When the PATRIOT Act passed without protest, I started packing up and within 6 months I'd left the country. The passivity with which my family, friends, neighbors and colleagues accepted this grievous breach of Constitutional authority suddenly made them all seem alien to me, and I could no longer relate to any of them. At the time I was more liberal than libertarian, though I considered myself a political atheist in most respects. I was utterly shocked when I discovered Ron Paul in 2007, and he was saying many of the things I had been thinking. I was even more shocked when he developed a significant following. I left the country thinking Americans were all a bunch of willing slaves, but apparently there were a significant number of people who weren't so servile. At this point I doubt I will ever return to the land of my birth, but I have regained a measure of respect for the people living there. At least some of them are finally standing up, but I suspect it's already too late to regain the freedom that was once taken for granted by so many.
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