Well, this has been a most eventful week to say the least. Not only was it revealed that the IRS targeted conservative groups and that the Justice Department seized AP phone records, but also that the Obama administration has backed an FBI plan for a sweeping overhaul of surveillance laws, which, if anything, will make incidents like the former two more frequent.
And you know what's the scariest part? It's not that scandals like this occur. Far from it. Both the Bush and Obama administrations have made the surveillance state so commonplace that they might as well plaster posters on every street corner telling us how "Big Brother is watching!"
No, the scariest part is that, despite these two incidents, despite Obama demanding more surveillance, and despite countless previous examples of government malfeasance from both administrations, there will still be naive fools out there who will still insist that "government is good" and "the government is us."
Even Jon Stewart, who admitted last night that these events confirmed the right-wing conspiracies of the "tinfoil behatted," insisted that the government was still a force for good.
How many more scandals like this need to arise before those who worship at the altar of the state renounce their faith? Perhaps never. After all, faith is defined as believing in something without, or in spite of, evidence; and anyone who believes that "Government is Good" has to rely on faith, because there is no evidence to support their belief.
The surmounting evidence is against them: the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, the Patriot Act, Gitmo, waterboarding and other "enhanced interrogation techniques," the bank and auto bailouts, the secret bailouts, full-body scanners, SOPA, PIPA, CISPA, ACTA, TPP, Fast and Furious, Benghazi, indefinite detention, kill lists, targeted assassinations, increased drone strikes, and now, these two incidents, the IRS political targeting and AP phone records seizures.
At this point, the only way to continue believing in government benevolence is to ignore empirical evidence--and the saddest part is that these people allow their faith to dictate their votes, voting for the snake-oil salesmen promising the most good with the most government, the most security for the least liberty. Such madness continues to make old cartoons like this relevant even to this day:
These delusional fools cannot be reasoned with. If they could be reasoned with, they would not exist, and neither would government. And yet they persist because what they cannot be reasoned into they cannot be reasoned out of.
So what's the solution, then? Ridicule. We need to ridicule, mock, and scorn those who believe that government is good the same way we ridicule those who believe the earth is flat and the center of the universe. We need to make it as shameful to believe in benevolent government as it is shameful to believe in flat-earth egocentrism and every other antiquated notion. Human progress demands it!