The United States of America is believed to be the most civilized nation in the world. In political, economic and military circles, none of the other countries can compete effectively with the USA at present. The destruction of the former the Soviet Union helped the country to become an unquestionable leader in global politics, economics and military affairs. Although the USA is one of the strongest and most civilized countries in the world, the civil liberties enjoyed by its citizens at present are less compared to that in some other civilized countries. The 9/11 attack on the USA by Al-Qaeda proved the vulnerabilities in the security matters of the country. The country forced to enforce many restrictions on civil life because of the aforementioned attack. Apart from the 9/11 attack, some of the other factors which contributed to the unrest in the country are the drug war and right – left clashes.
The USA forced to declare war on terror immediately after the 9/11 incident. Until this incident, the country was not much bothered by the occasional terrorist incidents that took place in different parts of the world. However, this attack acted as an eye opener for the USA. The country has identified the loopholes in its security policies. Increased threats from terrorists forced the country to strengthen its surveillance measures in one way or another. The monitoring of the activities of the people in the country started immediately after the 9/11 incident. The government justifies such actions in the name of national security. Without surveillance, security agencies cannot collect vital information necessary for developing suitable strategies for the prevention of criminal activities. Security agencies know that every crime or terrorist activity that happens in the country will increase the number of questions raised against them. They are accountable for all such questions. If they fail to carry out their duties, people will complain about the inefficiency of security agencies. Therefore, it is necessary for them to collect intelligence from all possible sources in order to defeat the efforts of the criminals, terrorists, and other antisocial elements.
The increasing number of drug addicts is another major worry for the USA. According to a study by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the United States of America spends around $193 billion for the treatment and rehabilitation of the drug addicts in the country. In the form of drug misuse related crimes and work productivity loss, the country faces further economic damages. Although drug abuse creates different types of problems in a country, family, and the society, the major problem seems to be the drug addiction among teenagers. All these factors forced the country to put some restrictions on civil liberties and thereby reduce the illegal drug use in the country.
The increasing clashes between the right-left ideologies is another matter of concern for the USA. The ideologies of the left-wing politics and right-wing politics travel in opposite directions. For example, leftists support things like abortion, same sex marriage etc. On the other hand, right-wing politics oppose all these things. In other words, leftists like Democrats are more liberal in their attitudes towards modern lifestyles and they accept all types of changes wholeheartedly. On the other hand, right-wing politicians such as the Republicans will never accept those things which are against the existing traditions. The recent election victories of Barrack Obama and Donald Trump prove that the Americans are ready to support both left and right wing politics. However, it should not be forgotten that far left ideologies and far right ideologies are just like day and night. They will never reach a consensus on any issues because of the extreme differences in their ideologies.
To conclude, the civil liberties in the USA are getting reduced at present because of various reasons and it looks like the history is repeating itself.
The New York Times. 19 December 2013.