Cass, Cass, Cass…why do you serve up such softballs?
1. Psychiatry. a mental disorder characterized by systematized delusions and the projection of personal conflicts, which are ascribed to the supposed hostility of others, sometimes progressing to disturbances of consciousness and aggressive acts believed to be performed in self-defense or as a mission.
2. baseless or excessive suspicion of the motives of others.
Cass Sunstein apparently believes that speaking truth to power and exposing the lies in government is paranoid behavior:
In a recent essay in the New Republic, Princeton University historian Sean Wilentz contends that Edward Snowden, Glenn Greenwald and Julian Assange reflect a political impulse he calls “paranoid libertarianism.”
Are there lies buried in the allegations of these gentlemen? If Snowden is lying, why is Obama pretending to act? These gentlemen have certainly been ridiculed by the mainstream and the politicians; however, I have not read a refutation of any meaningful portion of the government abuses as exposed.
Wilentz claims that far from being “truth-telling comrades intent on protecting the state and the Constitution from authoritarian malefactors,” they “despise the modern liberal state, and they want to wound it.”
Why not both truth-telling and a desire to wound the modern liberal state? If, in fact, the accusations are correct, isn’t a little reputational wounding in order? Should not such a state, and the actors behind it, be despised?
Sunstein moves beyond the three named “paranoids,” and to the larger group of libertarian paranoids. He identifies five characteristics of this breed:
The first is a wildly exaggerated sense of risks -- a belief that if government is engaging in certain action (such as surveillance or gun control), it will inevitably use its authority so as to jeopardize civil liberties and perhaps democracy itself.
One need look no further than events in Boston after the marathon bombing. Civil liberties were more than jeopardized – they were ignored. Or what of reports that data from the massive NSA surveillance system is subtly handed over to prosecutors to be used in convicting defendants of non-national-security crimes?