Here's an interesting look into Ron Johnson's campaign for Senate. Running against the only member of the U.S. Senate who voted against the Patriot Act, Johnson pits himself as the defender of freedom.
Even after 9/11, with the Anthrax scare, heightened airport security and the debate over the Patriot Act, I was always felt that my personal freedom would be protected, I could trust that our Constitutional checks and balances would work. But then a not-so-funny thing happened on the way to the 2008 election. The same liberals who had torn our country apart in the 1960's now saw their chance. In the words of Rahm Emanuel, "A crisis is a terrible thing to waste."
Johnson's casual dismissal of one of the greatest formalized abuses of civil liberties in American history seems to indicate that he believes freedom is only in danger when people are losing money. A separate statement, in which he claims we were 72 percent free when the top tax rate was 28%, seems to confirm that that is the belief.
He would counter and say that his fundamental belief is in property rights, not financial rights. But it would be interesting to hear him explain why the Patriot Act never infringed on property rights. For that matter, it'd be nice to hear why he believes all those liberals in the 1960's were causing such a ruckus. Did the extension of basic constitutional rights to millions of Americans not play a role in that?