The freedom to think and learn and question without fear of government retribution- whether on a tumblr blog, with your library card, or marching down Fifth Avenue- is the dividing line between having a free society or not.
We’ve decided this issue before and we need to do it again. McCarthy was on the wrong side of history. So were the FBI officials who wiretapped MLK and monitored the activities of feminist leaders. And so are the members of the current administration who have exiled Edward Snowden and placed those active in the Occupy Movement on the terror watch list.
Whether Bush or Obama, whether the stated purpose is protection from communists, terrorists, or political subversives- the effects are the same. Government surveillance backed by the armed might of the state serves to punish free speech and freedom of conscience. And if we do not fight and defend those rights, we will shortly find all other rights in jeopardy.