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Extra Credit Paper - Steve Creasy ID 104989261 GHIST 225...

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Steve Creasy ID: 104989261 GHIST 225, Sec. 7 Extra Credit Paper The Death of Democracy: American Fascism on the Rise Sinclair Lewis once said “What fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross”; this is exactly the problem that we are seeing in our nation today. The system created by the Founding Fathers relied on dissent to protect the nation from a dictatorship, however in the past seven years we have seen the fabric of our values come apart at the seams. Without the checks and balances of the system we have in place, the president would essentially become a dictator for his time in office. Since the 2000 election, we have seen George Bush use his executive powers to create the foundation for an authoritarian government by limiting freedom of expression, among other things, so that dissention from the government- set norms are equal to social treason. In recent years, American citizens seem to lack the vigor about our natural rights as we once did. Our nation was founded on the basis of social equality, freedom of expression, religious tolerance, personal freedoms, and small government that exists only for the advancement of society. However, many government policies enacted by the Bush administration have crossed the lines that the founders of America set, granting the government free reign to oppress people’s freedom of expression when the government disagrees. Americans should be outraged at the audacity of these officials, but instead most citizens are completely oblivious to the infractions on their rights, and many who are aware support the government in doing so.
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The so-called “Patriot Act” is possibly the most harmful law to American values that has ever been enacted. It was passed during the weeks following the September 11 th attacks, granting the government expanded powers to gather information about American citizens on the basis that the information gathered will help protect against terrorism. Its many provisions include allowing the gathering of private information, such as medical records, by authorities, and the expansion of the definition of terrorism to include a very broad range of activities to which the Patriot Act can be applied. The law also circumvents the constitution in several areas, including a provision to detain citizens indefinitely without charges, search and seizure without the need for a warrant or notification of the occupant, and several other articles, some of which have been deemed unconstitutional by Federal courts.
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