The Left Discovers a Love for the Terrorist Watch List


The Left Discovers a Love for the Terrorist Watch List

Things that fascinate me, part MCXVII: I have a lot of very smart lefty friends who have suddenly discovered a newfound love and respect for the million-plus member terrorist watch list.

Now, the train of thought here seems to go something like: there is a list that the government uses to restrict our civil liberties, and it’s unclear how one gets onto it or off of it, or even what the criteria for inclusion are; it’s a fairly wide net, and as far as we know it includes suspected associates of people suspected of being future terrorists. Wouldn’t it be great if we also used this list to restrict a right that the Supreme Court has now said is protected by the Bill of Rights?

I don’t think that any of my lefty friends are actually guilty of the train of thought above. I think it’s more like, “the optics on this vote are terrible and can harm the GOP and the NRA, so let’s try to get as much mileage out of this as we can by screaming ‘OMG TERRORIST LOVERS!’ at them like a truckload of drunk Tea Partiers driving by a mosque after the bars close.

But in the midst of your hysterics and theatrics, my friends, spare a thought for the precedent that the passage of this bill would have set. Gun violence in the US continues its steady, multi-decade downward trend, yet in the name of stemming it further you would feed yet another constitutional right to the “War on Terror” beast.

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Jon Stokes is Deputy Editor at

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