Trading Liberties For Illusions Essay Example
Wendy Kaminer’s Trading Liberties for Illusions dwells on the security measures undertaken by the authorities that ultimately compromise civil liberties. As both a lawyer and social critic, Wendy Kaminer, comes out in the article as a strong defender of civil liberties enjoyed by many Americans. She uses a number of strategies to present her argument to her audience as well as organization and assumptions. Consequently, through all the mentioned elements she manages to pen down a sobering article. The article not only sensitizes but also informs the public on the historical and current deeds that have had a negative influence on the civil liberties.
The first strategy used by the author is the use of reports drawn from various reliable sources in propagating her argument. She uses the report from ACLU (American Civil Liberties Union) to highlight the inefficiencies associated with the surveillance systems in place across America. These inefficiencies, she portends, are highly linked to the invasion of the civil liberties that have been enjoyed by Americans since time immemorial. The ACLU report, for instance, pinpoints that the surveillance systems, based on facial recognition, provided mismatched information to the Florida police department. The individuals identified as criminals by the systems were nowhere in the photographs database. The Detroit press, on the other hand, noted that the Police in Michigan used the surveillance systems information inappropriately. The law enforcers were reported to have used data to intimidate citizens and stalk women.
Political analysis was also used by the author to illustrate and support her argument. She draws her examples from acts of various Presidents in the face of insecurity or blatant misuse of power to abuse the civil liberties. She cites President John Adams used his political clout to criminalize opposition. Woodrow Wilson evoked his presidential powers by imprisoning those that were against United States participation in the World War II. She also uses the September 11th attack to show the frightened public was coerced into accepting invasive measures in the fight against insecurity. Through these highlighted instances, the author manages to show how power and sheer political influence has been used to infiltrate the constitution.
Through adept organization, Wendy Kaminer has achieved her objectives. The fact that she has effectively connected her thoughts through a flowing manner she allows the audience to understand the genesis of her argument. She establishes historical links to her argument as well as emerging technologies to highlight how invasion of civil liberties has evolved over the years. The use of the interconnected thoughts and evidence-based paragraphs manages to solidify the article’s position.
As for assumptions, the author makes various assertions that make her work persuasive. She cites that the political class managed to tap into the public fear and outcry to compromise on the civil liberties. She cites that these measures, as observed throughout history, have been futile. Kaminer further assumes that many Americans that witnessed the September 11th attack can support her notion as they understand the fear associated with terrorism acts. At the start of the article, she proclaims that only fools that are unaware of the American history cannot understand the article’s position. In that light, Kaminer segments her audience into a cocoon of historically-versed American individuals.
In conclusion, the article manages to drive home the inefficiencies within the American security systems that ultimately compromise the civil liberties. Through use of external sources such as ACLU and Detroit press reports, the author manages to present an evidence-based article. The author further relies on the American historical background regarding security to arrive at conclusive analysis of the security versus civil liberties debate. By employing an interconnected flow of thoughts organization, the article manages to provide clarified and evidence-based information that is integral for any valid argument to hold. The assumptions, on the other hand, allow a keen reader to understand the author’s intended audience as well as the context of her article’s subject matter.
Kaminer, W. (2002, November 22). Trading Liberty for Illusions. Free Inquiry Magazine, 2.
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