It just occurred to me today that in this brave new world of National Security Agency (NSA) electronic spying, I did a very dumb thing last week. For background, I was a history and English major in high school and college. I always have been fascinated by history and have a substantial collection of history books.
My wife, on the other hand, enjoys fictional historical romances. She reads two or three a week, checking them out from the local library. As she knows my love of history, which she doesn’t particularly share, she frequently asks me questions about some historical reference she finds in one of her romance novels. This time it was about the assassination of President William McKinley. I couldn’t remember the exact details of that event and in fact initially confused them in my answer to her with the assassination of President James A. Garfield.
The very dumb thing I did was not going to one of my many history books to look up the details for her. Instead, as I usually do, I went to my computer called up Wikipedia and there reviewed articles on the assassinations of various presidents. There is even an article recounting attempted assassinations of various presidents through history. What was so dumb about my researching something for my wife is that now, of course, the NSA has a record of my being interested in presidential assassinations.
I’m probably about as far as you can get from being a potential presidential assassin. I’m a part-time pastor; I adhere to Christ’s admonition to love all people, even those I disagree with politically. I’m a decorated combat veteran of this country and have been a researcher/writer all my life. In fact, I’ve either met, or covered live at some event as a journalist or otherwise, all the presidents from Lyndon Johnson through George H.W. Bush. I had no interest in meeting or covering Bill Clinton and anyway was out of “mainstream” journalism by the time of his presidency. I did attend a luncheon at which George W. Bush spoke at a utility conference a couple of years ago, after he had left office. That gave me the honor of at least being in the same room or same physical location with seven of the eight presidents prior to Obama. I do consider it an honor because even those I disagreed with politically are due the respect of the office. Just as I had no interest in being in the same room with Clinton, I have the same attitude regarding Obama
One of the highlights of my journalism career was meeting President Lyndon Johnson on the airfield at Ft. Campbell, KY, and being allowed to walk beside and get an exclusive interview with him as he took his long strides across a wide runway apron getting from one point to another. I was the only journalist allowed that privilege at that location and I was still in my 20s. (I was friendly with the post commanding general who was walking on the other side of the president, all of us surrounded by Secret Service agents.) I was six feet tall, but Johnson towered over me and had this long stride so that I had to work hard to keep up with him while still asking questions and trying to jot down answers. Another highlight was covering a speaking engagement of Ronald Reagan at Vanderbilt University when he was running for president the first time. That speech began my conversion from a liberal to a conservative. As he was speaking, I remember thinking, “If I wasn’t a liberal, I could vote for this man.” I did, twice. As a journalist I also wrote an editorial for the newspaper I where I was editorial page editor at the time endorsing him for president. Later I covered a couple of his appearances after he was elected.
In my lifetime, there have some very good presidents, Reagan being No. 1. Then there have been some very bad ones, Obama tops that list with Clinton and Carter tied for a very close second. All three of them are/were out-and-out socialists. Johnson was a mixed bag, he advanced the cause of socialism a great deal with his “Great Society”. However, he did continue to fight communism in Vietnam and elsewhere.
As I sometimes tell people, the next to last thing I ever would want to do would be to hurt or kill anyone, including even a thug who assaulted me or my wife or some other innocent, much less a president. The last thing I would want to do is allow some thug to hurt or kill my wife, me or some other innocent if I had the means to prevent it. Christ did not for nothing admonish his disciples as he was about to leave them to sell their cloaks and buy a sword. He saw our days.
Now, however, as a result of this president and his administration, I have to be aware of what I research, say, write, and especially what I look up on the Internet. NSA goons are looking over my shoulder and potentially could be reading this article as soon as I transmit it to Patriot Update. I’m sure they have their super-computers looking for many key words, like “assassination” or “president”, especially if those words happen to be used in the same document or the same Internet or Wikipedia search. I’m most likely now on one or more of their lists somewhere. As Dr. Billy Graham was quoted as saying this week, all the elements of the book of Revelation for the last great destruction of mankind on this planet seem to be in place.
This is a very sad day, which I never thought I would see in my lifetime. I’ve always been aware of the implications of Orwell’s 1984 and feared the rapid growth of socialism in this country and an ever larger and larger and more powerful federal government. Only under this president and his NSA, however, have I ever feared for my freedom of expression or what I researched on the Internet or elsewhere. If I disappear in the middle of the night without a trace, remember that I warned you! Be careful what you say, think or especially type on a keyboard attached to the Internet. Big Brother is watching! It’s a sad, sad day indeed and one, as Dr. Graham said, that needs to be taken very seriously.