The one thing that you two probably agree with, the one thing that polls have shown like 80% if Americans agreeing with, is that the Patriot Act is nonsense and needs to be repealed. Yet, over 99% of the elected representatives seems to want the Patriot Act passed.
What do you imagine this is all about, then? Why do you think there's such a discrepancy?
My running theory is that it has nothing to do with political parties or oppression. The elected officials support the PATRIOT Act because they're cowards. They believe that the American people are stupid and fickle, and that even if 100% strongly support repealing the PATRIOT Act, those same people will still blame their elected politicians for "not doing enough" when the next terrorist attack comes.
And they're right to believe it. There will be another successful terrorist attack. There will. Someday, under some circumstances; it's only a matter of time. And when it happens, no matter what the circumstances are, the general populace will panic, and they'll do all kinds of stupid things. And the funny thing is, you might not realize this unless you really pay attention, but the general populace has no memory. It doesn't matter how much they disapprove of the PATRIOT Act now. As soon as there's a successful terrorist attack and they're scared and confused, they'll be absolutely irate that we aren't spying on more people more often. They won't have any idea why the NSA stopped monitoring all of our phone calls, but they'll be angry at anyone involved in putting an end to it.
I mean, if you talk to people now, nobody was ever in favor of invading Iraq. Go ahead and ask people, and they'll get upset and say they don't know why we went in, but it was a big mistake, and they always knew it was a mistake. Or they'll say they were tricked. But back when it happened, it was popular enough that representatives were afraid to oppose it. At least some of those people are mis-remembering. Same thing with all of the deregulation going on during the Clinton era, which everyone seems to have conveniently forgotten happened during Clinton's presidency. Everyone remembers that they economy grew under Clinton, but everyone forgets all the deregulation and Walmartization going on at the time.
People have no memory and no principles, so they're just running off of whatever they're feeling at the time. Our elected officials tend to base their policies on irrational fear and bigotry because those are the most consistent and trustworthy feelings.