America, we need to talk.
No, not you, people of America, although maybe I could buttonhole you later about the inexplicable continuing popularity of the Real Housewives franchise.
And no, not even you, North Carolina General Assembly, sneaking your late-night Texas-sized abortion restrictions into your goofy anti-sharia law bill (we’ll talk later too).
I’m talking to you, monolithic “America” of the federal government with all your eerie spying stuff going on. And though it pains me to say it, it’s mostly you, President Obama.
At first I thought, it’s not you, it’s me. I was a fan-girl. I sported my Obama car magnet like a good hope and change team player. But in the last few weeks, I realized, it is you.
You’ve become the creepy stalker girlfriend who starts rifling through your caller ID and challenges you about calls from your mom. “Who is she?!” you demand to know. “Why does she call so much??” It’s starting to weird me out.
I’m breaking up. I mean, I’m not ready to see other people yet, but the car magnet? I tossed it, even though I’m stuck with a gross circle of baked-on dirt on the back of my minivan where it used to be.
See, I thought stuff like this … the whole spying on your own citizens thing … I kinda thought those things were on your Change Punch List.
Do you really need to know about all of the things?
Did you see my Google search for “bloat”? I’m sorry if that upset you, but sometimes these things happen to perimenopausal women. (Did you see how I went to WebMD afterward? And then how I thought I was pretty sure I was going to die? Sure you did. You’ve seen me do that a million times. Someday we’ll laugh and laugh and laugh about it).
Did your stomach rumble a little when I sent Matt an urgent text to bring me home a s’mores Blizzard® before its reign as June Blizzard of the Month® ended? Don’t worry. July is “Lemon Meringue Pie” and I’m not very excited about it, so you won’t have to sit through a text like that again until at least August.
You’re even photographing snail mail now! Did you enjoy my daughter’s letter home from camp? In case you didn’t see it (Ha! Of course you saw it!), she outlines in mind-numbing detail her daily schedule (“First there’s flag-raising, then recycled arts, then riding, then swimming, then….”) Even my eyes glazed over a bit, and I’m her mother.
Anyway, do you really think the terrorists are sending handwritten letters to each other? Let me save you some time: It’s 10% parents forging their kids’ thank you notes, 10% belated Hallmark cards, and 80% Valpaks stuffed with shitty coupons. Nothing to see here.
Do you not see how Orwellian this is?
Do you not see how the path to freedom can’t be down the road of less freedom?
Do you get why this is pissing us off? It’s not because we’re not patriots. It’s because we are. It’s because the whole thing reeks so much of what we’ve always fought against. How is this any different from Soviet-era secret police monitoring their citizens’ conversations?
I mean, I know it’s been (ahem) over 20 years since I went to law school, but on what Scalia-shaped “I hate the right to privacy” planet is this constitutional?
Sure, I was a little disappointed when I learned that Edward Snowden took the NSA job in order to unearth secrets and leak them. I was hoping we could make a suspenseful movie about how he was all gung-ho on fighting terrorists and then slowly became disillusioned to the point where his spirit broke and he went all Karen Silkwood on your ass. And he would be played by Ryan Gosling, because why not.
But really? Charging him with espionage? Let me spell it out for you: You were spying on me. So while Snowden enjoys his time in the Moscow airport (where I am pretty sure he is suffering enough because I am almost positive they don’t have Cinnabon there), y’all are going to have to face a pretty angry populace who may think he is a punk but is damn glad he’s our punk.
There’s a saying in law: You don’t get to pick your witnesses. Sometimes, you are stuck with the snitch crack dealer, but that doesn’t mean he didn’t clearly see you hit and run that kid on the bike.
And right now, America? I’m feeling like that kid.
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