I am a small government Republican. As such, I am opposed to the nanny state. I don’t want a safety net that protects people from the consequences of their actions. If I rode a motorcycle and wanted to be stupid and ride without a helmet, I don’t want the government requiring me to wear a helmet. I don’t want womb to tomb government welfare programs. I want some people to excel and others to fail. I want it to still be possible to get rich in America. I don't want government taking money I earn and giving it to someone else. I reject the notion that if it moves we must regulate it and tax it. I want less bureaucracy and lower taxes.
Also, however, being a small government Republican means I don’t want a police state. I don’t want the government reading my email or listening in on my phone conversations without a warrant issued for probable cause. I support the “right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures.” I don’t want the government pressuring my employer to make be pee in a cup to insure I have not been smoking marijuana. I don’t want the government keeping track of what library books I read or websites I visit. I don’t want the police beating confessions out of suspects. I like "innocent until proven guilty." I don't even want cameras catching me running red lights.
This week Arizona passed an anti-illegal immigration bill. This bill would require law enforcement officers to investigate, detain and arrest people if there is ‘reasonable suspicion’ that a person may be undocumented. It would give state and local police the power to detain people who cannot prove their citizenship or legal right to be in the country.
Unfortunately, many conservatives are applauding this law. I don’t know about you, but I don’t carry a passport or a birth certificate. Many Americans don't have passports. We do not have a form of national ID and I don't want one. With fifty states, each with their own design for birth certificates and with birth certificates easily forgeable, I am not sure that a birth certificate proves citizenship. This bill gives too much authority to the police.
I don’t want America to become a nation where the police stop you and make you show your papers. I like the idea that the police can’t stop you without probable cause. I want a government that fears the people, not people who fear the government. I don’t want America to become a nation where you must “show me your paper.”