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Executive orders … national emergencies … a domestic “commander-in-chief” … the threat of terrorism and weapons of mass destruction. ….

An impeached president is leading America ever closer toward the reality of a police state, and there’s been hardly a peep from the civil liberties establishment. In fact, those who dare address such issues are quickly denounced as paranoid “extremists.”

But let’s look at the facts — coldly, objectively and rationally.

President Clinton has declared more “states of national emergency” than any of his predecessors. And he’s done it in an era he boasts about as the freest, most peaceful and most prosperous time in recent American history.

President Clinton has issued more executive orders than any of his predecessors. His top aides have even boasted of using them as a political strategy to go over the heads of the legislative branch of government. “Stroke of the pen, law of the land,” boasted Paul Begala of the plan. “Pretty cool, huh?” Few of the executive orders have even been challenged by a Congress controlled by the opposition party. Few of them have even been read by a sleeping press establishment.

And now President Clinton tells the nation that terrorism is such a threat to America that we need to consider establishing a “commander-in-chief for the defense of the continental United States.”

But don’t worry about the civil liberties implications of any of this, the president tells us.

“If there’s a question, bring it to me,” he says, like any good monarch would.

Sure, that will solve the problem. Clinton himself will be the arbiter of whether his policies are an assault on our fundamental freedoms. Sounds fair, huh?

Keep in mind, folks, that this is the same president who has:

  • used FBI files to attack his political enemies;

  • employed Internal Revenue Service audits to punish his critics;

  • at the moment of his highest triumph, his re-election as president in 1996, warned he would attack his adversaries ruthlessly and cut them out of the body politick “like a cancer”;

  • used at least one federal employee as a sex toy, using Marine officers to chauffeur her to the White House, then wielded all the power at his disposal to cover up the scandal through perjury and obstruction of justice;

  • accepted illegal campaign contributions from powers hostile to the United States and then offered them previously forbidden high-technology transfers;

  • used taxpayer resources to malign the character of anyone who offered a political challenge to his authority;

  • abused his power to step on and over anyone who got in his way;

I could go on and on. But you get the point. The kinds of powers under discussion would be unacceptable in the hands of the most ethical, honorable, virtuous leader, but in the hands of a man with no character, a man whose only motivation is the accumulation and preservation of his own authority, the mere discussion of such powers should be anathema to every American.

Yet, I don’t hear the outrage. I don’t hear expressions of real concern. I don’t hear anyone warning of impending tyranny.

Let me, then, be the first.

America is not slouching toward totalitarianism, it is rushing headlong toward it. It is disregarding more than 200 years of historical lessons, the prophetic cautions of the geniuses who invented this country. It is forgetting what made America great — its Constitution, its acceptance of freedom and responsibility and its commitment to a morality etched in men’s hearts from the beginning and defined in words beginning with the Ten Commandments.

How can we then trust a man who treads on the Constitution, insults the Founding Fathers, limits freedom daily with new initiatives empowering government, encourages irrepsonsibility in others and breaks nearly every one of the Ten Commandments with no credible regrets or contritition?

Tell me, America: Are you ready to let Bill Clinton completely redefine and rewrite the contract between the people and the government? Are you willing to permit him to be the judge and jury of that new covenant? Or, are you ready to trade in your liberty for a promise of security from a man who is himself a proven coward, rogue and ego-maniac?

Or, are you ready to open your eyes and see what this man is trying to take from you, your children and grandchildren?

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