Recently, the Supreme Court granted officials the authority to strip-search a citizen that is arrested for any offense, such as speeding, violating a dog leash law, or failure to pay a fine. The latter was the case of Albert Florence, a NJ resident that was held captive at two jails during a seven-day period and strip-searched twice, despite being innocent of the crime.
Upon hearing this news I immediately travelled to the courthouse in downtown Chicago; surprisingly, there was no gathering. I walked east on Adams Street to Grant Park then north to Millennium Park, eager to express my First Amendment rights with other grieving patriots. The crowds must have gathered elsewhere, I thought. I ventured back to my apartment where I linked to the live webcam at the National Mall in Washington, DC. Not a single unruly mob in sight. Strange. Where are the placards? Where are the protesters that stood on that very same mall not too long ago speaking out against the overreaching powers of President Obama's government?
I then decided to wait patiently for a week. In fact, some of our country’s most meaningful demonstrations took careful planning – the march for civil rights, Glenn Beck’s rally to restore honor to America – all tediously planned. I was quite eager to join forces with small government conservatives and Tea Party activists to protest this latest decision by activist judges and to stand up to government infringement on our basic civil liberties. But the streets were quiet. And then I read that the decision to give the authorities such power over its citizens was the result of a five to four vote. Furthermore, all five judges were conservative appointees.
I was truly surprised at the absence of conservative outrage over this potentially intrusive decision. My finger was clearly not on the pulse of traditional small government conservative values. Thus, based on contemporary history and popular opinion I have constructed a guide in an effort to better understand the extent to which government should be involved in our lives.
Indicators that a government’s powers have grown too large:
The state attempts to tax its citizens proportionally
The state attempts to implement gun safety laws
The state attempts to assure that all of its citizens receive medical treatment
The state attempts to give assistance to families living below the poverty line
The state attempts to afford one human the right to wed any other human (the state is so intrusive it’s forcing rights on its citizens!)
Scenarios when “Big government” is entirely acceptable:
The state wishes to murder (execute) one of its citizens
The state wishes to wiretap its citizens without court approval
The state suspends Habeas Corpus to detain citizens without a trial
The state must borrow indescribably large sums of money to invade another country
The state requires the power to strip-search its citizens due to a likelihood that they are intentionally getting arrested for minor offenses in order to smuggle contraband into prison
In summary, my estimate is that many conservatives would like Big Government to keep its tentacles off of the Second and Tenth Amendments. The First, Fourth, Fifth, and Eighth Amendments however, seem to be slightly more negotiable. I suppose this prompts a reevaluation of the common demand for government to play a limited role in our lives. Big government is unconstitutional, that is, except when it is needed to execute, spy, kidnap, and invade (country or privacy).
Article published by Ology on 4/11/2012
By Brian T. Murphy
We want government to stay out of our lives…except for those times when we demand it to intrude into our lives. Why the Supreme Court decision that affords police blanket authority to strip-search did not spark outrage amongst small government proponents.
A Conservative Estimate of Big Government