Andrew Henderson

Andrew Henderson

Founder of Nomad Capitalist and the world’s most sought-after expert on global citizenship.

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Be careful what you wish for in the court system

Reporting from: Phoenix, Arizona

It’s been a circus here in Phoenix lately. Now-convicted murderer Jodi Arias has been the talk of the town as pundits pushed for her conviction. For those who favor less government, however, I caution to be careful what you wish for.

Already, I see factions, largely conservative, pushing for the death penalty for Jodi Arias. (Even before she asked for it herself.) These are the same people who don’t trust the Bureau of Motor Vehicles. Yet somehow, they’re all in favor of Big Government executing its own citizens. Crazy stuff.

It’s this armchair justice mentality that has helped enable the United States government to take away endless personal liberties. When people let government do whatever it wants to “fight crime”, the government takes plenty of liberties of its own…

Like creating a police state where cops patrol cities with automatic weapons and even grenade launchers. Technology that allows police to track your every move and know just about everything about you. And now, Obama may back a plan pushed by the FBI to spy on your every move online. Feeling “safe” yet?

It all sounds great, at least to some, when it’s about tracking down criminals. But that’s not how a police state works. Eventually, a divide is created where those “enforcing” the law become the overlords and the rest of us become criminals by default.

This isn’t about Jodi Arias. It’s about a group of people who are all too eager to hand over any liberty – even a liberty they’ll never use – to the government. And they’re too happy to give the government power to take other people’s liberties, too.

For all the hoopla about the founding fathers in America, some seem to have forgotten one important creed: “It is better that ten guilty persons escape than that one innocent suffer”. The Blackstone Formulation, as its known, should be applied so that the citizenry is free from the whims of a power-hungry government. It’s not about supporting criminals; it’s about keeping an oversized, tyrannical government at bay.

I don’t say this as a bleeding heart liberal. I say it as someone who knows that Big Government does one thing best: get bigger. And when it gets bigger, more people become its victim.

We know how unaccountable Big Government is. They can change their mind at any time. One stroke of a pen and the law can be instantly changed. An innocent man can become a criminal overnight.

Twelve years ago, Americans decided that, in the wake of 9/11, it would be a good idea to give more power to Big Government to “keep them safe”. Thus began the tenure of the Department of Homeland Security, an Orwellian-sounding government bureaucracy that we now know is not only bankrupting our liberties, but bankrupting the country.

It was recently reported that spending on the New Deal – which caused the beginning of the end of self-reliance in the Land of the Free – pales in comparison to George Bush’s Department of Homeland Security. At $791 billion, it’s been an expensive lesson to learn.

Back when it was started, Americans welcomed the new cabinet-level department. George W. Bush was still riding a high approval rating and could have done practically anything he wanted. People were happy to do whatever was needed to “be safe”. Who needs liberties when you can delude yourself into feeling “safe”?

Because Big Government does one thing best: get bigger.

It started with locking up “terrorists” without a trial. Then it was listening in on “terrorist’s” phone calls. Yet it only took a few years before they wanted to put their hands down your pants and see you naked as you went through the airport. Suddenly those who want to abolish the Post Office were aghast that Big Government would infringe on their rights.

In effect, they were amazed that Big Government did what it does best. It doesn’t get bigger for your benefit – it gets bigger for its own benefit. You become nothing but a serf.

There’s scant reason for Big Government to get bigger. If you don’t trust government to efficiently give you a driver’s license, why would you trust them to listen in on your phone calls? Or harass old ladies at the airport? It’s government that has failed the old lady when it comes to fighting terror, not the other way around. So do you really think their intentions are noble and that their surveillance state won’t get bigger, just like everything else?

Be careful what you wish for, because you might be the next target. “When they came for the Catholics…”

I don’t believe you can pick and choose which parts of Big Government you like. You either believe in being coddled by Mother Government in a high-tax, low-freedom collectivist nanny state… or you don’t. To argue that Big Government is excellent at keeping you safe from criminals but not so good at spending your tax money, delivering your mail, or securing its borders is silly.

Either the political ruling class is good, or it’s bad. It’s all a big unaccountable bureaucracy.

There’s a reason government is unaccountable. They don’t have to be. What are you going to do when you deliver that package a day late or lock you up for a crime you didn’t commit? You’re not going to do anything. Big Government is an unaccountable propaganda machine that does everything it can to build itself up so you can’t effectively fight back.

After all, how has the Department of Homeland Security kept you safe? The TSA is routinely found to do a poor job of actual security. But they’re more than happy to enforce even more draconian rules every time some new “threat” – that they failed to prevent – happens. What other group gets to benefit from being bad at their job?

Just know that Big Government is focused on one goal: amassing more power. If it has to lie to you and tell you its new draconian rules are for “your safety”, it will.

So be careful what you wish for.

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