Tell the truth. Be honest and respectful of others, even if you don't agree with what they have to say. Challenge your elected officials, but don't break the law. These are general lessons we all strive to teach our children. Where did we learn these lessons? I've always attributed them to my parents - for the most part, they led by example, and set my sisters and me up with excellent foundation blocks. Teachers and coaches have also helped foster these values. Government officials? Here, I feel incredibly let down, by all sides. Bill Clinton, you should have been honest about Monica. Cheney, you should have addressed the hunting accident earlier on. And so on.
So, with this in mind, I had a very interesting discussion with my dad the other day. We talk politics often enough, although we have a difficult time finding common ground, as I'm a firm Democrat, and my dad's a staunch Republican. But it's good to have perspective on the other side. This time, I thought I had him. I asked him how he felt about his man, George W., breaking the law with domestic wiretapping without a warrant. I asked him how he could support this overt law-breaking, as this was not a value my parents taught me (Rebecca, become Commander in Chief, and you're in charge - anything goes! You are above the law!) So I asked, "Dad, you and Mom taught me to be honest, tell the truth, that it's never okay to break the law. So why is it okay for the commander in chief to do just this?" This domestic wiretapping, I see it as illegal.
If the government needs to do this sort of wiretapping, there are ways to have it happen, without going above the law. Get a warrant. Don't have the time? Fine. Do the wiretapping, and then, at your leisure, get an after the fact warrant. The safeguards are in place.
The Bush Administration didn't adhere to the legal machinations of the FISA Act. Why go above the law? It's the wrong message. And what's to prevent this wiretapping to go further? Power corrupts. First the government illegally spies on suspected terrorists. Next thing you know, the group of "suspected terrorists" branches out. The laws are in place to keep this from happening! Break the laws, and anything goes. My parents call it necessary for our national security. And further, my father stated that, unless you have something to hide, who cares if you're being eavesdropped upon? True, we have nothing to hide. That's not my issue. Telling the truth, and following the law, that's what concerns me. Alas, we had to agree to disagree on this one.
And I don't mean to alienate any readers who belong to a different political party than me. Some may think this posting is too political, that as a stay at home mom blog, we need to focus less on politics, more on the family. But for me, the two are intertwined. We vote on values, right? Wasn't the mantra of the Republican Party all about Family Values? Conversation is good! Growing up, we were not allowed to discuss politics; it was considered impolite. I can't disagree with this aspect of my upbringing enough. My hope is that the leaders of our country will some day exhibit the values I expect my children to hold: honesty, truth, compassion. If enough of us speak up, perhaps this will happen. Yes, believe it or not, I'm both a Democrat and a firm believer in family values. The two do coexist.
Okay, I'm off my soapbox now. Enough on this posting; back to my housework. The FBI or CIA might do some real domestic spying, and see that despite the fact that I have a ton of laundry to do, and that the kids, at 11AM, are still in their pajamas, I've spent almost an hour writing this story. Scandalous!