cronies reviewing the case. This doesn’t even pass the constitutional test. The panel is exclusively comprised of members of the executive branch of government. Judicial power is explicitly denied to the executive by the plain words of the constitution.
At any previous time in American history, a summary execution by the executive without due process would have been considered cold blooded murder and an act of tyranny. Yet, it has happened in the light of day and neither the political class nor the citizenry has batted an eye.
If even this does not rouse American citizens to stand up to their government, to what would they conceivably say “no?”
Given Romney’s endorsement of the president’s action, there is a well-worn term that applies to both candidates for president. “Unfit for office” has been wasted in the past on extramarital affairs or scandals involving some misappropriation of funds in private business. Like the cry of “wolf!” its impact has been eroded by overuse.
However, it is a gravely serious charge. It denotes a fundamental moral failing that puts a candidate completely beyond consideration.
Both President Obama and Mitt Romney are unfit for office due to their support for the presidential kill list. Regardless of where they stand on economic policy, foreign policy or social issues, this position alone should disqualify them in any civilized society.
So why hasn’t it?
The only possible answer is the American public has become so numb to the exercise of arbitrary power that they are unable to even raise a bleat while being led to the slaughter.
It is almost anti-climactic to point out that if you are not summarily executed by either a Romney or Obama administration, you may be arrested by the military without a warrant and held indefinitely without charges, recourse to a writ of habeas corpus or any appeal to an impartial judge. This provision is part of the last NDAA bill which the president signed and which Romney stated he would have signed as well. It is the law of the land.
So was the Reichstag Fire Act in 1930’s Germany. That did not make it right. Without exaggerating, that is where we are right now.
Anyone who watched the first Third Party Debate could not have helped but notice that the various candidates were as different from each other individually as they were collectively from Romney or Obama. Green Party candidate Jill Stein is so far left on economic policy that she makes Obama look like Warren G. Harding. Libertarian Party candidate Gary Johnson is so laissez faire that he makes Romney look like Woodrow Wilson.
However, all of them agreed on one thing. The basic protections of personal freedom and security guaranteed in the Bill of Rights are not open to negotiation. That is the “red line” over which the government may not tread. That line is the one tangible thing that has made America different from the worst tyrannies of history.
A vote for Obama or Romney on November 6th is worse than wasting your vote. It is surrendering not only your liberty but your very life to the discretion of the all-powerful state. It is accepting a station even lower than a slave’s.
Fortunately, you do have other choices. Gary Johnson will be on the ballot in at least 47 states. Many of the other candidates may be on your ballot as well. Florida’s ballot will provide twelve choices for president. Johnson and Green Party candidate Jill Stein will debate again on November 5th, one day before the election.
Regardless of where you fall on the political spectrum, you will find among these choices a candidate you agree with at least as much as you agree with Romney or Obama. What you will not find is a candidate who claims arbitrary power over your life.
Do not give your consent to a candidate who does.
Tom Mullen is the author of Where Do Conservatives and Liberals Come From? And What Ever Happened to Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness? Part One and A Return to Common Sense: Reawakening Liberty in the Inhabitants of America.