COMMON SENSE Volume XI: The Real ID Act
"We're Mad As Hell, And We're Not Going To Take It Anymore!"
By Rebecca Iocca & Tom Hurst, 2005
"Show me your papers, NOW!", demands a government official as you're innocently going about your business. Doesn't this remind you of the KGB or Gestapo? Thanks to all 100 Republican and Democrat Senators, and 87% of the Congress, the "Real ID Act" will soon make this command a reality. That not even one member of the Senate had the courage to vote against this bill should be proof to all that our representatives are not upholding the Constitution they swore to defend. Get ready for the inevitable widespread government abuse, identity theft and loss of privacy.
The Real ID act will not only create a national ID system, but a massive, centralized citizen database, culled from government and commercial databases, for use and abuse by the federal bureaucracy. It will contain all personal information deemed necessary by the Tzar of Homeland Security. Isn't this Big Brother gone mad?
You might say, "If you have nothing to hide, what does it matter?" We would ask just how comfortable would you be if, while on an elevator with total strangers, you were required to tell them all about your income and financial transactions, where you live, who you associate with, what books you read, what purchases you make, where and when you have traveled, your intimate health details, and your religious and political affiliations? Do you really want a stranger in the government or the police to know all of these things?
The ostensible reason for implementing the ID was to stop illegal immigrants and terrorists, but it won't do that because such people will always manage to obtain fraudulent ID. The Act will, in fact, make it easier for such unscrupulous people because your personal information will, by law, be shared with foreign nations who do not honor our tradition of privacy and freedom. Also, identity theft will become "one-stop shopping" because of the detailed information contained on the Real ID card and in the vast Real ID database. Make no mistake, the national ID will be used not just to deter terrorists, but to track everything you do and everywhere you go.
Supporters of the Real ID say that it's voluntary. What they fail to mention is that the citizens of any state which opts out will automatically be unable to have any dealings with the federal government. They will not be able to board a plane, drive a car across state lines, open a bank account, buy a gun, enter a federal building, or even apply for a job! Is this freedom?
A national ID destroys our privacy and makes us a slave of the government. The Republicans and Democrats talk of freedom and democracy, but their vote for this bill makes our country just another authoritarian state. A national ID offers us a false sense of security because criminals, terrorists, and illegal immigrants will ignore it, while law abiding citizens lose their 4th Amendment right to be secure in their person, papers and effects. We believe that liberty cannot be secured by having it taken away, and will work to abolish the unconstitutional Real ID Act. As Ben Franklin so wisely and eloquently summarized, "Those who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty or safety." Remember, evil flourishes when good people do nothing. Take action by supporting independent candidates who are pro-Liberty!
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