TAMPA, Jan. 21, 2014 – After President Obama’s speech on Friday, in which he talked about his plans to change the NSA, Bill Maher talked to journalist Glenn Greenwald. Greenwald is a journalist who was the first to write about the information Edward Snowden released about the government’s spying on its own people.
Maher respected Greenwald and, to a certain extent, Snowden. However, he went out of his way to call some of Snowden’s claims about what the government does “completely nuts.” He also felt the need to attack Ron Paul, who had nothing to do with the issue at hand.
For Maher and a lot of other people who think like him, anyone who doesn’t see the government as a force for good is a nut who wears a tinfoil hat and thinks the government, secret societies, aliens, etc. are all part of a huge plot to take over the world. So Maher’s answer was, “No, not everyone in the government is out to get you.”
This is called “setting the stage for the debate.” Either you agree with Bill Maher and Barack Obama, or you agree with the crazy people. You might also be in the middle, which is where Maher seems to put Snowden. It doesn’t take into account any of the other points of view, including that of most libertarians.
Libertarians don’t think that government workers are bad people. It’s the government itself, which has a monopoly on the use of force and can seize all of the country’s resources. Even when good people try to use that kind of power, it can be dangerous.
This isn’t some new age idea that libertarians who smoked pot in the 1970s came up with. It’s one of the ideas that made America what it is today, and the whole Bill of Rights is based on it. Thomas Paine said it best in the pamphlet that is said to have made most American colonists want to break away from Great Britain:
“Society in any form is a blessing, but government, even in its best form, is a necessary evil and, in its worst form, an intolerable one. For when we suffer or are exposed to the same miseries by a government that we might expect in a country without a government, our miseries are made worse by the fact that we provide the means by which we suffer.”