2013-10-29 / Commentary

Bellows outflanks Collins on civil liberties


Andrew Ian Dodge Andrew Ian Dodge It seems that Senator Collins is going to have a challenge on her hands from a capable woman in the form of Shenna Bellows.

As it looks like no liberty-minded Republican has the guts to challenge Collins in the primary, this just might be the showdown in that race.

Bellows worked for the Maine branch of the ACLU, which is an admirable organization with whom I have had quite a bit of contact of late. The Maine ACLU has been consistent in standing up to both the national and Maine governments when they step on citizens’ rights.

The ACLU of Maine has worked with liberty-minded folks on subjects such as food sovereignty, warrants to access mobile phone calls, and drones. They have even been willing to give small bits of advice to those wishing to lobby Augusta on other issues of importance. In short, it is a good organization that shares the concerns of those wishing to stand up for their rights in face of government aggression.

So why is Bellows running as a Democrat?

The Democratic Party under President Obama has done nothing for individual rights — and, in fact, has taken steps to further limit our rights. Democrats in D.C. have empowered Obama with all sorts of tools that have allowed him to reduce our individual rights at an unprecedented rate. The Obama administration and his Democratic (and some Republican) allies have continued to pass laws that meddle in our daily laws at an alarming rate.

They voted en masse for the individual mandate that forces all Americans under penalty of law to get health insurance.

They supported Obama’s efforts that have lead to millions of Americans to lose their jobs and health care under the Affordable Care Act.

They continue to support the ACA, despite the fact the ACA site includes verbiage that promises users details will be shared with the IRS and Department of Homeland Security. This is not to mention that site has been described by security experts as an “identity theft paradise” because of its poor security.

Under this administration, the NSA has so abused the USA Patriot Act that one of its authors is crying foul at the abuse and working to pass legislation limiting government access to domestic communication.

Furthermore, under Obama and his Democrat enablers, we have domestic spying by drones. We have the IRS harassing his political opponents and then lying about it. (This was one of the things that led to Nixon’s resignation as President.) Under Obama, we have seen militarization of local police, often via federal grants, at an alarming rate.

In foreign policy, we have seen the Obama administration help Islamists take power in Libya and Egypt. When the Egyptian people overthrew their Islamist thug leaders, our president withheld aid to the government fighting the Muslim Brotherhood. This is the same Muslim Brotherhood that has terrorized, killed and burnt Christian churches all across Egypt.

Surely if Bellows truly believes in liberty and individual rights, she should be running as an independent — not as a Democrat.

Giving numbers in Congress and the Senate to either one of the current major parties does nothing to make us more free or get government out of our lives.

ANDREW IAN DODGE is a libertarian former U.S. Senate candidate and writer who lives in Harpswell.

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