About 15 years ago, I was invited to give a lecture to a “think tank” of government, corporate and academic types. In the years since then that I have given versions of it to other groups, the legal and political situation has only grown worse.
As bad as the situation was when I spoke on the erosion of our rights, the later 9/11 attacks have permitted the government to greatly magnify this disintegration of freedom far beyond the DUI arena. Just as the public’s growing anger with drunk driving (fanned by MADD) offered government an excuse to chip away at the Constitution, so the fear of terrorist attacks offered the opportunity to accelerate that erosion.
In some ways, perhaps, the attack on our constitutional protections in the DUI field was a precursor to those that have occurred since….
“THE DUI EXCEPTION TO THE CONSTITUTION”
(Aspen, Colorado, 1997)
I hope to convince you in the next hour, some of you, that the greatest single threat to our freedoms, the freedoms set forth in the Bill of Rights, is not from Iraq or Iran. I don’t think it’s from North Korea. I don’t think it’s from the extremists of the Muslim world. The threat, as it has always been throughout history, is internal: It is from within. But I do not think it is from the American Communist party or extremists on the right. I hope to convince a few of you that the greatest single threat to our freedoms today comes from a group consisting largely of American housewives. They call themselves the Mothers Against Drunk Driving. MADD.
I am fully aware that some of you belong to MADD. And I am certainly not here to make fun of them. Others of you here do not belong to MADD, but you have contributed to MADD and many more of you here, perhaps most of you here, are in complete sympathy with their goals and their activities. Many of you have had tragic losses at the hands of drunk drivers. But I hope to convince you in the next hour that you might want to reassess your view of that particular organization.
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