To the Editor:
Benjamin Franklin was a very wise man.
One of the quotations attributed to him needs to be remembered and repeated, time and again, during this period in our nation’s history.
“Those who desire to give up freedom in order to gain security will not have, nor do they deserve, either one.”
I am reminded of something I learned in high school biology class that was pretty astounding, and still is. If you put a frog in a pan of cold water on a stove and then gradually turn up the heat, the frog is boiled before it knows what is happening.
What does Franklin’s quotation have in common with the story of the frog? How many freedoms have we given up since Sept. 11 (actually starting before Sept. 11 but accelerating since then)? The recent news that ordinary Americans can have telephone conversations monitored without probable cause should be a splash of cold water in this pan of increasing heat of losing our freedom for the sake of security.
Do we, as Americans, really value our freedoms anymore? Where is our outrage? Where is our public outcry? Where is our passion for our nation founded by people who came to this land seeking freedom? Is security so precious that we are willing to sacrifice everything else?
When I look at my 3-year-old grandson, I wish I could come up with better answers because his future depends upon it.