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Patriot Act

            The Government Can Monitor Davis Undergrad.
             The USA Patriot Act was hastily passed in the wake of the horrific attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. This act poses a very serious danger to American constitutional rights, but more importantly, it offers protection by the government in a time of crisis. The majority of the American people want protection from the new common enemy, terrorism. It is imperative, however, to understand that when the freedoms of citizens are forcefully taken from them, those citizens look to government for protection (Davis par 6). The Patriot Act undertakes an endeavor that does not undermine the basic freedoms of Americans, but protects a country of citizens that have willingly invested their freedoms in the government for protection.
             The USA Patriot Act gives the government the right to monitor the research habits of suspected terrorists in an effort to stop terrorism. However, this act allows government the right to use discretion in their actions. The need for such a proactive law is obvious because in this democratic government the people affect policy. The public opinion is clearly seen when the Senate passed this law 98-1 and the House had a clear majority with a 357-66 vote. .
             The investment in government in a time of crisis is fundamental in understanding how a democratic government can pass a law that grants such discretion and infringes on the rights of its citizens (right to privacy). There is a basic idea in the relationship with government to its citizens that when a nation feels threatened, those citizens are willing to give up some of their liberties in order to receive much needed defense from an imminent threat (Lemke par 2). The imminent threat to those citizens that are willing to invest in government is terrorism. Thus, the USA Patriot Act is a preventative act that is precise in those who it targets. The Attorney General, John Ashcroft, told Americans to rest at ease as this law does not target more than the majority of Americans, but does aim to take an aggressive stance on those who are trying to pose a dominant threat to this country's freedom (Davis par 4).

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