I’m a big Star Wars fan. The original three are my favorites, but I can tolerate the prequels and the sequels.

For the past two weeks, a part of “Revenge of the Sith” (the third prequel) has been running through my mind. Chancellor Palpatine (the villain) makes a speech to the Galactic Senate, claiming that the Republic will be reorganized into the first Galactic Empire. This is for a “safe and secure society,” of course. Senators applaud in enthusiastic agreement. Only two senators look concerned. Sen. Amidala then utters the closest thing to political prophecy I’ve heard: “So, this is how liberty dies – with thunderous applause.”

The U.S. House and Senate recently passed a FISA (Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act) reauthorization bill, allowing U.S. government officials to collect electronic communications of non-Americans located outside of the United States without a warrant. This bill flies in the face of the Fourth Amendment, allowing American data to also be collected without a warrant if they converse with surveilled individuals.

Every Alabama congressional member – with the exception of Rep. Barry Moore (R-Enterprise) – voted FOR this. Reps. Aderholt (R-Haleyville), Carl (R-Mobile), Palmer (R-Hoover), Rogers (R-Saks), Sewell (D-Birmingham), and Strong (R-Monrovia) all voted for warrantless data collection. Let that sink in.

Sen. Katie Britt (R-Montgomery) supported it, while Sen. Tommy Tuberville (R-Auburn) voted against it, thankfully. War Eagle, Coach!

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) shared what he’d done to fight the unconstitutional provisions to RISAA (FISA reform bill) on Instagram. He authored one amendment that would have ended the government’s ability to bypass the Bill of Rights to purchase Americans’ data. His second amendment would have exempted Americans from being a part of the FISA Act. Both amendments failed in the U.S. Senate.

The U.S. House of Representatives added an amendment to provide warrants before collecting data from Americans. That vote was very close, but our own illustrious “conservative” Speaker of the House, Mike Johnson, voted AGAINST it, breaking the tie. His self-congratulatory proclamation was nauseating: “The House has worked its will.” It certainly did. What it didn’t do was follow the Constitution.

If you haven’t noticed, we have a lawless, chaotic border. Illegal immigrants are given free cell phones, housing, and food, while many Veterans who fought for our country remain homeless. President Biden (or someone in his stead) just re-wrote Title IX, abolishing everything gained in the name of feminism.

The U.S. Congress just voted to approve $95 billion in foreign aid without considering America’s border security needs. Democrat lawmakers waved Ukrainian flags in the Capitol as they voted to send $61 billion more to Ukraine. Ukrainian flags. So many GOP lawmakers voted for this financial atrocity along with them – they might as well have been waving the blue and yellow flags too.

Fortunately, several members of Alabama’s congressional delegation voted against funding Ukraine to infinity and beyond, but Reps. Aderholt, Rogers, and Sewell voted in favor. Thanks to Sen. Lindsey Graham, we know that current presidential candidate Donald Trump encouraged the passage of this spending nightmare, which didn’t include ANY money to fix our southern border. I’m beginning to think that the governor of Florida might have made an excellent GOP candidate.

So, let this provision for warrantless data collection of regular Americans be a wake-up call to a disturbing fact: Our government doesn’t care about you or me

Under Joe Biden’s reign, the goal is definitely “America Last.” And the campaign slogan “Build Back Better” obviously meant Ukraine, not here. I was hopeful that Speaker Johnson might kick against those goads a bit. Nope. Looks like he’s all in.

What was his reason for supporting the renewal of FISA? He said the FBI showed him intel that could threaten national security and he realized we needed it. We needed it for a “safe and secure society.” Currently, we have millions of undocumented national security threats living amongst us in our nation and Congress isn’t scurrying around trying to change that. So, I’m thinking new intel isn’t legitimate.

Sen. Paul stated in an Instagram post that the Senate – after failing to pass amendments that would have protected Americans’ constitutional rights while still protecting national security – answered an important question: “Can liberty be exchanged for security?”

Sadly, in both the House and Senate, the answer is yes. Our liberties are being thrown away by the executive and legislative branches in the deceitful name of security.

Hillsdale College provides a free course on the Constitution called “Constitution 101,” accessible to anyone online. Almost every member of Congress could use a refresher on the law of our land. In fact, if you feel like sending your representatives a subscription, go for it. It might be one of the most beneficial, eye-opening gifts they receive this year. Anyone with any discernment knows they need it.

It's time for our congressional representatives and the Biden administration to stop selling the American people down the river.

Kristin Landers is a substitute teacher and freelance writer. Landers’ previous work includes serving as Communications Director for the Alabama Policy Institute and working for Citizens Against a Legalized Lottery (CALL) to defeat legalized gambling in the state of Alabama.

The views and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the policy or position of 1819 News. To comment, please send an email with your name and contact information to Commentary@1819News.com.

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