The Brian Gongol Show on WHO Radio
Brian Gongol

There's no need to wonder why the Florida teen went to Iraq without telling his parents: His dad says, "If you say no, they stick to the point and insist on doing it." By that line of reasoning, as a child I should've been allowed to eat Cocoa Puffs three meals a day and sleep until late afternoon on Saturdays.

Saying "No" isn't just a parental tool -- it's why we have separation of powers, which is why it's still really disconcerting that more Americans aren't much worried about the NSA's domestic-surveillance program. Saying "No" is what the courts are there to do, and taking the courts out of surveillance issues removes the key role of separation of powers.

Possibly even more worrisome is that the US is involved in making the Internet less free for some people living under oppressive regimes. As voters, we have to be careful that we're not getting too caught up in social issues that we miss the incredibly important questions of freedom and liberty that keep the US from becoming a place like North Korea. Tyranny is never that far off the horizon -- and that's one of the subjects I touch upon in my book, Ten Big Answers You Won't Get from a Politician.

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