It's damaged the country (beyond repair?), ruined Reddit, and it's rotted away at /.'s integrity. Everything here now comes back to politics and bullying those who might have an original, independent thought into submission.
I'm not in support of spying on American citizens at all. Having said that, the country has some obligation to try and root out Islamist extremists and unfortunately, until they have the minority report up and running at 100%, spying on people you suspect of having connections to terrorists is one of our only tools to determine if the threat is real.
Should they continue to spy after confirming the person is verified as not being a threat? Of course not, but all of the barbs aimed at Republicans and Democrats in this thread, in addition to the blanket statements made about what should and should not be done, all goes to again show that it's sheeple on /., not free thinking individuals.
Many of you appear to have been "programmed" to believe that any disagreement is wrong, and that any cultural differences should be eliminated entirely. Let me share something with you... It's these differences that drives societies.
America has many things going for it, but the absolute hatred towards our country shown in this thread (and elsewhere on /. - Just search for the word 'Republican') is only weakening us as a nation. This belief that "my view is the only correct one" is the cancer slowly eating away at us. It's not based in reality, and it's not sustainable in the long run.
/. has turned into a sheeple paradise. Unless you have a better solution, don't begin insulting others just because you don't agree with it. This kind of bullying is quickly replacing older, more physical forms of bullying, but it is still bullying! Nowadays instead of the bully's being jocks though, it's a bunch of narrow minded people who will publicly try to shame those they disagree with, rather than having an open discourse.
It's sad... I remember when /. was a place for intelligent people to have great debates and conversation. Now it's a place where those who post their honest opinions are quickly attacked and called names by the bullies that disagree. How is this an open forum when this continues to happen?
Between the new /. look and the diatribe being posted, it's no wonder /. is in a downward spiral.