Every night on the news you’ll hear a reporter say “Snowden says,” or “Snowden claims,” or any variation of those phrases. Next you’ll hear them go on to discuss memos and documents written by the NSA or other government programs. This is a very subtle, but clearly undermining tactic used by the press. It makes all the lies, secrets, and constitutional violations executed by the US government appear to be the musings and conspiracy theories of a mad man. However, this perception is evidently untrue.
Everything that Snowden leaked was written by our government. None of it was of his own design or opinion. It’s all factual proof of the true ongoings a of the government. So, it’s not what “Snowden says.” It’s what our government says. The public at large does not understand or appreciate this difference, and it’s fundamental to understanding the issue.
In last night’s NBC interview with Snowden, he called himself “a patriot.” This is true to the utmost degree. A patriot is someone who believes fully in the principles of our country, namely that our rights not be violated. A patriot is someone not afraid of raising a voice in dissent to protect the fundamentals of a nation. Snowden witnessed the unravelling of our rights and did something about it. He is a patriot and should be championed as one.
Moreover, to all those American citizens who don’t care about these issues: You Need To. If you believe that this news doesn’t affect you because you’re not a terrorist and you haven’t done anything wrong, well you’re wrong. It does affect you. The programs unveiled by Snowden affect you directly and indirectly. The government collects all of our phone calls regardless of who you are, which infringes on your right to privacy. Welcome to the 1984 dystopia, we are being watched constantly by Big Brother; we live in a police state. Indirectly, this affects you because the government has lied to and cheated you. If we allow them to get away with things like this, what more are they going to take away from us? It’s a slippery slope, so you can’t just turn a blind eye.