It only took a few minutes at UnRealID.com to compose the brief message below, which was then faxed to my (Colorado) senators. The Real ID Act will be up for vote on Tuesday, and it’s yet another chapter in the long and sad history that began on September 11, 2001 and continues to erode our rights. I am both saddened and angered by the direction of our government, and the quiet construction of a police state. Though I often gripe and lament about these things here– in my own little private forum– I’ve decided to become more active.

So when I run for President in a few years, remember me on the ballot…

Sens. Allard and Salazar–

As an active member of the Longmont community, as well as a participant in many internet groups and communities, I have grown steadily more concerned with the direction being taken by Congress and the Bush Administration with regard to security and personal privacy. In a continuing effort to curtail “terrorist” activities, law-abiding Americans are being asked– nay, demanded– to give up freedom in exchange for security. As Benjamin Franklin stated in an oft-quoted adage, we must then deserve neither.

The impending vote on the Real ID Act is yet another example of government powers spiraling out of control and usurping rights and freedoms we have enjoyed in this country for centuries. I ask you to read carefully the provisions of the Act (I have) and consider whether they truly serve the greater good. Indeed, consider whether they will actually accomplish the Administration’s much-cited goal of “making America safer”.

I feel this legislation, like so many other bills in the past few years, does very little to either protect our safety or deter terrorist activity. Rather, it adds more layers of complication (and expense) to processes that have worked for decades… and compromises important and valuable personal information.

Please examine the bill and propose debate. Protect our rights.

Jeff Schroeder