Tuesday, September 09, 2003

One of the things I like about being an American is that insane proposals like this are not even publicly discussed here because politicians know that people would not stand for them. Reading this BBC story, I notice that even the objections raised to the idea of a compulsory national DNA database are muted and vague. Americans would be screaming. For me, such an atrocity would clearly be the first step on the road to the world of Harlan Ellison's "Repent, Harlequin, Said the Ticktockman" with its cardioplates and universal timecards.

Nearly all American voters, of whatever political persuasion, have an ingrained suspicion of governmental control of their lives in a way that Europeans do not. These transatlantic differences have grown more and more pronounced in recent years, and I think will continue to do so.

You could make various sociological arguments for these differences, but I never discount the strong cultural traditions created by the founding documents of American life, which specifically locate sovereignty in the people. And not the government.

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