Everyone seems to be talking about the NSA spying scandal, if you don’t believe me, just ask the NSA… they probably have it well documented. Much of that talk seems to be focused on people’s opinions as to whether or not this is “ok”. The whole debate has made for some truly strange bedfellows where you have people like Michael Moore & Rand Paul on the same page and on the other side of the debate you have the likes of Lindsey Graham siding with Nancy Pelosi. Not to mention President Obama & Dick Cheney agreeing on it. Which is just weird and shows you how divided this country is on the topic of security vs. privacy in the 21st century. But I’ve also heard a lot of cries of hypocrisy due to a shifting opinion on the topic based on who’s sitting in the Oval Office at the time. Let’s expand on that concept and why you’re probably not a hypocrite…
When this scandal first broke, conservatives and the crew over at Fox “News” had a field day painting Obama as “big brother” spying on your every move while simultaneously feeding the constitution to a paper shredder. There’s a great video showing Sean Hannity defending the NSA data mining while W. Bush was in office and expressing utter outrage now that we know Obama has continued the practice. NPR wrote a scathing article accusing us all of being partisan hypocrites for having different opinions on the topic based on who the President is. They site a recent survey that showed liberal approval of data mining under W. was at 36% and now it’s at 64% under Obama. But they’re missing the point… As Billy Joel once said “It’s a matter of trust”.
When the news first hit back in 2006 that the NSA had started this program, I didn’t like it at all. But nowadays, I’m willing to tolerate it. That’s not because I’m a partisan hypocrite, it’s because I didn’t trust the Bush (part 2) administration but I do trust the Obama administration. Isn’t that what picking a President is all about? We all know that Presidents have a ton of power, so we support the candidate that we trust to use all that power responsibly and for the greater good. You couldn’t trust George W. Bush to eat some peanuts without killing himself and you couldn’t trust Dick Cheney with a loaded weapon (“Duck!” was not a reference to an animal he was hunting, it’s what he screamed at his friend before he shot him in the face) so why would I trust them to play “big brother”? It’s the same as trusting one President to pick candidates for the Supreme Court while fearing the narrow-minded appointments of another President.
So if you’re opinion on government “spying” has changed from one President to the next, you’re not a hypocrite, you’re an informed voter.
- Legal Disclaimer: This article is in no way intended to relieve Sean Hannity of any guilt for being a giant tool. For him it’s not a matter of trust, it’s a matter of preaching to the choir and padding his bank account. Feel free to hate upon him for being a hypocrite ; )