Many Americans do love their police state | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED

Many Americans do love their police state

by J.D. Tuccille,

Scattered through the comments to yesterday's column about a Customs and Border Patrol stop of a passenger train that never crossed the boundaries of the United States are little gems of the sort that I've come to dread and anticipate in equal parts: praise for the government for behaving in an arbitrary and heavy-handed manner. Unfortunately, all too many of our friends, neighbors and relations have come to relish acting like bit players in a bad Cold War film. They're more than happy to bow down to the nearest uniform so long as somebody assures them it will "keep us safe" -- from whom, it doesn't matter, though it's certainly not from overbearing authorities.

From a single day's tally of comments, I count four of ten favoring the train stop. There's one "the law is the law" -- as if that's not the case in every country where the authorities step beyond decent bounds.

I find one whine about "liberals," although that might change in a year or two since liberals and conservatives are engaging in one of their ritualistic swap-of-roles between powers-that-be and opposition. (Whoever is in charge always says the other side are terrible cry-babies).

And there are two -- count 'em -- renderings of "if you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear." Really? So the founders were a bunch of paranoids when they wrote the Fourth Amendment? Or did they maybe have a clue that arbitrary power is, itself, something to fear. That principle still applies, In 1989, Justice