Senator Rand Paul has chosen once again to speak directly to millennials, this time regarding the NSA. In an op-ed at PolicyMic, he talks privacy, security, and constitutional rights to the generation most active in the digital community:
This assault on personal privacy affects the Facebook generation more than anyone else. Your generation is completely digitized and uploaded. Everything you do is traceable via phone, email and bank records. And it is you, more than anyone, who should be outraged by this astounding assault on your constitutional right to personal privacy.
I hear people say, “Well if you aren’t doing anything wrong, then the government will leave you alone.” But over the last month and a half, this administration has proved that they will target anyone. Under this administration, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has targeted political dissidents, the Department of Justice has seized reporters’ phone records, and now we’ve learned the NSA seized an unlimited amount of Verizon’s client data. So, do you really expect us to trust a government that admittedly targets innocent citizens without probable cause? These overreaching acts are unacceptable under any president, whether Democrat or Republican.
Paul takes on some Republicans and reminds millennials that “this issue is not about party politics.” He also holds Barack Obama accountable for hypocrisy and inconsistency on the issue:
What should frustrate you this most is the hypocrisy of it all. In December 2007, then-Senator Barack Obama threatened to filibuster the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA). He now uses FISA courts to survey your personal information.
Then-Senator Obama opposed provisions granting retroactive immunity to telecommunications companies that shared private client information with the government. Senator Obama was right. Had I been in the Senate, I would have voted with him. Senator Obama in 2008 also wanted to track potential terrorist activity “without undermining our commitment to the rule of law, or our basic rights and liberties.” Yet, today, President Obama undermines the rule of law, basic rights and core liberties – all in the name of tracking terrorists.
Finally, Paul asks millennials to join in his class-action suit against the NSA:
I do not think this is what Verizon customers had in mind when they signed up for the “share everything plan” and I want these customers to join me in filing a class-action lawsuit against the NSA. I’m asking all of the internet providers, all of the phone companies and their customers to join me in protecting our rights to privacy. Our Constitution is consistently ignored and it is time we take a stand. I encourage all Americans, especially the millennials, to stand with me in this fight to protect our constitutional right to privacy.
You can read the entire PolicyMic piece here. It’s incredibly important that Rand Paul continues to speak directly to this country’s youth. He doesn’t talk about them; he talks to them. It’s smart to repeatedly hold big-spending, big-government Democrats and Republicans accountable–they certainly deserve it–and to instead value principle over party, an ideal upheld by many millennials who reject old-school party allegiance and embrace independent-minded support for freedom, privacy, and a government that knows its place.
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