The British newspaper, The Guardian, has been publishing leaked documents provided by Eric Snowden concerning the domestic surveillance of innocents performed under the umbrella of national security by the NSA. Those revelations have caused a lot of outrage among American citizens.
More recently, The Guardian has also put the spotlight on a little known entity that is the driving force of most, if not all, of the right-wing legislation being put forth that threatens many of the established beliefs of American society. The American Legislative Exchange Council, also known as ALEC, is primarily responsible for state’s efforts in such activities like limiting or eliminating gun control, union busting, cutting taxes and curtailing voting rights.
As part of their gun control abolishment conspiracy, ALEC was a principle author of the Stand Your Ground Laws that first showed up in Florida under then Governor Jeb Bush. Since then, that blueprint of “model legislation” was rolled out across the country in other states which, in turn, adopted SYG.
That there existed a concise plan to put such legislation forth, a plan that encompassed the blessing of almost 400 legislators, is troubling to me; and I’m not alone it seems. Last year, on the heels of the botched investigation and trial for the Trayvon Martin killing, ALEC lost almost a third of its income as well as 60 corporate members and the 400 politicos.
But what is more troubling is that I wonder just how many Americans are aware of the existence of ALEC, not to mention their seemingly nefarious agenda. I mean, the first I heard of it was through searching for any new developments in SYG incidents. I would’ve remembered any reference to corporate shenanigans such as the back room, behind-closed-doors planning going on, the likes of such as proposed by this cabal. On the other hand, the media is more than willing to stoke the fires of public discontent when it comes to the NSA and government spying.
I’ve said before that, try as I might, I simply can’t generate a decent level of disgust with what’s going on at NSA. That’s not to say that I’m not vexed by the whole thing; I am. But it’s mostly because I’m from an era that saw similar powers spying on black leaders and activists, especially the Black Panthers and Malcolm X, at a time when there wasn’t much domestic or global terrorism going on. Those same powers basically equated domestic terrorism with the civil rights movement.
Today, with the world being the dangerous place that it is, I have expectations that there will be some national surveillance going on and, unfortunately, that surveillance may catch some innocents in its snare. I often say that if they’re listening to me then they’re going to come away very, very angry. But that’s me.
What I do not have expectations of is for my government and its duly elected officials to secretly put forth an agenda that seeks to undermine decades of progressive legislation that protects the rights of all its citizenry and in doing so, make it easier for one group to prey on and kill another.
We all should have those same expectations.
Because that’s what SYG brings to the table, plain and in a nutshell. I’m just saying…