A Washington Post poll shows that the majority (63%) of Americans are ok with the cyber and wiretapping efforts of the NSA. Almost the same percentage, even a little more, are ok if their personal calls were collected by the NSA. Americans are apparently willing to sacrifice privacy for security.
That disturbs me a little bit. Are these people concerned about privacy so little? Are basic civil rights not an issue, as long as gas is cheap? It seems to be a socially inherent problem in the U.S.: Society (in the majority of cases) here seems to be highly judgemental, insisting on personal freedom far more than I have ever seen before but at the same time not leaving their hands off issues that are just not their business, i.e. somebody else's private concerns. <!--more--> For me as a foreigner, this is a highly interesting, unusual paradox to watch. Everybody claims to be trying so hard to keep the government out of their lives, not pay many taxes, almost unrestrictedly bear arms, etc.; however, when it comes to revealing your whole life to random people, including governmental organizations, in fact they sacrifice so many basic rights that I myself are sometimes deeply impressed and also a little sad. How come do I have to do a big "screening" process when I want to move into a new apartment, for example? Why do I have to put my social security number on almost every ridiculous small flyer I am filling out somewhere? Why are companies selling my address and additional information to other companies without my consent (and without getting punished)?
People here say that other countries are not as free as this one (quote: "Is Germany a little free too, or are you totally excited about being in a free country?"). They say, we can bear arms, you can't. They say, gas is so expensive in Europe. They say, you can't be a Nazi in Germany, so it's not free.
But when it comes to rights of personal freedom, e.g. the sanctities of the home (which are much easier to circumvent here than where I come from), "innocent until proven guilty" (which seems to be the other way around, just in case your word stands against the one of a cop) or simply informational self-determination (i.e. deciding what information to give people about yourself and what not), people are so up to sacrificing every single piece of the rights that truly make a democracy a place worth living in. Not to speak of basic things that, sorry to say that, are just none of everybody else's business but the people's who are involved. Are the people who shout the word freedom out so loudly the same ones that took ages (in fact, till 2003(!)) to eventually realize that other people's bedrooms are usually not of public interest (many still don't believe it)? The same who gladly sell you a gun years before they allow you to have a beer with your lunch?
I just want to shake them. Wake up, you are sacrificing yourself here. Get conscious. Life is not about getting three cents off the gallon of gas. There's more to it.
But they keep sleeping.