We ARE Winning: How the Amash Amendment was a Victory for the Liberty Movement

The vote on the anti-NSA Amash-Conyers bill was a huge win for the liberty movement.

Sure, we may not have won in the conventional sense of the word, but the establishment is definitely running scared. It wasn’t so long ago that we were all watching Ron Paul stand alone in front of congress advocating for liberty and fighting against the tyrants in Washington. It may not have been all that long ago, but it is remarkable how much of a difference we have made in so short a time. 

Justin Amash valiantly stood before congress yesterday to propose an amendment that would block funding provided to the NSA for the collection of phone records from every American Citizen. “Do we oppose the suspicionless collection of every American’s phone records?” Amash asked his fellow House members. 

Several representatives who were opposed to the proposed legislation made the argument that “metadata” do not equate with phone records. True, metadata do not give the government access to the content of your actual phone calls, but they are still able to see what numbers you called and when you called them. Regardless of whether or not you have anything to hide, the government has absolutely no business involving itself that far into the personal lives of Americans.  

In fact, the concept of privacy rights was so important to the founding of this country that our Founding Fathers decided to include it in our Bill of Rights.

Congress does not have a particularly great track record of standing up for our civil liberties, which is why this vote on the House floor was so important.

It was definitely touching to watch Ron Paul be the solitary voice of reason in congress for so many years, but yesterday we showed the world just how influential the good doctor’s message has become. Instead of a small handful of House members voting in favor of the Constitution like we have seen in years past, 205 House members, including some who were once vigorous supporters of the Patriot Act, stood with Justin Amash to tell the NSA that they have gone too far. Seven votes were all that stood between liberty and tyranny.

The fight that Ron Paul fought alone for so long is now making its way into the mainstream and more and more people are realizing that the government is simply getting to big.  Yesterday we showed the world that the Ron Paul movement is not going anywhere. On the contrary, we are growing and have gained more influence than ever before. Our beliefs are no longer on the outskirts of practical politics because we are becoming the mainstream.

If you want to know just how influential the liberty movement has become, you need only look at the fear being propagated by the opposition. Arguments against Amash’s amendment rested solely on the premise of fear mongering. The neoconservatives and warmongers of the left would have the American people believe that it is in our best interest to trade in our liberty for security.  This rhetoric has been commonplace in the aftermath of the September 11 terrorist attacks. However, after over a decade of perpetual war and an ever-increasing loss of liberties, the American people are finally getting fed up.

The White House made no attempt to mask their concerns over Amash’s proposed legislation. President Obama, whose original presidential platform included a statement on the importance of protecting government whistleblowers, held a secret meeting before the voting began and urged house members to reject Amash’s amendment. White House Press Secretary Jay Carney warned, “This blunt approach is not the product of an informed, open, or deliberative process.”

This is a rather hypocritical statement for the Obama Administration to make since they have gone out of their way to make sure the American public stays in the dark in regards to the NSA’s intelligence gathering procedures, among other things.  It is hard to take this administration seriously when it advocates for an “informed, open, and deliberate process” while at the same time seeking to extradite whistleblower Edward Snowden and try him for espionage after informing the American people about the NSA’s surveillance program.

However, as frustrating as this may be, it is further proof that the establishment fears the liberty movement. If they did not fear us, they would not have to work so hard to make sure that the American people stay in a state of fear and compliance.

The American people, especially the youth, are finally waking up to the harsh realities of our current system. Our precious Bill of Rights has been all but done away with and the American people are drowning in a sea of national debt and unsustainable spending. It was easy to become discouraged after the results of the most recent presidential election, but hope can be found in the progress we have made and are continuing to make.

The House of Representatives may have lost Ron Paul, but in the wake of his absence and as a result of his incredible dedication to liberty we have gained congressmen like Justin Amash who has kept the brushfires of freedom burning in the face of constant opposition.

Though we continue to make huge advances in the quest for liberty, we have a long and hard road ahead of us. We may not win every battle, but we can find comfort in knowing that our principles and our hearts are on the right side of this ongoing war . While on the House floor Amash asked, “When you had the chance to stand up for Americans’ privacy, did you?” More people are standing with us than ever before and it is hard to feel anything but optimism when thinking about the future of the liberty movement.

Content published on the Young Americans for Liberty blog is only representative of the opinions and research of the individual authors. It does not necessarily reflect the views, goals, or membership of YAL.

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