I’m a 93% libertarian and a 96% patriot. That’s why I curse the Alabama legislature’s proposal to mount cameras at traffic intersections, but view with calm equanimity the wiretapping of those suspected of wanting to blow up New York City, or poison Chicago’s water supply, or otherwise harm me or my countrymen. Life, personal and political, is a trade-off.
A democracy only works if you vote your self-interest,
and I have no murderous plans. So I’m not worried about a few mistaken interrogations of terrorist candidates or their kinsmen. It’s a trade-off: a small price for society to pay for a major life-saving bonus.
Those dam cameras, on the other hand, are as intrusive as pollen in springtime and payoff in pennies. Some impatient citizen (like me) busts the red light and is hit with a hundred- dollar fine. Many a late night I’ve sat at an empty intersection, gritting my teeth, expending energy, polluting our environment.· Fuming, you might say. And once, maybe twice, I gunned through the red light. (OK, Maybe a half-dozen times.) I’m not only confessing but writing my state representative to vent my outrage at his camera concept.
Maybe that will make me suspicious. Maybe that will even put me on a list of wires to tap. But if it helps get the state out of my commuting life, that’s a trade-off this 93% libertarian is willing to make.