Back when the Patriot Act was still being debated in Congress, it didn’t really faze me. I was as petrified of terrorism as the next person, newly on my own in new city, working a government job that required me to see the terrorist “threat level” every day I went to work. My knee-jerk reaction was, “If you’re not doing anything wrong, why should you worry about it?” The political pundits in favor of the Act were saying essentially the same thing.
I’ve since changed my way of thinking. A lot. The gist of my current disagreement with the Patriot Act and laws like it is that it doesn’t define who gets to decide what is “wrong.” It gives the executive powers the opportunity to “flag” people as terrorists for anything that makes them uncomfortable — voting for the wrong party, being a feminist, being of a certain religion or a certain race.