Protecting Privacy and Free Speech from an Abusive, Out-of-Control Government

May 30, 2013

May 31, 2013

By: Al Cardenas

A recent survey — taken prior to revelations about IRS misconduct and commissioned by the American Conservative Union — showed that a majority of Americans have become increasingly concerned about their free speech and privacy rights.

Americans since the founding of our Republic, have placed the protection of our personal freedoms and right to privacy above all else. We have been rightfully alarmed over the past months as we have watched the federal government intrude into the private lives of its citizens.

Whether its members of the press being submitted to eavesdropping without due process, certain members of Congress trying to forcefully obtain names of contributors to our favorite causes, government forcing businesses who bid for government work to inform this administration to whom they have made political contributions, or the IRS taking oppressive and selective actions against organizations with conservative leanings, it is clear that we are at a tipping point.

We must redouble our efforts to rein in government, because we are the ultimate check on its power.

Take it from me. My family learned first-hand the consequences of losing our personal freedoms in our native Cuba where we lost every right a free person should expect. They included the right to express one’s political beliefs, the right to disagree with one’s government without repercussions and the right to be free from government intrusion into every aspect of one’s life.

In America one section of our government grants political asylum to citizens from other countries fleeing oppressive regimes who have taken away all their rights, while another section of our same government exerts total power and authority over our personal finances and intimidates its own citizenry at will. This must end.

Americans have spoken. About a month ago the American Conservative Union (ACU) asked McLaughlin and Associates to conduct a comprehensive survey on privacy and free speech.

This was long before the IRS Director of Exempt Organizations Louis Lerner publicly acknowledged that they were targeting conservative organizations for special scrutiny during the application process.

We can only imagine how the responses from our April survey would look now, after the revelations about the IRS and AP scandals.

ACU’s national poll of 600 voters on April 4 showed that 99% of all Americans supported free speech and the right to privacy which were so blatantly violated by the IRS for conservatives, tea parties and religious groups. Those polled were a representative sample of national ideological and partisan demographics, with more Democrats than Republicans participating and more moderates and liberals combined than conservatives.

The survey found that 89% “approved protecting the rights of privacy of American citizens to speak out on issues without fear of reprisal or retribution from anyone, including those in government, the media, their employers or opposing  issue advocacy groups.”

Similarly, 86% agreed that “private American citizens have a right to privacy when they support any issue advocacy groups.” And 86% agreed that “American citizens have a right to privacy when they support independent issue groups.”

Two thirds of all voters already believe that our individual freedoms are threatened by Washington. A whopping 68% agree that “our current individual freedoms are being threatened by more federal government regulations from Washington.” Only 27% disagree.

Six in ten voters say making their donations public would deter them from contributing to issue causes. Fifty-nine percent of all voters said yes to the question “if they knew that any contribution you gave to any cause such as Planned Parenthood, the NRA, Greenpeace, the NAACP etc, was publicly available for anyone to see at any time, would it deter you from contributing to such causes.” Only 33% said no.

Specifically regarding President Obama, most voters already view him as wanting to limit free speech. Before the IRS targeting of conservatives, tea parties and religious groups, the majority of voters agreed 50% to 44% that “Barack Obama’s administration has shown a pattern of attempting to limit free speech and take away your personal rights.”

Surprisingly, the majority of voters in our April survey also thought that the Obama administration was trying to discourage political opposition.

Fifty-two percent of all voters agreed that “by pushing for the disclosure of donors to non-profit groups that advocate on issues of public concern and causes, such as the environment, education and the economy, the Obama administration is merely seeking to discourage support of positions that are not politically correct or that people may be uncomfortable having disclosed to the public at large.” Only 32% disagreed.

A plurality of voters are already suspect of their elected leaders’ motives as simply trying to silence their critics. Forty-four percent agreed that “politicians want to require the public release of any American who gives money to any issue or cause so that they can see who opposes them and take measures to silence their critics.” Only 43% disagreed, but imagine what that result would be today!

Bottom line is that the vast majority of Americans support protections for free speech and privacy, which are quickly being chipped away. As we see how deep and widespread this problem is — I suggest that the only solution is to shrink the size and scope of government.

First we need to overhaul the tax code and the IRS and ensure that privacy and free speech are protected.  But we also need to look at what other bureaucracies are too big, too powerful and have become a threat to the individual liberty of law abiding American citizens.

America is an exceptional nation because it was founded on the idea that government is the servant of the people and not its master. We must redouble our efforts to rein in government, because we are the ultimate check on its power.

Because let’s be honest – if the government has the power to go after and attempt to silence one group of people, why would it just stop there? Who else could it target?

Al Cardenas is chairman of the American Conservative Union

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2013/05/31/protecting-privacy-and-free-speech-from-abusive-out-control-government/#ixzz2UswuZDa5

Patent
Join ACU

The ACU Blog

ACU Slams McCain for Selectively Citing Ratings to Make Himself Look Better

Breitbart.com by: Michelle Moons

Senator John McCain (R-AZ)’s campaign team is getting called out by the very organization whose rating it cited on

ACU’s Letter Against Re-Authorization of Ex-Im Bank

The American Conservative Union urges Congress to allow the authorization of the Export-Import Bank to expire.

As with many government programs, the Export-Import

ACU Says NO to “Comprehensive Patent Reform”

As part of ACU’s long-term strategy to stand up against those who seek to take advantage of American Inventors, we

ACU Releases 2014 Annual Ratings of Congress

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE May 12, 2015

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT:  Ian Walters (202)347-9388 iwalters@conservative.org

 

ACU Releases 2014 Annual Ratings

The Road to CPAC

5 Bizarre Ways the Government Uses Your Money

Tax_graphic copy

It’s Tax Day!

Ever wonder what the government does with your money? Don’t worry, they’re spending it just as responsibly as you would… Because everyone

The Weekly Standard: Inside Hillary’s ‘Very Luxurious’ Van: A Bed, TV, and Lots of Leather

Screen Shot 2015-04-14 at 3.23.48 PM

Originally published by The Weekly Standard

Written by DANIEL HALPER

Hillary Clinton has arrived at her first campaign stop, completing the 965 mile

ACUF Chairman Carly Fiorina on Fox News: Hillary Lacks Leadership, Results

Screen Shot 2015-04-13 at 11.30.33 AM

ACU Foundation Chairman Carly Fiorina appeared on Fox News this morning to discuss Hillary’s candidacy for President.  “(Hillary Clinton) doesnt have a track record of

ACU Chairman Schlapp on Hillary: “We’ve Had Enough”

Screen Shot 2015-04-11 at 10.45.13 PM

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Ross Hemminger (419) 934-3069

(Washington, DC) Today, American Conservative Union Chairman Matt Schlapp released the following statement on the

Founded in 1964, the American Conservative Union (ACU) is the oldest and largest grassroots conservative organization in the nation. For more than forty years, ACU has served as an umbrella organization harnessing the collective strength of conservative organizations fighting for Americans who are concerned with liberty, personal responsibility, traditional values, and strong national defense. As America's premier conservative voice, ACU is the leading entity in providing conservative positions on issues to Congress, the Executive Branch, State Legislatures, the media, political candidates, and the public. Read More

1331 H St NW Suite 500
Washington, DC 20005
Ph: (202) 347-9388 | Fx: (202) 347-9389

Contact Us
Privacy Policy
Opportunities/Careers

ACU. All Rights Reserved.