“… Government, even in its best state, is but a necessary evil; in its worst state an intolerable one: for when we suffer or are exposed to the same miseries by a Government, which we might expect in a country without a Government, our calamity is heightened by reflecting that we furnish the means by which we suffer.” Thomas Paine from Common Sense
A recent WSJ article details how Lindsay Graham and Charles Schumer are out to help us by sponsoring a bill to “tamper proof” biometric national identity cards, ostensibly to help prevent illegal immigrants from getting hired in the US. We can expect that this new tool will be used just as assiduously to fight illegal immigration as any other employed in this struggle. We should all have to carry our documents with us wherever we go, right? And, there’s the useful ability to track movement by means of these chips too. Cool!
Gee, why would we stop there? We have had the technology for RFID chips under the skin, for a long time. What a perfect match: health data, credit data, identification, all in a little chip. It could even save lives! This technology is already in use for Alzheimer’s patients. How very convenient for all kinds of things.
“If men were angels, no government would be necessary. If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controls on government would be necessary. In framing a government which is to be administered by men over men, the great difficulty lies in this: you must first enable the government to control the governed; and in the next place oblige it to control itself.” James Madison from Federalist 51.
Well, it looks like congress is working real hard to “enable the government to control the governed”, anyway. Madison goes on to suggest that the “people” must be the primary control of the government, but that prudence dictates that “auxiliary” precautions should also be taken. This was the reasoning behind the separation of powers and ultimately the Bill of Rights.
While Messrs. Graham and Schumer might not have horns and tails, they certainly don’t have wings and halos, either. National ID card? No thanks.