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Extraordinary times usually lead to extraordinary actions. The aftermath of the September 11 terrorist attacks in the United States is a good example. Although Americans aren't as freedom-loving as they used to be, it took attacks at the World Trade Center and the Pentagon for them to support things like national ID cards, restrictions on free speech and cultural profiling, among a laundry list of items.
So while you still can -- because some enterprising politician might want to declare it un-American -- write your political representatives using the Defending Your Freedom web site to register that you don't believe the way to fight terrorists is to become a more controlled nation. As this magazine snidely stated recently, Osama bin Laden and al-Qaida may end up winning this war simply because they managed to move America towards the same kind of repression they believe in.
So does writing people like President George W. Bush and America's senators really accomplish anything? Contrary to what most people think, politicians do take note of what their constituents write about. Well-crafted letters that concisely and coherently argue a position are taken into account. It may not help, but it probably wouldn't hurt either ... unless you support restrictions on your personal liberties.
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