Traces of Reality
April 22, 2013
In a rather stunning admission by one our nation’s leading politicos, mayor of New York City Michael Bloomberg said Monday that “our laws and our interpretation of the Constitution” will “have to change” to keep up with the “complex world” we now live in.
In an interview with the New York Observer, Mayor Bloomberg elaborates:
The people who are worried about privacy have a legitimate worry,” Mr. Bloomberg said during a press conference in Midtown. “But we live in a complex word where you’re going to have to have a level of security greater than you did back in the olden days, if you will. And our laws and our interpretation of the Constitution, I think, have to change.”
“Look, we live in a very dangerous world. We know there are people who want to take away our freedoms [emphasis added]. New Yorkers probably know that as much if not more than anybody else after the terrible tragedy of 9/11,” he said.
“We have to understand that in the world going forward, we’re going to have more cameras and that kind of stuff. That’s good in some sense, but it’s different from what we are used to,” he said.
It’s not so much what Mayor Bloomberg said, but the manner in which it was said that I find so remarkable. Of course, the notion of curbing civil liberties for the sake of greater security has been a prominent sociopolitical meme within our country since the attacks of September 11th, 2001 ceded the reigns of policy making to forces within our government that were ready, willing, and able to exploit the situation. “They hate us for our freedom,” took center stage then, in a deathly serious drama.
Since then, “they hate us for our freedom” has lingered, but more so in the realm of satire and comedy, as no serious minded observer of reality could possibly believe this catchphrase from the Bush troop to be anything but a joke.
And now we have Mayor No-Large-Fizzy-Drinks-Get-Used-to-Drones Bloomberg, who in a single comment was able to encapsulate both the humor and tragic irrationality of this idea. According to the Mayor, we need to reinterpret the Constitution and change our laws, thereby taking away our freedom, because “there are people who want to take away our freedoms.”
Amazing. Disturbingly amazing. If Bloomberg were a comic or social satirist, I’d call him a genius–but he’s not. He’s a New York City politician, with an inordinate amount of clout, which makes him dangerous.