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Tue., May 28, 2013

Be consistent on liberties

Republican indignation concerning the Internal Revenue Service and the U.S. Justice Department harassment of political groups and most especially journalists is totally justified. That both the tea party and Fox News are front groups for right-wing billionaires and corporations with anti-regulatory agendas is irrelevant. Attorney General Eric Holder should be fired and replaced by an attorney general with genuine respect for Americans’ civil rights.

But Republicans need to ask how absolute their support of civil liberties really is. In the cases of marijuana prohibition and marriage equality, Idaho’s Republican Legislature empowers government to impose religious beliefs and taboos on citizens who do not share those beliefs. To use the overblown (but essentially accurate) rhetoric of the tea party, this is big government tyranny. It is also theocratic oppression.

This April, Boise police entered the home of “known” marijuana activists, one of whom uses the medicine to relieve symptoms of multiple sclerosis. Finding the family’s three children perfectly safe and under the supervision of a baby-sitter, Child Protective Services were summoned to remove the children into protective custody.

How is this not big government engaging in ideologically motivated bullying and harassment of citizens who dare to speak out against laws with which they disagree?

Chris Norde


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